Mr. Speaker, due to question period, I was interrupted for an hour since we are to follow Standing Orders, which we agree to do. I was discussing the official opposition's motion concerning funding for the CBC, along with the amendment proposed by the Reform Party.
I recalled my surprise at seeing the Liberal Party renege on commitments it made during the election campaign. I must say it was not an entirely unexpected surprise. Traditionally the Liberal Party has always sung two tunes: one for the election campaign and one for after the campaign, and the two are diametrically opposed.
In my introduction, I recalled the agricultural double talk. For example, when the Liberals were in opposition, they were committed to supporting the dairy producers, defending article XI and maintaining subsidies. Well, once they are in office, what do they do in their budget? They cut aid to farmers and to dairy producers by 30 per cent. They also cut the income support program by 30 per cent.
I also mentioned unemployment. During the election campaign, they said that their priority was to fight unemployment and create jobs. Once they are in office, the language and the
speech change. The latest budget speech contained no job creation measures whatsoever. It has become a joke.
I was at the Sorel and Bécancour employment centres last week. What was the joke of the day? The question went: What is the difference between a Liberal MP and an unemployed person? The answer: The unemployed person has worked in the past.
We have reached a point where people no longer believe in this government. They do not believe the government will make good on its promises. It was the same thing when it came to defending the Acadians and the francophones outside Quebec. We saw francophone MPs from the rest of Canada claiming during the election campaign that they would defend the French fact here in the House of Commons and throughout Canada. But when there is a 5 per cent cut in the operating budget of their association, they say nothing. Not one francophone MP from outside Quebec rose to denounce the policy of the Liberal Party once it took office.
The same thing happened in a number of areas. With respect to copyright, for example, they made a written commitment in a document submitted to the Canada Council to take action to bring copyright under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Once elected, they turned this responsibility over to the Minister of Industry, and gave the heritage minister power to make recommendations only.
The Liberal Party always sings two different tunes: one when it is going after the vote and another when it is in power.
It was the same thing with free trade. They fought against free trade for years and denounced it during the election campaign, but once in office, they were not only all for it, but wanted it extended to other countries. The Liberal Party has always operated this way: it sings one tune before it is elected and another tune after.
I could give other examples. There is patronage, for instance. They criticized the Conservatives for making patronage appointments, but once in office they turned around and in less than six months gave out more than 300 appointments to friends of the party, under the expert guidance of Senator Rizzuto. And I mentioned the example of Michelle Tisseyre, Camille Samson and others.