Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Senator Anne Cools is reported in a newspaper article in the Vancouver Sun as departing frequently from the Liberal Party line. I am sure that some of those who were involved in perhaps a patronage appointment in that regard maybe are regretting their past decision.
The article goes on to explain how she has great doubts about the Liberal Party's gun control legislation. According to the report she took part in a shooting exhibition in Edmonton and has the target with suitable bullet holes in it pinned on the wall of her office. Right now she is apparently in opposition to the child support legislation presently before that House. "Life is not so simple as women are angels and men are devils," says Cools, who, somewhat to her surprise, has become a darling of the right for her assaults on the feminist agenda.
Virtue is hers and vice is his. Who could have believed we would have reached that stage in society where public policy making would be made on this basis. She took aim at the Divorce Act which is a bill we have already dealt with and is looking at perhaps derailing that. That is a patronage appointment perhaps that went wrong, depending on which side of the House one is on, so to speak. However, the Senate is a good example of a place of patronage.
Another problem with Bill C-49 is that one does not even need to be a Canadian citizen in order to take advantage of this new bill. It is going to open things up for appointments or arrangements to be made for non-citizens. All one has to be is a landed immigrant. One wonders what sort of situation we are going to end up in with that sort of vague and open policy.
Another area of patronage that is well recognized is the patronage that tends to follow from Liberal nomination tactics during the run up to elections. There is another article which coincidentally happens to be on the opposite side of the page of the Vancouver Sun . It is headed: ``Liberal nomination tactics under scrutiny''. It is almost a full page.
It is about the natural patronage that tends to flow from nomination meetings run by the Liberals. For example, it deals with Mobina Jaffer, who ran run against me in the previous election in North Vancouver. I know that the Liberals felt they had a pretty good shot at it the last time, their best shot perhaps in 20 years, but they did not make it I am afraid. Now Mobina has been rewarded with an automatic appointment to the riding of Burnaby-Douglas which she agreed to take with no competition in return for allowing another party president, Celso Boscariol to go into the riding she had chosen. The rumour in the newspaper is that Mobina will get her reward even if she loses the seat.
The entire article concentrates on the aspect of patronage. I really do not see how Bill C-49 is going to fix that problem because all it does is eliminate positions that did not exist. It is a bunch of window dressing, typical of all of the legislation we are seeing here. We are just not seeing any serious legislation at the moment.
Canadians would prefer us to deal with the Young Offenders Act. They would rather see their taxes lowered. When I go out on to the streets and ask them: "Are your taxes any lower than they were in 1993? Are your streets any safer than they were in 1993? Is the country more unified than it was in 1993?" We can go on and on with a list like that. "Have members of Parliament fixed their gold plated pension plan? Is the GST gone? Is the jobless rate down?". Canadians would much rather see us address those problems than
some sort of half measure on patronage that really does not even address the problem.
I plead with members to vote against this legislation. It is bad legislation. It is inadequate legislation. Let us go back, do the job properly and clean up the whole thing. That was promised in the red book. The Minister of Finance does not believe we should take any notice of the red book. He said he had a hand in writing it but we should not take any notice of it because he knows what c-r-a-p it is. I am sorry to use that word, but it was a quote from him.
Just as a final reminder in closing, if members have not already read the book Double Vision , the truth about the Liberals in power, please read it.