Mr. Speaker, there is no question that we support free trade and we support bilateral trade agreements that are negotiated by our representatives.
I find it interesting to listen to the hon. member from the government side using such flowing and glowing eloquent language when describing this trade deal, but I wonder about the hypocrisy from the other side.
When the Liberals were in opposition and when they had a leader by the name of John Turner, they ran a whole election campaign which caused me a lot of grief. I had to hold my nose while I voted for the Conservatives because I favoured free trade.
I did not want to vote them in for another session. I did not want them to be here for another four years because they were incompetent. They were running the government very poorly. They were overspending. They promised tax cuts and did they give us tax cuts? They gave us tax increases. They promised integrity in government and what did they give us? They gave us nine cabinet ministers who quit in the first four years.
In opposition they debated how free trade is not good and in the best interests of Canada, and how North American free trade is no good for Canada. We just have to go back into Hansard .
John Turner ran a campaign against Brian Mulroney on free trade. That was the issue and the people over there, many who were in that campaign, were against it. Now we have every one of them, including the Prime Minister, saying free trade is great, quote the trade statistics.
Thank goodness we have free trade because that is what is saving their butt in terms of jobs and job creation. The only reason our economy is growing is our trade agreements. That is what is making it grow. Domestic growth is nil. It is next to nothing. There are no jobs in Canada. There are 1.4 million people out of work.
Thank God the jobs that are being created, those 600,000 jobs they brag about, over half of them are probably due to the trade.
What I do not understand is the hypocrisy of politicians who say one thing in opposition and then when they get on the government side they flip-flop. I am not sure if this member has flip-flopped. I am not accusing this member of flip-flopping. I am sure based on his speech, I am positive based on his speech, that he believed in free trade when he was in opposition. He believed in free trade when John Turner was running against it. He believed in free trade all the way. I am sure he did because you cannot use language like that today, having argued against it yesterday.
The hon. member is anxious to get up and I will let him get up, but I want to make a serious comment. I want to repeat it so that everybody understands my point.
My point is why say that you are against something in opposition, then go over to the government and be in favour of it and in such a way that they always believed in it? It does not make sense to me. Thank goodness for the wonderful rebirth of the Liberal Party in terms of understanding the economy of the country and I compliment it for flip-flopping.