Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of debate on the issue. Some tremendous speeches have been made today. They have been entertaining and nice to listen to.
I was reminded of a farmer who got shafted on a horse he did not really want. He went to an auction sale. He needed a good work horse. The auctioneer asked his helper to bring out one of the horses. The helper led it around. It pranced. It was a big, heavy set horse. He felt this was exactly what he needed. He got it at a pretty fair price and went home very happy. He took it off his buggy to take into the barn and found out that it was stone blind. It could not see the barn door.
What does someone do with a blind horse? It is not a very good work horse unless it is led back and forth down the field. He said: "What am I going to do? I got shafted. I have to get rid of this horse. I have to get some money out of it".
This is what this tax reminds me of. He advertised it. He said: "I am going to advertise this huge, heavy set horse as a real good, powerful beast. I will advertise it at a bargain. I will get my money back somehow".
Another farmer read about it in the papers. He came over and said: "Could I have a look at the horse you have for sale? It sounds like a fairly good bargain". He went into the barn and led the horse out. He pranced it around in his yard. He showed the other farmer how big it was, how capable it was and how flexible it was.
The other farmer said: "It looks like a good horse to me". He said: "It is a good horse". He spoke with a bit of an accent. He said: "It is a good horse but it don't look so good". It is not really what you see". He said: "I don't care about looks. It is a big horse. I am going to buy it. I think it will do the job for me".
He took it home and when he went to put it in the barn he found out it was blind. He got shafted. He went back to the first farmer and he was mad. He said: "Look here, you sold me a horse that was a real heavy horse, a good work horse that could pull a big load and it is blind". He said: "I tried to tell you it don't look so good".
That is what I hear with this GST today. He told them that it was blind, that it just did not look so good. That is probably what we heard from the Liberals when they were in opposition: "This GST is terrible. We will have nothing to do with that animal".
What did those terrible Tories do? They brought in eight other people to fill the other place a little more to get it passed. When the Liberals ran for government they said: "These terrible Tories don't look so good. They have this terrible tax. They are ripping off farmers. They are ripping off taxpayers and consumers. If we get elected we will kill that tax. We will bury it. We will tramp on it. We will hang it".
I do not know all that they said. I heard a lot of different comments that they would get rid of it just like the farmer did with his horse.
Today some lofty Liberals are saying it is a pretty good tax. They ask why we are complaining. It is a good horse. To whom will they sell it next? Could they sell it another time? I do not think they could sell it to farmers. It does not look so good to them.
The other day we talked about a businessman who was dealing with the GST issue. An inspector from the GST department came out to do his audit. He said: "I see you have a truck sitting in the yard. You have not claimed all the GST on it. What is the reason?" He said: "The truck is taxable. The hoist is not taxable. The box is taxable. I have a terrible problem figuring it out". He said: "What do you mean the hoist is not taxable?" "It is a separate entity and it is not taxable. It is for a different use". He said: "I don't believe you".
The inspector wanted to find out if it was true. He phoned his superior but the superior was not in the office. He had gone away on a three-day educational trip or something. The inspector sat in this businessman's office for three days. Finally the superior phoned back and tried to give him a ruling. He said: "I don't know. You will have to ask somebody else". For three days he waited. Imagine how much GST it took to pay his wages.
These are the problems. Not everything is taxable. Some things are taxable. Some of the horses are blind. Some can see.
How will we sell this sucker in the next election? We will have to dress it up some. The horse that does not look so good will not sell again. Let us dress it up and say that we will harmonize it. Maybe we can give it a little better colour. It might just look a little better in the dark even if the horse cannot see. This is the way taxpayers and voters get shafted during elections.
We must start being honest and accountable. We must show the integrity we promised during the election campaign. I guarantee the House that when we sit on that side there will not be any GST. At the least it would be called something else. It will not be a GST. That tax has hurt business and jobs. Why would we keep the sucker? That is why I am saying it will not be there.
I am sure they will all vote for me now. They did in the last election. They put 177 Liberals over on that side when previously there were a few Liberals here and 212 Conservatives on that side. Somehow we have to sell the stuff.
I hope consumers, farmers and electors get what politicians promised them. When the previous government had 10 per cent unemployment nobody thought it was acceptable. We still have
10 per cent unemployment and we have $100 billion more in debt. Something has to change or the country will not survive.
Promises do not get us anywhere. If all the promises made in this House had been kept I am sure there would not be $600 billion of debt.
Who will look after those promises in the future? Will it be our children or our grandchildren? Let us show some integrity. Let us call a blind horse a blind horse if it is one. Let us call a Holstein cow a milk cow and not a beef cow. That way we will probably get something done in the House.
It concerns me when I hear a dozen good speeches that will probably have very little effect outside the House. The country is a lot bigger than the inside of the House. Approximately 30 million Canadians depend on the House to set down regulations and taxes so Canada can survive and operate efficiently. They expect us somehow to take care of the $600 billion that have been put on the shoulders of future generations. If we do not start addressing that issue I am afraid politicians will not be rated second from the bottom as they were in the last CTV integrity poll. They will be rated at the bottom, right below lawyers and other legal people.
We must ensure that politicians begin to climb in the ratings of integrity and honesty. We must try to get politicians back up to the top where former prime ministers, former oppositions and former members of the House once were. We must realize the country was built on broken promises. The promises that were kept built the country. If we do not return to the old system where taxpayers or the electorate hold us accountable for the promises made, I do not think the country will survive.
I reiterate. Let us not sell a blind horse to the electorate in the next election. Let us give them one that really pulls the country out of the mess it is in. Then we will have accomplished something.