Mr. Speaker, let me at the outset indicate to the member for Dartmouth that we in the House share the concerns that she raised about yet another horrific storm in Halifax. We send our best wishes to the people of Halifax who have had to endure a horrible year in terms of hurricanes, huge rainstorms and now an incredible snowstorm.
The question the member posed is very important as we struggle with an appropriate mechanism for ensuring investment of our pension funds for future generations. The member asked how in the world did it ever happen that we ended up with a process where not only is our money being gambled, but risks are being taken on the open market. The money is being invested in questionable activities where there is no ethical screening in place.
We have to go back to the agenda of the Prime Minister over the last decade. We have to understand that the changes in the Canada pension plan and the establishment of the investment board were a direct result of the present Prime Minister's agenda and his leadership, if we want to call it that. If we want to trace the origins of this questionable path in our history, we have to go right back to that individual.
Today, the Prime Minister continues to condone and encourage a revolving door of corporate lobbyists through his office. This raises the spectre of equally disconcerting programs and developments to occur in the future, as if we have learned nothing from the past.
The present Prime Minister and his Liberal colleagues are so determined to address the wishes of their corporate buddies and to cater to the business community that they have put profit at the top of the agenda. Profit is way ahead of anything to do with respect for people who need security in old age, people living with disabilities and women struggling just to survive. This is an indication of how far overboard the government has gone in terms of its commitment and its responsibilities to the people of Canada. The government puts corporate interests ahead of the public good.
The purpose of our debate today is to try to refocus the agenda, to try to convince the government to put some balance back in the equation. We may now have an investment board we are stuck with, despite our attempts to amend it and improve it and insert an ethical screening process, despite the NDP's efforts to broaden the representation on the investment board to include representatives from the labour movement and other experts in the Canadian community. We are stuck with this mechanism, but we have the opportunity to change it and improve it.
One way we can improve the investment board today is to say together with one voice that there shall be no investment in questionable activities, particularly pertaining to arms production, landmines or tobacco. That is where we can start. Let us instead invest in Canada, in communities, in the infrastructure requirements of this country and receive the double benefit of investing ethically and reaping the rewards of having invested in Canadian communities. In that way we could address the huge deficit in the infrastructure, the needs of our cities, the concerns of the farmers and the rural communities and the growing array of issues pertaining to families everywhere.
The government has a choice today. Let us in fact double our investment. Let us reap the rewards of investing in Canada on an ethical basis.