Mr. Speaker, I listened to what my colleague in the Reform Party said. He went out of his way to make the point that he is very unhappy that the government is making cuts in certain areas, such as in the defence sector and in some other sectors in his province.
I want to go on the record as saying that the area which I represent, the national capital region, has seen its share of cuts. Many of my colleagues have experienced cuts in their ridings. The government has been downsized by approximately 45,000 public servants. Agencies and crown corporations have been shrinking on a regular basis.
I share my colleague's concerns, however, it is a fact of life. The government takes no pleasure in making the cuts. It does not want to see people on the street. The cuts were part of an overall strategy
to stimulate the economy, to streamline services across the country and to eliminate duplication of services.
I am sure my colleague will agree with me that the government has done a bang on job of ensuring that inflation is at an all time low. It is the lowest it has been in 20 years. Canadian interest rates are lower than those in the United States. Also, in a matter of three years the deficit has decreased by approximately $12 billion. That is something of which my colleague should be taking note. He should be congratulating the government on a job well done.
With respect to job creation, the government should not be satisfied until the last person who is seeking a job finds a job. However, I am sure he would agree with me that the record on that front is excellent.
We cannot have the syndrome of "not in my backyard". Last week Reform members were on their feet attacking the government on the Newfoundland issue. They were trying to pit one government against another. This week they are trying to pit the government of British Columbia against the federal government.
Reform members are here day in and day out calling on the government to introduce cuts. When the government takes action they turn around and say: "Yes, but not in my backyard". I want to tell my colleagues that they cannot sneeze and breathe at the same time.
Why would the hon. member not tell the government that it is doing a great job in handling the economy and in dealing with complicated, cumbersome issues?
The hon. member is condemning the government for some of its actions, one of which has to do with the movement of grain to Prince Rupert, B.C. When the vote was taken in the House of Commons my colleagues in the Reform Party were not out in full force trying to defend the interests of the farmers. In fact, only 11 Reform members showed up for that vote.