Madam Speaker, I listened to the throne speech a while back and I have to begin by asking the government, why did we even have a throne speech? By their very nature throne speeches should signal that the government is initiating something new, that it is articulating some vision for the future. The lack of anything substantive really makes a joke of Parliament and what should transpire here.
The throne speech was in total contrast to the speech given by the leader of the Canadian Alliance. He articulated a vision for the future that made the throne speech appear like mindless babble. The power struggle within the Liberal Party has resulted in a complete paralysis in the introduction of new legislation or ideas to take Canada forward. The Canadian Alliance and its leader have offered the citizens of this vast country something that will benefit them all and leave their descendants in a better position than they are in now.
How would we as the Canadian Alliance do that? By getting the fundamentals right. We would redirect the focus of federal legislation to correct the problems that exist in our country. The Liberals simply tinker with a few symptoms that are the result of the problems we have.
We have problems with the Canadian economy. The Liberal approach to poverty, the lack of investment, a job deficit, an impoverished aboriginal population and the loss of our young people, our brain trust for the next generation, is to put more of the same policies in place that have already created these problems. Instead of higher taxation and more big government programs, why not put in place plans and policies that have proven to work in other jurisdictions? Lower taxes result in more investment and more jobs.
Let me emphasize this throughout my speech: strengthening property rights across Canada for everyone is one fundamental that we do not have right in our country. Property rights are absolutely essential in ensuring that the incentive to produce wealth and improve one's lot in life are not discouraged.
The obstacles facing our aboriginal population will not be overcome until they enjoy fundamental property rights. Property rights also help poor people improve their lot in life. They allow farmers and ranchers to pursue their livelihood without being hassled by wealthy multinational lobby groups. Property rights would allow agricultural producers to process their grain into value added products that would greatly improve their financial return.
Instead what do the Liberals do? At the beginning of a new session they recycle legislation that will have the opposite effect to what is intended because property rights are not respected. Examples of this type of legislation are Bill C-5 and Bill C-15B that have just been reintroduced without putting in amendments to ensure that property rights are respected. Liberal legislation to protect endangered species and prevent cruelty to animals will not be effective because the fundamentals are not right, that is, property rights are not in place.
Let me also note that one of the biggest flaws in Bill C-68, the Firearms Act, passed by the Liberals back in 1995, is that it does not protect the property rights of firearms owners and because this fundamental right is not properly protected, it will never work. It has resulted in a high level of civil disobedience. Non-compliance with gun registration is so high that to date, approximately only one-quarter of firearms are registered, despite the fact that it should be fully implemented by January 1, 2003.
Another serious fundamental flaw in the Canadian justice system is that criminals have more rights than their victims. Many examples abound and I do not have time to go into them, but Bill C-68 is one of them. Canadians want violence control, not a gun registry.
Another basic fundamental characteristic that Liberals do not have right is effective administration of government programs. The Auditor General's revelation today that there are five million more social insurance number cards issued to people over 20 than there are people in that age group in Canada is unbelievable.
This is four years after the government was warned that this was a huge problem that would lead to great abuses of the system and millions of dollars flowing to people who are not qualified to receive it. By the way, this occurred under a finance minister who is now touted to be the next prime minister of Canada. I do not believe Canadians should reward this kind of mismanagement.
Another example of gross government mismanagement is the firearms act. This boondoggle has now gone 11 times over budget. It will never be of any use to the police. It will never control crime or improve public safety in any way. The error rate is so high that even if the Liberals did lay a piece of paper beside every gun in the country, the information collected would not be useful in any way.
Another fundamental aspect of Canadian life that the government has totally backward is respect for privacy. Again legislation passed without proper respect for privacy will endanger Canadians, put them at more risk as a target for criminal activity and diminish their quality of life.
I must also mention another basic aspect of Canadian life and culture that the government is undermining. That is respect for the family.
Taxation policy undermines a couple's choice to have one parent stay at home and provide care for their children. Overtaxation is also forcing many couples to have both parents work. The basic exemption should be raised.
Marriage as the union of a man and a woman needs to be properly protected and encouraged as the foundation for a family. Under the Liberal government that protection is eroding the right of parents to raise their children in the way they feel will result in well-adjusted, happy and productive citizens of Canada. Liberals do not understand that children live in poverty because their parents are poor. What children need most is their family, not institutions or programs. Liberal values may sound good, but they do not work.
We see many examples in our society where if people are robbed of their incentive to better their lot in life, they will not. That is a basic fundamental aspect of life that Liberals just do not grasp or protect. It is leading to a serious decline in the quality of life in our nation.
The government is failing to protect farmers from foreign government policies that have a negative effect upon them. The Liberals failed to grasp the fundamental fact of international trade that the freer trade is, the more wealth that will be produced. Also not only will it help our country, but it will be better for any foreign country that is involved in this as well. It would be better than any foreign aid program that ever could be put in place for these countries.
We are losing our young people to other countries because the Liberals do not have the basic fundamentals right. In trying to protect certain corporations, they tax other businesses until they die. Those that need the jobs are devastated and move out.
The problems I am discussing basically are there because of a lack of understanding of the importance of property rights and respect for them. Liberals do not understand the fundamental laws of economics and because they do not, they can never put in place policies that will reinvigorate our economy and standard of living. In fact the throne speech signals that they will put in place more big government programs that will have the opposite effect. We saw that mistake in the Speech from the Throne.
One of the best examples is the Kyoto accord. Not only is it based on unproven scientific theories, but the economic repercussions will in fact impoverish companies that will then be less able to practise environmentally friendly policies. This will be especially true in agriculture. Farmers who are squeezed even further financially, as the Kyoto accord would do, will resort to practices that will be more harmful to the land, air and water.
Let me conclude by saying that my experience here in Parliament has made it very obvious that there is another basic fundamental aspect of Canadian life that Liberals do not understand, and that is the essence of democracy. The corruption that exists within Liberal ranks strikes at the very heart of a free and open society that respects everyone equally. By giving handouts to their friends, Liberals at election time receive kickbacks that allow them to buy advertising and influence people to support them. This violates democracy.
Also, secrecy in government and dictatorial prime ministerial control do not allow the people of Canada to have their proper voice in how this country is run. This creates apathy and cynicism and within that atmosphere Liberals can continue to run roughshod over the citizens of this country.
I wish I had time to talk more about an elected Senate, free votes and private members' business.
This throne speech could have gone a long way in correcting some of these fundamental problems. It did not, so it should be soundly rejected.