Madam Speaker, as we have heard, this is a sad day for all of us in Parliament. We have had approximately 30 other sad days like this when the government has used closure to shut down debate in the House of Commons. Not only do we not believe in democracy in the House but we also, as we have seen time and time again, have no vision for the country in this House either.
This is a despicable act that the government continues to put on Canadians; the lack of vision. I am afraid for our children and our grandchildren.
Having travelled extensively this year, seeing the vibrant, booming economies of the Asia-Pacific, seeing the booming economy of Germany, looking at so many countries that have long term plans, standing in Potsdam plaza and seeing $7.5 million being spent to rebuild Berlin is a vision. This country has none of that.
We have a Prime Minister who is tired, a Prime Minister who has nothing to offer the country, who will come up with a plan because he has a dream to bring himself to some kind of glory and maybe get named by the United Nations or something.
It is a disgrace what this government is doing and how it is mishandling the governing of this country. It is hard to believe that as we close each session, all of a sudden we get to a great rush to get legislation through.
The only legislation that we are going to discuss tomorrow will be a prebudget debate, which is promised in the red book. Everyone is excited to get right to it because, again, it is just Liberal propaganda.
Yet there is an issue like the GST in this harmonized tax which affects every Canadian, men, women, children, seniors. Everybody in this country is affected by this and the government uses closure on it to shut down debate.
What kind of leadership is that? What kind of vision, what kind of plan does this government have for this country? When the other side of the House was over here, it called the PCs everything it could think of in all those many times that they used closure.
It certainly is different how things change when those members cross the floor. Let us all of us stand here and say "that cannot happen to us, we cannot let it". Canadian people have lost respect for this place and it is because of those kinds of actions by governments like this one.
We need to reform this place. We need to change this place dramatically. This place is not working. This place is not respected by the people of Canada. The people here are yesterday's people led by yesterday's man.
We are going nowhere into the future. We are going to be out competed by the countries that I have mentioned, by southeast Asia, by the European Community. They will knock us off in terms of our position and our quality of life if we do not learn how to compete, if we do not have a vision that goes longer than six months at a time in this country.
A good example is how many Liberals are not here to listen to this kind of statement. Where are they if this place works? Where are they?
Enough of incompetence, lack of planning, lack of vision, lack of guidance for this country. The Canadian people know that already and will get that message. I am confident in the people of Canada.
We have problems like $600 billion in debt. We have problems like $50 billion in interest payments. We spend $14 billion in education. We spend $16 billion on health care, $20 billion on pensions and $50 billion on interest payments. This country has problems.
We have to turn it around for our children and our grandchildren. We must do that. We must have that vision. What about this GST? We heard lots of comments about it. In my riding we had rallies of
6,000 people and more who said that the GST was a bad tax, a tax that would not work.
We had an association that put out thousands of bumper stickers. Every car in my riding had a bumper sticker on it saying what its owner thought of the GST. The group is called Canadians AGAST. It had rallies. One of the biggest was over 6,000 people who told the politicians what they thought of the GST. Of course, the Liberals were on that bandwagon as well.
Think of the comments that were made by the now finance minister, the now Prime Minister and the now Deputy Prime Minister. "We are going to get rid of this terrible tax. We promise we will". Why have the Canadian people lost their belief in this place? It is obvious why they have lost it. It is because in here members say one thing when they are on this side and another thing when they are on the other side.
Even though interest rates are where they are today, people are not investing in businesses or in their communities. People are going to the underground economy. They are taking their money out of this country.
Let us think about this. One hundred and fifty-three students who have graduated after a five year course are saying they have a job and are thankful to have a job. However, 90 per cent of these students have a job outside of this country. Those faces, which I can see in front of me, have said they cannot stay in Canada. There were 700 graduate students hired in Sweden in the last couple of years. Those are people who are potential taxpayers and the future of our country. Why are they leaving in droves? It is because they would have to work at McDonald's if they stayed here.
There is no future for this country without a vision. We know we have a country today that has the potential to be the very best and stay the very best into the 21st century. However, it is promises that are not kept and the changing of one's position all the time that have caused us all concern.
People in the Liberal Party are no different than the Kindys and Kilgours of the last Parliament. We can now throw in the Mills and the Nunziatas. If Liberal members disagree with their party they are out on their heels.
There are so many people in business who are disgusted with this tax. There are also many people in Atlantic Canada who are disgusted with this harmonization. In my riding, we have many people in the service industry who are fed up with the administration and the nature of this whole tax called the GST.
We must keep our promise and not harmonize but eliminate the GST.