Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the eloquence with which the hon. member put forward her comments. I believe she is speaking from her heart when she outlines the problems of the people in her riding, the people of the province of Quebec and to some extent in other parts of Canada. However, I would like to tell the hon. member that the concerns she has are shared by people throughout the country in terms of the need for social programs and so on.
I come from the province of Saskatchewan which has a population smaller than the city of Montreal. We have farmers who are struggling and small businesses that are closing down. The Liberal government is more than aware of these concerns. We had this kind of national perspective in mind when the budget was so closely designed in conjunction with the human resources development plan. It is a plan that links the monetary means to put into practice solutions to the problems that the hon. member raises.
It is very easy to criticize a strategy, especially in the early days. It has not even been a week since we have heard the budget plan. I would ask the hon. member to at least give it some time before she starts tearing down what I see as very positive steps on the road to recovery.
I see a certain inconsistency. One of the criticisms made was the laughing at-perhaps that is too strong a word-or at least not having total faith in having criteria for getting a UI benefit based on whether one has so many children, whose children they are and so on. I also find inconsistency in the cries I hear from the Bloc for fiscal responsibility. I would say it is only realistic in this world that before one gives out money one finds criteria according to which that money ought to be allocated.
I would hesitate to add that this inconsistency is not dissimilar from a party that can sit as the opposition with a clearly separatist agenda. It is the same kind of thing that makes some of the arguments a bit fragmented.
Our vision on the other hand is a national vision that offers goals for all parts of Canada. Part of being in a confederation is to give from one part to another part where the needs can best be met. Sometimes that means one part of the family ends up with a little less than the other.
Coming from Saskatchewan I can assure the hon. member that the only way the people in our province have survived is by putting our shoulders to the wheel and helping our neighbours when they need the help most. I would encourage the hon. member and her party to use the same strategy when looking at this country.
Finally, I would ask the hon. member to use her talents, her abilities, her eloquence to work with the government to address the very legitimate concerns she has raised. There is no question there are people in the country who are suffering and I feel that the budget and the plan put forward by the minister of human resources to re-examine the social programs addresses that squarely. Any assistance that the hon. member can give the government in putting those matters forward would be more than welcomed.