Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, the leader of the fifth party was in a tag team with John Crosbie to hide the fiasco that was the Atlantic fisheries when there was overfishing. The Tories were more than willing to pull the wool over their own eyes and over the eyes of Atlantic Canadians.
Mr. Crosbie at the time knew that if the fishing continued, there indeed would be overfishing in the Atlantic fisheries, but he knew it would cost him his seat. It would cost him votes in Atlantic Canada so they let it happen.
The leader of the fifth party—and some call him curly—went ahead and ignored that. They worked in tandem.
Then the Department of Fisheries and Oceans made recommendations which were ignored. That is another study.
Add it all up. There has been study after study after study. Indeed I will say that both the Tory and Liberal governments know how to do studies, of that I am convinced. I have no problem saying that. However, I believe that the people of Atlantic Canada are getting tired of studies. They have been studied to death. They have had all the studies they need to have. They are looking for a few solutions.
Let us look at what some of the retiring politicians of Atlantic Canada have had to say with regard to a solution for the problem, rather than studying it again.
Let us look at the issue of taxes. Atlantic Canada, including Newfoundland where the Tory member is from, has taxes above and beyond that of the rest of the provinces in this country. One has to wonder whether or not the taxes are so high because they go to pay for the highest salary for a premier in this country. That is right. Brian Tobin draws in $150,000 a year. He is the highest paid premier in the country and the people in Newfoundland pay the highest taxes in the country. One has to wonder whether there is a correlation, especially when they are paying him a pension of $3.4 million as he sits as the premier of Newfoundland. Maybe that is where some of the taxes are going.
Let us look at what Frank McKenna, a good Liberal, had to say about this. On his retirement from politics he said to cut taxes. The federal government has been squandering money in Atlantic Canada for years. Why not save the money that it is squandering in terms of all these different types of programs because they do not seem to be lowering the unemployment rate. It has not worked over the last two decades. Why not give Atlantic Canadians lower taxes? That might actually create growth and stimulate jobs.
As a matter of fact there is another study that can be tossed onto the other ones that the Tories would like to initiate. This is one by University of Moncton Professors Donald Savoie and Maurice Beaudin who were looking at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. They concluded that unemployment insurance had killed the entrepreneurial spirit in Atlantic Canada.
Once again I am afraid that I have to point to the previous Tory record on this. It was under their government that people could work for 10 weeks and collect 42 weeks of benefits in Newfoundland. To have that as a government policy and assume it is not going to kill the entrepreneurial drive is foolish. However it was the Tory policy that wiped out the entrepreneurial spirit.
Then we also saw what happened with the Liberals across the way and the Atlantic groundfish strategy. They assumed that by subsidizing people to continue fishing or to take them away from fishing when there were too many fishers with the technology that was in the marketplace at the time, that it would somehow solve the problem. Well no it did not solve the problem of overfishing because a lot of those people still have not had their licenses retired. Now we are back to square one. It is tweedledum and tweedledee. The Tory or Liberal solution, there is none.
We can also look at what the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has said about the region. Peter O'Brien, the Atlantic Canada director, along with the premier of New Brunswick, Frank McKenna—