Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by congratulating my colleague for his elevation, his long-earned position in the government. However I do have to take issue with the suggestion that somehow now provinces and municipalities should get down and kiss the shoes of the Prime Minister for, after 10 years, decimating their budgets by these cuts to transfer payments.
I find some of these poor mayors of municipalities and the provinces are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. They are now feeling that they should somehow thank their captors. What we have seen is that they have been forced to do so much with less that it is like getting hit on the head with a ball-peen hammer. It feels good when it stops.
There is the suggestion that we should be thankful in Atlantic Canada because the government is now going to stop pummelling us and stop ripping money away from our provincial and municipal budgets and allow us to sort of revel in the fact that the Prime Minister will finally live up to a portion, probably 2%, of the decrease in the GST that has been collected.
Well we all know that huge whopper about how it would axe the tax, get rid of it. Ten years later it is lingering like a great big elephant that has been sleeping next to the Prime Minister, from which everybody in the Liberal Party wants to avert their eyes.
We all know that one of their own members went so far as to resign over that promise. Now she possibly will have to resign again because of the way she has been treated by her own colleagues.
I take no history lessons whatsoever from the member opposite, even though he has a long history here. I have great personal respect for his commitment, however, in Atlantic Canada all we are looking for is a fair share and an opportunity to participate fully in the economy of the country. We want the ability to use our own resources and to produce things that we can export.
The rising tide has really been something that has washed over us and carried our most valuable resource away: our young people who have had to leave the provinces of Atlantic Canada, have had to leave the country and, in many cases, will never return.
It is only when we elect a Conservative government in the country to work with Conservative provincial governments, to work with mayors and councillors at the municipal levels, that we will see a return to true equalization in Canada.