Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Calgary West.
As we debate this bill and some of the amendments this afternoon, I cannot shake the belief that the governments that introduce these massive omnibus bills can only have one of two motives in mind. The first motive, I would think, is that they are probably in a desperate hurry or, second, that they have something to hide.
Let us look at the first case scenario. Is this Liberal administration in any sort of a hurry? I cannot see why. The Prime Minister has spent this past weekend shortcutting democracy by laying claim to future mandates with his millennium scholarship fund and prebooking dollars for future programs.
Along with his lack of vision, I cannot see any reason why he would see a difference between 1968 or 1998 let alone the next millennium where he has already committed such a large chunk of our money.
Maybe we can find a sense of urgency in the office of the prime minister in waiting, formerly known as the finance minister. He is so eager to put his stamp on the economy that he has created this 464 page rubber stamp to enshrine Liberal tax policy in a never-never land of complexity, manipulation and government interference and intrusion into other government jurisdictions.
This Liberal government is asking Canadian taxpayers to think happy thoughts and fly straight on and never think of their income as their own, never believe one can make personal choices without first filtering the money through massive bureaucratic programs.
However, since this has been a feature of Liberal tax policy for the last three decades, we cannot see why anybody would be in a hurry. What can I conclude? This government has something to hide. What does it have to hide? We are told that this government is so open and transparent that it is now telling us what it is going to do with our tax dollars years from now.
Somehow taxpayers who are looking at another four years of diminishing net incomes and the next generations faced with paying off this massive debt we have accumulated, almost $600 billion, big government debt cannot find as much cause for celebration as members opposite would like us to believe.
Part of what the Liberals are trying to hide is the fact that they have completely ignored the wishes of the Canadian people, all those people who came to the finance committee last fall making presentations.
At this time of the year when millions of people are tied up trying to figure out their complex tax forms, this government offers nothing to simplify that process. On the finance committee we heard those witnesses last fall testifying that payroll tax cuts were essential to promote further prosperity and spin the economy in this country.
The finance minister offers us 10 cents off the EI premium while jacking CPP premiums through the roof. What is he up to with those excess premiums?
As it turns out they look real good when placed on the asset side of the ledger. They go to pay down the deficit, not to provide the training or the employment benefits this country so badly needs.
It turns out that the public pension surpluses also serve to make the government look good. No one on the government side wants all this to be as open to the public as they claim they do. Perhaps it is not that the Liberals have something to hide but something they want to protect. From what this bill contains I would have to conclude that they want to protect their ability to intrude in and control every aspect of Canadian economics and governance. Taxing municipalities that are only trying to pay for the downloading of services that was begun by the present finance minister is ridiculous. Where do the Liberals believe these profits are going? We should be encouraging cities and towns to be more flexible, not less flexible.
As for the perceived conflict of interest by the finance minister on clause 241, much has already been said. I want to offer my support to my colleagues on this side of the House.
I will not support Motion No. 3 because it simply adds to the bureaucracy of administration and it does so in the area of the provincial jurisdiction. What we are looking for is simplicity in the tax code and a vision from this government that recognizes that money left in the hands of those who produce it is much more effective than all the tinkering with an outdated tax code that only gets more incomprehensible and complex to those of us who are forced to use it.