Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to address the House today in regard to the budget. I will ignore for the most part the security section of the budget. Most members mentioned the reasons we are having a budget at this time and where the majority of the funds would be spent.
I will go over the major initiatives: $2.2 billion to make air travel safer, $1.6 billion for intelligence and policing, more than $1.6 billion for emergency preparedness and support for the military, $1 billion for more efficient screening of immigrants and refugees, and $1.2 billion for U.S. border measures.
There are some members opposite who do not seem to think that we live on the same continent as the United States or do not believe that the United States is serious about protecting itself against another terrorist attack. It is asking its neighbours both north and south of its borders to participate and to help it in the war on terrorism. We are doing this to the point of $7.7 billion. That has been discussed by many members and members who follow me will expand on those efforts.
I will address a few of the things that have not been mentioned or are rarely mentioned. These are little nuggets or fairly large nuggets in a way. I will address the Farm Credit Canada initiative. In the new tax measures it says that the budget would provide that Farm Credit Canada, a crown corporation, be no longer subject to federal corporate income and capital taxes.
That has not been commented on at all by anyone. This measure is an important one for farmers and the corporation. Farm Credit Canada up until yesterday would pay taxes if it had a good year. If it had a bad year or number of bad years it would have to come back to parliament to get a bailout.
With this move it would be on the same basis as the Federal Business Development Bank and the Export Development Corporation where its profits would not be taxed. If we look at its annual reports it would mean that it would save or have available to lend to farmers $30 million which it would otherwise lose.
With the leverage ratio of 12:1 it would mean an additional $360 million that would be available to Farm Credit Canada to lend to farmers, agribusiness and agricultural pursuits because its mandate would be expanded much wider.
We could extrapolate further but if we take just one year it would mean an addition of $360 million. The opposition says we are not doing anything for agriculture. This is one move that would make those kinds of dollar available for the farming community across the country.
Atlantic Canadians are interested in the small craft harbours program. There were a number of questions on that recently. I remember being in opposition, sitting over there where the member from Calgary is sitting, and watching the government of the day spend all its dollars in Conservative held ridings.
I had to take a picture of the harbour at Howard's Cove where a number of fishermen stood in the middle of the harbour on a sand dune to illustrate to the minister of fisheries at the time that something had to be done to help that harbour get some dredging done.
I made it a goal then that if we became government the harbours in my riding in eastern Canada and in Prince Edward Island would never have to go through those embarrassments again.
Last fall two harbours at Miminegash and Seacow Pond were almost wiped out due to a major storm surge with high tides and winds. They would have been wiped out if the storm had continued much longer. This cannot be allowed to happen again. We were able to repair those harbours last fall. There is much more work left to be done to protect the harbours across P.E.I. and Atlantic Canada from the more frequent storm surges and storms than we have been used to over the past number of decades.
We met with the Minister of Finance. He recognized that we had a problem in Atlantic Canada with small craft harbours and he provided $100 million to that program over the next five years. That is $20 million for the small craft harbours program which will be appreciated by the fishermen of Prince Edward Island.
Another item that has not been mentioned much is the initiative on wind energy. For the first time we now have a national program in place where we will be assisting producers of wind energy. There have been some experimental efforts in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Gaspé.
Recently in Prince Edward Island we invested $4.5 million to construct a wind farm in North Cape, which is in the northwest part of my riding. The windmills have been built and are onstream. They are the only power source for Prince Edward Island. We do not have hydro, coal, natural gas or any other sources of energy, but we do have lots of wind.
This is a further incentive for the expansion of wind production sites like North Cape so provinces or individuals can get into the wind power industry. We would be providing a subsidy of almost $260 million over 15 years to encourage people to develop that source of energy.
I commend the Minister of Finance and the government for addressing the issue of protection and security. We are facing a new reality with a security budget and we are doing it with a balanced budget. We are able to have a balanced budget even with these new expenditures of $9 billion to $11 billion over the next couple of years.
We are able to do that because we laid the foundation. We had contingency funds. The economy was in a situation where we were able to absorb some unforeseen event such as September 11. We were able to do that and have a balanced budget. In fact we are the only G-7 country that was able to do so.