Mr. Speaker, I commend the parliamentary secretary for his comments with respect to the passage of Bill C-26.
I am quick to note that the bill, like the previous bill that set up the department which he co-represents with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, comes almost a year to the day after it became functionally operational. I also note that his own department has not exactly moved in a timely fashion or with post-haste in bringing this legislation forward.
Aside from that, the optics and the very high sounding language and references to multifaceted, integrated approach, streamlining and harmonizing are not really supported by the resources to carry out the task. A significant amount of effort has been put into the optics and the glossy brochures, and putting the best face on addressing the current shortcomings with respect to security at our borders, at our ports, at our airports, but there is a growing gap between the promise and the reality.
I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary to the department whether any internal effort is being made by himself or the minister to ensure that the necessary funds will be available to bring about these important changes to which he referred.
I am not just coming at this as a partisan, as a member of the opposition. I reference the recent report from the Senate, which is headed up in the other place by a Liberal senator. He indicated that a rust belt would be developing unless the government invested $1 billion annually over the next decade to address these shortcomings.
He talks about, as the parliamentary secretary referred to, the need to address the “economic crisis along the border, and everybody is spending all their misguided time worrying about missile defence”. He went on to say, “We are going to lose jobs and we are going to lose economic growth, and it is right in front of our eyes. It's the economy, stupid”. Those were the words of a Liberal senator in the other place.
What efforts has the parliamentary secretary undertaken to ensure that the actual resources are going to be there to implement the technology and, more important, the personnel? Could he tell us at the same time what that doily he is wearing represents?