A few comments, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member started his speech saying that the Liberal Party was elected because it provided Canadians with a vision of hope. This is partly true, I suppose, but since that vision does not come across very clearly in the throne speech, I am afraid Canadians' hopes will be dashed fairly quickly.
There is nothing really significant in the throne speech: merely a string of very general projects and good intentions, with very little in the way of tangible proposals.
We must not forget that until the government has decided it will deal with the whole issue of the deficit and the debt, any economic recovery will be superficial. The debt and the deficit are a drag on the private sector because they absorb such a large share of financial resources.
The hon. member also referred to technological innovation. I agree this is important. It was said earlier in the House that Canada's contribution, participation or investment in research and development is well below that of other countries. We invest 1.4 per cent of GDP, while countries like Germany, Japan and the United States invest twice as much in technology, and that creates jobs. There is practically nothing in the throne speech to provide any hope in this area.
The hon. member also mentioned home renovation and the construction industry. In Quebec, we have a major problem with the underground economy. It is all part of the same problem, which is that taxes are too high, and until the government has given a clear signal in this respect, it would be wishful thinking to expect construction and home renovation to pick up.
And now a final comment on national standards for apprenticeship. It seems the Liberal Party, like the Tories, will not learn from past mistakes. National standards are a major barrier to regional development. The federal government likes to suggest and dictate national standards. Initially it provides subsidies to go along with those standards, and then it withdraws them, and the result, as we know, is that the provinces are left holding the bag of financial problems that were, in fact, created by the federal government. Occupational training is a provincial responsibility, and the federal government has no business regulating this area. The members of the Bloc Quebecois, reflecting the position of Quebecers, will demand full responsibility in this area.