Mr. Speaker, I was not planning on speaking to this bill. However, as speeches have been made, I have been listening and looking at the bill. I have a number of things that we should seriously question with respect to Bill C-9.
I find it absolutely atrocious that the Liberal government has gone ahead and implemented this whole program without parliamentary approval. We find under this Prime Minister the same illness that we had under the previous Prime Minister, Mr. Chrétien. Parliament is just an annoyance. It is just something that has to go through.
The government has actually had this agency in place for two years. For two years it has had budgets in the estimates of around half a billion dollars per year. It has been doing it without parliamentary approval. It has come here now and expecting Parliament to just rubber stamp what it is already doing. In a sense, we are in fact rubber stamping it and I think we probably have no choice. The thing is already being done.
It would be unwise for us to be against this particular bill because of the turmoil that it would cause for all the people who are employed in this program and in the work that they are doing in Quebec. Yet, at the same time, the sequence is wrong. We ought to hold the Liberal government accountable for its arrogance and for its presumptions.
I have huge problems, when I read in this bill, as I mentioned in one of my interventions earlier, about the government's ability to make grants and contributions. What a scandal that is. I cannot believe that the Bloc are actually favouring this bill because it is obvious that the Government of Canada, as long as the Liberals are in power, will simply be picking its Liberal friends to start businesses. Look at what happened in the former Prime Minister's riding, where his friends got money, grants and guaranteed loans in order to build a hotel in which the former Prime Minister himself had a financial interest.
That is the type of thing we invite when we have this kind of agency instead of having it at arm's length. I look at, for example, the powers of the minister. In this bill, the minister can totally control who gets the money and guaranteed loans. I am concerned about the fact that the minister may make regulations, which means the minister in charge who is part of the prime ministerial team. He can do that in order to exploit the opportunities for improvements in employment as identified in a designated area, as well as regulations specially applicable to that area or community which may be made under the authority of this section that vary from regulations of general application to Quebec.
We have the federal government looking at a specific region in a province, and having the right and the power to override other regulations, and to make grants, contributions and advertisements. All these grants and contributions have been such a scandal in the previous government's administration.
I am deeply concerned about the fact that the government is now seeking parliamentary approval for what it is already doing and giving it additional powers over what it already has in terms of interfering and picking economic winners and losers. I just cannot see that for the long run and in the broad perspective of our country that this is a good thing to do. I needed to get that off my chest.