Mr. Speaker, I would like to read again for those who may have just joined the debate this afternoon the motion that we are debating. It is an opposition motion put forward by my own party, the Conservative Party of Canada. The motion reads as follows:
That, given the lack of new legislation introduced by the Liberal government during the Third Session of this Parliament, this House recognize that the current government is not new, but rather one that is intricately linked to the past decade of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence, and has accordingly lost the confidence of this House.
First, I would like to address the issue that the government lacks any new legislation. Only six days after we resumed sitting in this new session of Parliament the government brought in closure. It cut off all debate. Why did it cut off all debate? It wanted to bring back wholesale all the legislation that had already been in place when Parliament adjourned in November. This is in spite of the fact that we had a new Prime Minister. This is in spite of the fact that the new Prime Minister had spent not months, but years of his life travelling the country talking about how much better it was going to be once he led the Liberal Party.
The Prime Minister spent years talking about what he was going to do, yet his first move was to bring back exactly the same discredited, in many cases fatally flawed, legislation that we had already been talking about for months and months. Not only did he bring back this legislation, but he brought it back with the hammer of closure. Imagine that. So devoid of ideas was the so-called new Liberal Prime Minister that he just had to fight and finally impose on Parliament the old agenda, the agenda brought in in this way in spite of his promises of correcting what he called the democratic deficit. What could possibly be democratic about forcing Parliament to simply regurgitate the old agenda?
At the end of February, about a month after the so-called new Prime Minister came into office, on the Maclean's magazine website appeared the following information:
Last week every deputy minister in Ottawa was given an astonishing assignment.
The lead civil servant in charge of every government department was given two weeks to deliver a 10 page memo outlining new ideas for government--“with an emphasis on thinking outside the box”...for delivery within two weeks.
This government-wide brainstorm represents [the Prime Minister's] response to what every pundit in town has noticed in the past week: If the sponsorship scandal does force an election delay then this government is dangerously out of luck because it is devoid of a governing agenda.
But there may be a delay, which means that the...government may actually have to govern. Hence the demand for revolutionary thinking across the government, with the ludicrously short deadline.
That is from our national affairs magazine, Maclean's , talking about how desperate the government is, putting the boots to deputy ministers in the departments to try to scramble to come up with something, anything new, anything that could allow the Liberals to keep going until they feel it is safe to call an election. How disgusting. How despicable.
Our motion also talks about the Liberal mismanagement, corruption and incompetence. I just want to mention a few examples. If we look at every department of the government, there is enormous mismanagement, corruption and incompetence. It is on the record. It is not some figment of the imagination.
For example, in the environment portfolio, the Auditor General has pointed to over 100 toxic waste sites that have been sitting there fouling and polluting the wonderful Canadian land for decades. The Liberal government has done nothing, in a whole decade, to clean up over 100 toxic waste sites.
Then we can look at finance and see the vendetta against François Beaudoin of the Business Development Bank. Why? Because he dared to say “I know the prime minister wants to give his friend a loan, but it is a bad loan. We should not do it”. For doing his job of protecting the money of Canadians, he was hounded and his reputation was tattered. In fact a judge said that the government appointees tried to destroy this man's career.
Then we have fisheries and oceans. We know about the devastation of the fish stocks under the incredibly incompetent mismanagement of the government.
In foreign affairs we have all the questions about why so many CIDA grants seem to go to corrupt foreign governments instead of to the people they are supposed to help.
In health we had the millions stolen from the Virginia Fontaine foundation, and all the fraud in that whole thing, including a deputy minister.
In heritage we had this big flag giveaway. It was supposed to cost $6 million. The figure now is $45 million, 6 or 7 times as much as the government originally told us it was.
Speaking of that, what about the gun registry? It was supposed to be $2 million. Now we hear it could be $2 billion, over 1,000 times as much. Is that what we can expect of that government?
Then we have immigration, my portfolio. We have a court of this land saying that the immigration minister and department misled Parliament. That is a court finding. That is not some accusation by a suspicious opposition. That is a finding of our courts.
Just last week 278 criminal charges were brought against someone whom the Liberals appointed, a patronage appointment connected with a Liberal cabinet minister, a judge of the Immigration and Refugee Board, for taking bribes to let people into Canada who would not have got in otherwise.
What kind of government are they running over there? That is why we brought forward this motion of non-confidence.
Then of course there is the missing money in defence: $160 million that went to subcontracts for computers, and apparently no one knows where the money is.
Of course the one we are keeping an eye on, the one the public is watching the most this week, is the sponsorship program, where $250 million was put out the door with very little paperwork, very little accounting and very little program description. It turns out, according to the Auditor General, that $100 million of it went out for no work at all. I guess it was commissions, or “just because”.
It reminds me of four years ago when we talked about the HRDC billion dollar boondoggle. According to another audit, $1 billion in program spending went out the door, with no financial tracking or controls over 97% of it.
Now we have this sponsorship scandal. Here is what one of our key political commentators in this city had to said about it:
The allegation is that senior political figures used the ad agencies to launder money so, for example, the wife of a senior politician goes shopping in downtown Montreal, buying very expensive clothes, and a person from the ad agency goes along with a Visa card and goes 'click' 'click' and it gets charged back to the advertising agency and gets charged back to the Government of Canada...
With all these things in front of the public, with all this wide range of mismanagement, with all this absolute poverty, of ideas for bringing Canada forward into the 21st century, this motion of non-confidence fully deserves the support of the House. I hope that even Liberals will hang their heads in shame and vote non-confidence so we can get on with it and give Canada the kind of future it deserves.