Mr. Speaker, we are having a good debate today on some administrative changes to Bill C-54. I certainly agree with my hon. friend from the Bloc that we are trying to serve the citizens of the country as well, as effectively, as compassionately and as truly as we can.
Our country deserves the best we can give it. I remind my hon. friend that if we are to run things effectively it should not be done on the backs of citizens. Savings should not be looked on as being something we do on the backs of people. Spending is really what we put on the backs of people. Spending is a burden which we extract from the hard work of our citizens and often place on our future citizens as well. We have to look at all of the administrative measures and all of the spending proposals in a way which is fair to the people who need the money, fair to the people who have to earn the money and fair to the people who will inherit the debt we are building in order to spend some of the money.
We cannot look at this issue as if only desperately poor and needy people are being hurt. Those are the people we want to help. If we are to continue to help them then we must be responsible, effective and efficient in the way we administer every government department.
I was saddened to hear the Liberal member deriding the Reform amendment to this very complex bill. He suggested it was put forward to hurt seniors. It does no credit to debate in the House when attempts to constructively improve proposals of government are simply dismissed as meaning to hurting people.
It is beneath members of the House to suggest that any member would be motivated by such repugnant motives.
The Liberal member also suggested the amendments were simplistic. Is any attempt to improve government legislation to be dismissed as being simplistic? I say to the people of Canada that to look at complex bills, to study them, to assess the impact and the effectiveness of them takes a great deal of time and effort. It is done in an attempt to give the best to our country, to ensure everything we do has the highest standards of accountability in delivering the services which Canadians need in a way we can afford and which we can count on over the long term.
I appeal to members to respect and to objectively and seriously judge the things put forward in the House, not to deride, misrepresent and distort them in a partisan way. The country will not benefit from that kind of approach. I am saddened by that kind of approach and I appeal to members not to take it.
Over 80 per cent of Canadians say they want our social programs reformed. They know the programs are often abused. They often give money to people who do not need it. There are many examples of programs sending money to millionaires. Any small attempts we make to these complex bills to make the departments and bureaucrats accountable are somehow dismissed.
Do we really want to say as parliamentarians to a minister or to a department: "Go out and overspend. Go out and make allocations of money not warranted, to which people are not entitled, in any amount you want. We do not care. We do not want to know about it. We will not stop you. We do not want limits on that"?
Surely we owe the people of Canada better responsibility, accountability and management than that. I ask the House to vote down measures which remove accountability and support measures which add accountability.
Our ministers and our departments are not looking for ways to defraud the Canadian people of money to which they are rightfully entitled under these programs-far from it. There are tens of millions of dollars going to people who do not need it, who do not deserve it, who are not entitled to it, people receiving money from programs not meant for that.
Surely we have an obligation and a responsibility in the House to put a stop to that and to make sure the people who do need the money are getting it and the people who do not need the money and who are not entitled to it are not getting dollars that should be going to the neediest people in our society.
I speak against Motion No. 12. It removes accountability in an important way. I certainly urge the House to add more accountability to the way these programs are administered rather than detract from it.