Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to a motion which I think is quite outrageous. For any of the viewers who are trying to follow the debate, the Bloc motion reads as follows:
That, although the Prime Minister has a mandate and should be able to end it as he chooses, given the democratic imbalance that currently prevails and that results in the government's decision making occurring outside this House, and more broadly outside any public institution, this House calls upon the Prime Minister to leave office as soon as possible after November 14, 2003.
As I said, I think it is an outrageous motion and is wasting valuable time. The opposition has the opportunity once a week or so to raise an issue of importance to Canadians. To choose to stand up and tell our Prime Minister when he should be leaving office I think is an insult to the institution. I would suggest that Bloc members should look after their own leader. If we continue to do the work that we and our Prime Minister are doing to preserve the country and to prevent it from being separated by the Bloc, they may not even be here after the next election.
I am quite pleased to have a few minutes to talk about this issue and to illustrate that there are huge costs to operating the House of Commons. We are wasting a day's debating time. We could have been talking about the issues that really face Canada and which are important to Canadians, such as global security, health care, or any of the other issues. Putting one of those issues on the table today would have been a much more effective use of the expensive time of the House of Commons.
I am quite proud of the Liberal record and the things that have been accomplished since 1993. Our country is in an enormously positive economic position. It is moving forward. As my colleague has said, it is more prosperous than any other G-7 country. That did not happen by itself.
When the Liberal government led by the Prime Minister took power, there was a huge debt. Approximately 40¢ of every dollar was going toward paying down the debt. We have been able to reduce that through lots of hard choices that we made and that Canadians made, to where today it is about 22¢ of every dollar that goes toward the debt. There were a lot of sacrifices made by a lot of people, but there was also strong leadership by our party and our Prime Minister.
When the Bloc members say that nothing is getting done in the House, I can say that this week I put about 18 hours into committee work. I am sure some of the other members have done exactly the same. Of the 55 bills that my colleague referred to earlier, 22 of them have already been through debate at first, second and third readings in the House, have been approved by the Senate and have moved forward. They suggest that the House has been hijacked and that work is not getting done. It may not be getting done on their side of the House, but it certainly is getting done by the Government of Canada.
If we look at the confidence Canadians have in the Liberal government, they have given us three straight mandates and have given the Prime Minister in particular 10 years in office. That says quite a bit about what people think of us as a government and the priorities we are moving forward on.
The Bloc members say we have done nothing, but I have to wonder when the Bloc members started to take an interest in the importance of effective national leadership. They certainly have never been interested in it before. It is precisely because there is effective leadership at the national level in Canada that their option does not cut it at all.
I would like to address a few of the issues in and around my colleagues in the NDP. I thank them for their tacit support for a wide range of policies and legislation that our government has brought forward. I am well aware that the NDP caucus wishes to continue to push forward with the legislative agenda that the Liberal government has established. I look forward to the NDP continuing to put its solid support behind our Liberal agenda.
Perhaps Mr. Layton and the NDP are supporting this Liberal government because the Liberal government continues to shape policy which reflects the values of Canadians, something which the NDP frankly has never been able to do. Whatever the reason, we on this side of the House appreciate the NDP support. Nevertheless, we ask its caucus members to remind their absent leader that he is boasting of Liberal achievements, not NDP achievements.
Through three elections the people of Canada have demonstrated their confidence in our party and we will move forward on all of those issues. The Prime Minister will leave when he is good and ready. As we move forward, Canada's success has been a direct result of the successful decisions that we have made on all of the policies and directions that truly matter to Canadians.
I would suggest that the Bloc already realizes that its intention to try to embarrass us or the Prime Minister is clearly failing. We are moving forward in a very positive way. The Bloc should rethink its position, especially as the opposition. We do not need any lessons from the Bloc members on how to run our country and how to treat our leaders. They are the last people who should suggest that we do that.