Mr. Speaker, I have indeed read the bill. I have a copy of it in my hand. I scanned it this morning. I admitted at the beginning of my speech that I am not a justice critic. I admitted at the beginning of my speech that I am not an expert in these areas.
I am merely here to communicate what a constituent has asked me to communicate, that is, why are we wasting our time on this when we should be addressing the real issues of justice? Why are we trying to promote and legalize more lottery spending, setting up a situation which will have the added costs of enforcement?
The hon. member mentioned the jobs that will be created. I am not sure that a lottery job improves our standard of living one iota. What does it produce in tangible terms?
The member should look at real economic value. Nothing is produced by exchanging money from one person to another without the transfer of a good or service. There is no value attached to that.
The only weak argument they could make is that it brings money in from the Americans. That is what I am sure is happening. If they want to give Americans something tangible for spending their money in Canada, I would say that would be 100,000 times more valuable than saying “Come over here and simply throw your money on the table. We will keep 85% of it”. That is immoral. I really do not think the government should promote that kind of lifestyle and justify it by saying “It is good for our economy”.
If the member wants to defend lotteries, gambling and putting people at risk that way, she is welcome to do so. I also agree with freedom of choice. If people choose to do this, fine. But I do not think it should be promoted and sponsored by government.