Mr. Speaker, first I want to congratulate the hon. member and thank her for her speech. In fact, we have something in common. I am referring to a shared concern about the steel industry, which is important in my riding as well. We have two big steel mills, Sidbec Dosco and Stelco McMaster.
I found the feverish enthusiasm with which the hon. member described the achievements of her government, so far, and those of the Prime Minister, almost moving. She mentioned several, starting with the cuts in the House of Commons budgelt.
At this point I think I should remind the hon. member that theoretically the House of Commons is entirely independent of the government and that not the government but the parties represented in the House made these budget cuts. Members themselves reduced the House budget-at the request, of course, of the Prime Minister, but in any case, the consent of the parties was essential. I may add the Bloc Quebecois did its share in this respect.
The hon. member also mentioned the debates we had Tuesday and Wednesday on the presence of Canadian peacekeepers in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia and on cruise missile testing on Canadian territory.
The hon. member will also remember that yesterday we protested the fact that these debates were held before the government announced its defence policy. What was said yesterday may no longer be relevant if the government decides to take a different stand. I think the debate itself was entirely appropriate but the timing was wrong.
The hon. member also talked about all kinds of other so-called successes which I will not mention here. I would rather emphasize what this government has not done or rather where it has failed so far. Did the hon. member forget that the government failed miserably on the issue of free trade, for instance? During the election campaign, the Liberals said they would not implement the free trade agreement unless they obtained a certain number of guarantees on the environment and resources, and unless they were given a definition of the word subsidy. They did not obtain any of these guarantees or definitions before the agreement was implemented.
Similarly, on the subject of GATT, the government caved in miserably and failed to protect Article XI which is so important for farmers. I imagine the hon. member does not have any farmers in her riding. I do have a few, in fact I have quite a number of farmers in my riding, and that is one difference. So I would say we are a little disappointed in the government's performance.
Finally, I would like to ask the hon. member, since she mentioned the government's achievements, whether it will take very long for the government to do something about cigarette smuggling and then about tax equity.
Could we have some answers on these issues which are still pending?