Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciated my colleague's speech and the enthusiasm and determination she showed in talking about the Youth Service. She said that, thanks to that program, young people will have the opportunity to get off unemployment insurance. We must understand however that, given the recent unemployment insurance reform, they will not go from unemployment to that program since they will no longer be eligible for UI benefits.
If the prospects presented in that famous red book are so extraordinary, please tell us why, after just a few months, the Prime Minister got such a bad reception in the Maritimes and in Shawinigan? What is perfectly clear for Canadians is that the government made promises and that we are now being presented with some well-intentioned measures that are totally out of proportion with the real problems of our society and the extent of those problems. The government promised us heaven on earth.
Just remember what happened when Ms. Campbell said, during a debate, that the unemployment rate would stand at 9 per cent at the end of the century. She was treated like a pariah. Well, I suggest you read our Minister of Finance's budget. What does it say the rate will be in 1996 and in 1997? What are the medium-term projections for the unemployment rate? We will know in August.
The reality is that we are facing problems of a massive scale, the Liberal Party made irresponsible promises and now it is unable to abide by them.
I believe the last campaign was totally irresponsible as concerns public finance; the idea was it would not be necessary to cut government expenditures, all that was needed was job creation. Now we see major cuts, particularly in social programs, and we get some small measures totally out of proportion with the problems; that is why people are so disappointed.
I understand that a program of such a scale as the one announced could be reasonable for a village or a small region.
It is totally ridiculous to talk of investing $25 million in venture capital for small business. We would end up with about $60 per business for the whole of Canada. Twenty-five million, fantastic! It would make more sense if we gave this amount to a region in particular, to a small group of credit unions in the south-western part of Montreal for instance. An amount of $25 million in venture capital for small business all over Canada can only excite the imagination. But it has absolutely nothing to do with reality. The problem is there are more than a million small businesses in Canada. In the long term, the program is said to amount to $200 million, but in the short term, it is $25 million a year or $25 per small business. It is totally absurd.
The solutions you propose are out of proportion with the sheer scale of the problem. Throughout the campaign, the government described a situation becoming progressively easier. We now notice that it is rapidly deteriorating and, what is worse, that interest rates are affected more and more. Could the member explain to what extent the measures she mentioned are geared to the problems?