Mr. Speaker, in regard to the amendment being proposed, we are calling for a review after the implementation of this bill and it is first used following an election. Indeed I can support that kind of amendment. However, when I look at the bill in its entirety, I do not think for a second that there should be any question as to whether this review should begin immediately. The bill needs a lot of fixing, to put it in my language. There are a lot of things that need to be done to the bill to make it better.
I find it amazing that there are people in the House who think that integrity can be legislated. Have they not learned by now that integrity is a heart disease, that a person has the will and desire to be honest? Of course, I have not seen that happen in regard to some of the activities that we have experienced over the last 10 years and even before that in some cases.
Bill C-24 really is not in the hearts of all Canadians at the moment. The day will come when a lot of Canadians, after realizing that they will be putting $22 million of their own money into a program to finance all political parties, will be a little upset, myself included. It upsets me to think for one minute that one penny of my money would go to support a party like the Liberal Party that has been running the country for the last nine years. It makes me ill to think that any of my money would go to support the kinds of things the Liberals have been trying to promote over the years and the kinds of actions and inactions they have taken in regard to a lot of issues that are very questionable with respect to honesty and integrity.
I would like my money to go toward what I believe to be a party that is a principled party. I want to make sure that happens. I want to be part of it.
This bill is not going to sit too well with Canadians, but that is not even the issue in Wild Rose and I know it is pretty well true across the country, particularly for members on all sides of the House of Commons where the agriculture industry is part of their riding. Today, because of mad cow disease an industry has been halted in its entirety and we can no longer export our beef. That industry is one of the biggest providers of work and labour for so many people. With the hurting that is going on, does anyone think that people really care whether we are going to pass this bill or whether we are going to do anything about it? Does anyone think people are really concerned about that today?
For three years the riding of Wild Rose and surrounding ridings suffered through a drought while the government did not do one thing, not one thing, in terms of the tragedy people were facing. We had music concerts and bingos. All kinds of fundraising took place by two Canadians who wanted to help their fellow people who were suffering because of the drought. They were doing their very best. Farmers from Ontario donated hay and did their very best to get it out west. There was cooperation across the nation. What did the government do in regard to that drought? Nothing. It did not provide one cent.
Liberal members sit over there and gloat about a bill like this, when people out there now cannot even move the cattle. After they finally got some rain and it looked like they were going to get some hay, now they have to just sit on it. The bankruptcies are beginning, folks. It is not going to take long before they are really hurting. Instead of dealing with a problem of that nature in the House of Commons, we are debating how we can squeeze another $20 million or so out of taxpayers to try to buy some honesty through legislation. It is disgraceful.
People are hurting out there because of the softwood lumber issue. It has been happening for 10 years. When are all 301 of us in the House of Commons going to sit down and talk about the disasters that are happening to our people? Let us sit down and work together to solve some of these issues.
But no, we will debate this bill for a while, until the House leader for the Liberals gets tired debating it. Then he will run in and put closure on the issue, which he is very capable of doing. It has been done 100 times or so. He has already done it on this bill. It is finished after a few more hours of debate. It does not matter. I would just as soon shut down debate on the bill altogether and get down to some serious problems.
What a great week it was when I was back here the last time. It was a great week. There were all kinds of difficulties facing the nation. What did we do? We sat in here and talked about marijuana. For crying out loud, is that really a serious problem?
A member over there is making fun of what I am saying. He does not care about all these other things. He cares about Bill C-24. Other issues keep coming up day after day and in question period we listen to some minister or parliamentary secretary say “We are reviewing the situation. We are keeping on top of it. We are not doing anything. Nothing is happening, but we are reviewing it”.
One day the Canadian people will wake up and say that enough is enough of that kind of government. One day the Canadian people will really want to see a wakening in this place and will say “You people are there to look after our needs. When are you going to start doing it?”
Right now in my riding, there are many ranchers, feedlot owners, truckers who cannot move their trucks and everything is stopped dead after three years of drought and we sit in here debating how to squeeze another bunch of money out of taxpayers to make the elections honest. Elections can be very honest. It is unfortunate for the Canadian people that some of the people they elect are not very honest.
Of course all kinds of investigations are going on to determine whether or not what I say is true. Then we are investigating ourselves and I am sure we will get to the truth of the matter.
I would like to see a bunch of people in here become a principled group, principled to the idea that by golly it is time that we started serving the Canadians who pay our wages, who cause these lights to be on. When are we going to start doing that? When will the day come when we decide we are going to be a real democracy and someone will not march in from behind the curtain on that side of the House and bring in closure on practically everything important that does come up?
Year after year, the person who brings in closure on behalf of the government is the same one who once stood on this side ranting and raving about the terrible way that the Conservatives of the past brought in closure time and time again. On and on it goes, year after year.
We can talk all we want about this election bill. Right now I personally do not give a hoot about it and neither do all the 180,000 people who live in my riding. They really do not care. There is a lot of hurting going on out there. The softwood lumber industry is suffering to no end. Agriculture is our top industry and it is really hurting. My constituents have sent me to Ottawa to help with these problems and I have to come in and listen to a bunch of garbage on things about how we can make ourselves honest. People ought to try being that way once and see if that works. Be honest about what we are here for.
Forget about marijuana for a while, put it aside. It has got a problem of its own. Leave it where it is at and let the police take care of it. Let us start looking after our people. We will get down to those issues when the time is right. Right now I prefer to look after the people of this land and it is beginning to really hurt.
If members who have people in their ridings who depend on the cattle industry to support their way of life, their lives and farms and those members sit in the House of Commons and do not do anything to help that situation, then they should hang their heads in shame. As for me, those are the issues I want to spend my time on, but I will not be allowed to because we have to talk about things like this bill.
Congratulations to all members of the House of Commons. They should ignore the real issues, enjoy themselves and have fun because summer is coming. We will all enjoy summer but I can guarantee there will be a whole pile of people out there who will not if we do not start to do something today.