Madam Speaker, I come from Saskatchewan. In the history of Saskatchewan we have dealt with a lot of problems by using co-operation and respect for one another's rights. We have solved a lot using that approach.
Very seldom does government compulsion work. Governments, particularly the Liberal government, pay little or no attention to the consequences of their policies. The Liberal government demands that other people do expensive studies on the most minor of things to determine the impacts of its policies but does not do it itself.
A conference sponsored by 12 nations was held in Stockholm recently. It was called the Stockholm Progressive Summit. Members of the conference tried to figure out strategies to counter the dangerous trend developing in the world whereby people have been choosing right of centre and free market solutions to their problems. Conference members tried to plot a strategy to deal with the problems. It was quite a list. Thirty years ago they were called socialists. Twenty years ago they were called social democrats. Today they are called progressives.
The conference was called the Stockholm Progressive Summit. Can members guess who one of the 12 sponsors of the convention was? Canada was one of the sponsors. Can members guess who one of the chief speakers at the conference was? It was our Prime Minister. Now I know why the government that rules our country chose the colour of its party. It is clear to me today.
This type of conference leads to this sort of legislation. It is the same mentality. If anything is clear from history it is that socialism is a failed experiment, not an instrument of innovation. The government talks about an innovation agenda. When has the government ever innovated on anything? Some people say the only thing government ever created that was innovative was welfare.
I am not sure what long list of innovation governments have, especially this government. I know one thing. Socialism has created declining economies. It has created poverty. It has destroyed and undermined individual freedoms and property rights. It has undermined the rule of law. Where it has taken root and has strength we see declining countries.
The market system works well when governments create the proper environment. That environment consists of the rule of law, certainty, predictability, simplicity in the law so everyone understands the rules, stable monetary policy, national and personal security at home and abroad, and respect for the rights of the individual including liberty and property rights. This is very important.
There are a number of difficulties with the bill. Chief among them is that there has been no meaningful dialogue with the stakeholders involved, especially at the front end. The government is trying to carry on a dialogue after the decision is made. To me that is a public relations exercise. If we want good policy built on a solid foundation we need to have a dialogue at the front end. That has not been done with this legislation.
Another criticism I have of the government and its environmental policies is that they ignore the human element. We are part of the planet as well. Too many of the government's policies ignore the human element and the economy that must function in our society. If we want first class social services and a strong environment we need a first class economy.
An individual died in 1993 who was known as the equivalent to management circles that Einstein was to physics. His name was Dr. Deming. He was a critic of the way government policy is created. He said governments dictated results and created regulations and laws in a vacuum. He said such laws were totally unworkable and based on a lack of understanding of their impact on the economy.
Dr. Deming was preoccupied with creating quality services and goods and having an economy that produced these things. Any world class organization today that is well managed knows who Dr. Deming was. The Liberal government failed to involve stakeholders in developing its species at risk policy. It went back to its socialistic roots of trying to dictate results using government compulsion.
The government does not have a clue about the economic impact the species at risk legislation would have. The minister does not. He threw out a figure of $45 million at one point but was not sure about it. It sounds like the Kyoto accord. He does not have a clue what the economic impact would be. Before the government shoves compulsory legislation like this down our throats it is high time we had a meaningful economic impact study.
President Reagan once described the Liberal approach to economic problems. He said if the thing is alive, moving and healthy, tax it. If that does not slow it down, regulate it into the ground. When the thing is almost dead, start subsidizing. That is Liberal policy.
Do members know what is missing for rural Canada? It is the third part. The government has been good regarding the first part. It has taxed and regulated rural Canada into the ground. It has been weak regarding the subsidizing part. Rural Canada is dying because of the government's policies.
Using President Reagan's model we must ask what Bill C-5 would do. Landowners would become slave labour to the state. They would have to be the state's stewards and carry out the responsibilities of the act. They would have to give up property rights without proper compensation and due process. It is a typical Liberal approach. I am sure the government learned it at the Stockholm conference. That is the way it does things.
Confiscating a citizen's property is a dangerous concept. Turning people into slave labour without compensation is another problem. What takes the cake about Bill C-5 is that if the slave labourers accidently did something to an endangered species the government would turn them into criminals. One of the principles of the rule of law is that we do not make our citizens criminals without a guilty mind. The government probably learned its approach at the Stockholm conference. It is the sort of thing they teach at those conferences. It is the socialistic or progressive way of doing things.
Maybe people in rural Canada should turn their land over to one of the companies in central Canada the government likes to support. The regulation thing would be resolved. The taxation thing would be resolved. The people would get money from the government. It would not be taxing them. The subsidies would pour in and they would be healthy. Maybe that is what they should do. They should voluntarily turn over their land.
I can name a whole slew of companies that seem to have a direct pipeline to our enlightened leader and dictatorship in Ottawa. Forestry, agriculture and rural industries are not part of that family compact arrangement. They are shut out. The government has a hostile agenda toward them.
In summary, we in my party cannot support Bill C-5 for a whole host of reasons. The bill has little or no regard for the impact it would have on the rural economy and people's livelihoods. It reveals an arrogance and contempt for citizens and property rights. It undermines a simple principle of the rule of law in a democratic society: we do not make criminals out of citizens without a guilty mind.