I touched on it briefly. I think the estimates, DPRs, and RPPs deal with the nuts-and-bolts funding of the various departments and agencies that make up the operation of the government. The budget is a political document, and I don't mean that in any negative way. It's where the government identifies and funds the priorities over the next year, and, in some cases, over multiple years. That's the government's job. The government proposes, and Parliament disposes. That's the model.
An MP, at a partisan level, may think that's a waste of money, but that's not necessarily my job as an opposition MP: my job is to make sure that the money spent is spent effectively and efficiently. That should not be a threatening conversation for anybody. If anybody can come to the table with ways of saving money or getting more service with the same money or less, that person should be listened to.
In terms of the resources we have in the House of Commons, if you look at the background of the various MPs, we pretty well cover all of the bases. The perspectives we could get if the process allowed for that level of input and discussion would be.... You hear about the issues. If there's a problem with EI processing, you hear about it. If you don't directly, you do in caucus. You're in a unique position to know what is and isn't working. Improving that should be in everybody's interest.
The budget is, by definition, a confidence motion. The opposition MPs can make their own decision on the policy. The real concern is whether the sometimes large expenditures allocated to accomplish certain objectives, and the policies that are put in place, are actually doing that. That's a legitimate discussion.
The government is not going to necessarily entertain criticism of its direction—they're the government—but are we getting value? That's where we need to maintain our focus.