That is right. I was interested in one of the quotes he made. Let me quote the parliamentary secretary who was talking about the consumers who would say: "I am a consumer and I was not consulted on this issue". That was the rationale he gave for not allowing this motion. He would be required to consult with everybody. He said that rather than being required to consult with everybody, why not consult with nobody? He said that if people thought they had not been consulted as consumers, they would be outraged, and rightly so.
Let us replace the word consumer with the word taxpayer. Taxpayers are not being consulted by this government and they are outraged. During the last election they were told that the GST would be axed, scrapped and abolished and they now find that this harmonized HST is being imposed upon them. The taxpayers were not consulted by this government. Their opinions were absolutely ignored. They were trashed.
The government said: "Your opinion does not count. We decided that you did not understand what axe, scrap and abolish meant. Therefore you are going to have an HST or a BST rather than a GST. This still means you are going to pay 7 per cent plus
provincial tax, plus more tax through harmonization". The taxpayers were not consulted.
Now the parliamentary secretary says: "I do not want to consult the consumers who are going to be affected by this organization because they may have an opinion that is different than the government's. That is why I do not want to listen to them. That is why I do not want to hear from them". Do we call that being accountable? Do we call that integrity in government? Do we call that being responsible to the taxpayers? I do not think so.
That is why this type of arrogance demonstrated by the government in Bill C-60 has got to stop. That is why ramming other legislation through this House by using time allocation has got to stop. That is why this government has got to start listening to the people who say: "What about me? What about me and my family? Do I not deserve to be heard?" They deserve to be heard. They deserve to be heard every time this government introduces legislation or makes a major initiative.
When the parliamentary secretary says: "I am not that excited or interested in talking to the consumers. I do not need to consult them", the arrogance contained in that type of statement speaks volumes. That is why I hope this government will listen to the objections being raised on this side of the House so it can realize that there are valid and necessary changes to this piece of legislation.
The situation is that as soon as a bill is introduced in this House, the government whip says: "What is on the table is what you vote for. We are not interested in hearing what goes on in this House. We are not interested in hearing what MPs on the other side of the House bring back from their constituents who say there are some valid and responsible changes that can be made to this legislation".
These are the types of things this House is supposed to debate. We find that this process is a sham in that the bill as tabled is the bill as proclaimed because this government will not tolerate a contrary opinion expressed in this House even though that contrary opinion is a valid opinion that has come from the people on the streets, the taxpayers of this country who are being squeezed to death every day, more and more to pay for this type of legislation that we know is smoke and mirrors. It is not designed to improve efficiency. It is not designed to downsize government. It is not designed to ensure that service is improved. It is just the idea that the government can say it is doing something when in reality when we look behind the scenes it is doing nothing.