At a time when we are trying to solve the financial problems of Canada, the members opposite have only one suggestion to make: cut social programs, cut off the unemployed. There is no other way. This is the third federal government to bring us deeper into debt, the third one to add to the debt which has now reached $500 billion. That is quite a debt! And they want to solve the problem at the expense of the have-nots of our society. Do you expect us to accept such unfair proposals without a word?
If they want to know where to save money, let us explore a few avenues before we cut social programs. Let us try to find solutions before we cut off the unemployed, welfare recipients and old age pensioners, let us try to find a way to trim the fat off government institutions. From the beginning of the election campaign, from the instant we set foot in this Parliament, the Leader of the Official Opposition, our leader, has been requesting the creation of a committee where elected members would examine government expenditures. Our role should be enhanced, they say; well, what better task is there for a member than to tell government which useless activities to cut or abolish in order to protect his constituents, especially those in need.
Three consecutive governments have failed in this Parliament; Liberals, Tories and Liberals again can be rightly accused of mismanagement and poor administration. Their inability to make the necessary decisions, their lack of political courage put us in such a difficult situation that today we have to call upon the disadvantaged of our society to make up for their incompetence.
They want to know where to cut? Well then, let the government members tell their Prime Minister that they are dying, as I know they are, to go through the federal government's expenditures, item by item. Let those members in power satisfy their burning urge to go and tell senior civil servants how harmful some of their department's activities are, how useless they are, what a total waste of money overlapping is.
I can see it written on the faces of some of you here, that you have the interests of your constituents at heart and would like to do your job as an MP properly and be able to save money, as any responsible parliamentarian would. Every time we save $100,000, it is $100,000 that will not come out of the have-not's pockets, we can be sure of that. And maybe they will get to keep it. Only then will we feel we are doing our job of representing our constituents.