Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. I think it is very pertinent. When this government first came to office in 1993, it was careful to eliminate the few parliamentary financial controls that existed, perhaps in order to be sure it was able to do what it later did in the sponsorship scandal and to prevent parliamentarians from having any real power to ensure the proper management of public funds, in the best interests of the people.
Yes, I believe there are no parliamentary controls. The controls we have now do not permit us to get to the bottom of things. Simply having a minister and his flock of senior bureaucrats appear before a committee for an hour or an hour and a half is not the way to get to the bottom of things in an examination of parliamentary appropriations.
Yes, we must reintroduce much more formal mechanisms to provide constant oversight on government spending in order to avoid the kind of loss of control we have seen with this government.