Mr. Speaker, yes, I see that my time was stolen by the Liberal member so I could not make a 20 minute speech with questions and answers. I was going to put the record of the Prime Minister in front of Canadians when he stepped into office. In the Speech from the Throne he talked about a new Canada, a new vision and how he would provide a new vision. Subsequently, in his first budget presented in February, we see that the vision he talked about was priorities for everything and priorities for nothing.
The Prime Minister has been saying that every issue facing Canadians is a national priority. I agree. Issues are important and they must be discussed broadly. However, health care is the national priority. Job creation is the national priority. Farmers are the national priority. At the end of the day what is left is no priority. The government is walking around in a daze. Its members do not even know what to do.
In one of the corridors in Parliament we have a committee inquiring into the biggest corruption scandal ever in the history of Canada and the biggest corruption scandal in which the government has been involved.
The government says that it has a vision to present. I have been here for seven years. When I look across the way, I do not see any new faces. I do not hear any new ideas. I do not see anything new. All I see is recycled stuff coming back, over and over again.
I was in Toronto last week. In group discussions a gentleman asked me a point blank question. He asked what I would do for him. He asked what I would do for his community. I looked at him straight in the face and I said that I was going to do nothing for him or his community. He was taken back. I said that we did not do things for communities. Rather we did things for Canadians.
This is the vision we should have for Canada. We will provide the tools to go and fight. Those tools will give people the education to help them get ready to enter the workforce.
Let us look at the government's record on education. It promised to help 12,000 graduates per year. How many has it helped up to now? Only 2,000. Average student debt was $21,000, but recipients received an average subsidy of $509 in interest relief despite the fact that there was the prime minister's scholarship millennium fund.
None of the targets were met on promised interest relief to student loan recipients. If we do give the tools to our future generation, and they do not necessarily have to be university graduates, they can be tradesmen too, then we will be left behind. In today's globalized world there is competition. If we do not seize the opportunities, someone else will and we will be left behind.
The second point I told the gentleman was that we would create an economic environment where jobs would be created. We will not tax Canadians to a point where they cannot reinvest in the country. We will not create conditions where economic conditions are such that innovation, entrepreneurship are contained. What we need to do is create this environment, and we can do that by reducing taxes.
The government's record on reducing taxes is absolutely abysmal, despite the fact that it has said that it has been reducing taxes. About an hour ago, one member over there said that this was the greatest tax reduction ever. As far as I know, when talking to Canadians, nobody feels the tax reduction is helping their pockets. If they do not feel it in their pockets, I do not know what kind of tax reduction it is. Perhaps it is cooking the books only so the government can stand up here and talk about tax reductions.
If we do not create the economic environment for entrepreneurship or the creation of jobs, then where will the students and everybody else who is learning work? Creating an environment where jobs can be created should be a national priority.
Third, we would create laws to ensure that every Canadian who applied for a job would never discriminated against. Canadians can feel free that their education, skills and experiences in life are put to full use in Canada.
When we look at these things, then there is a vision. It is a vision that Canadians can look forward and can stand and say that they will fight the other countries and that they will fight for their rights. They can say that they have the tools to be a prosperous nation, the number one nation in the world.
However, what has happened in the budget? Nothing. There is a band-aid here and a band-aid there. Most important, there is a disconnect between the vision of the government and the Canadian people because of the way the Liberal government has been ruling the country.
I have a list, which was printed in the National Post , on how Liberal members of Parliament are given money for their little pet projects so they can get elected. There is absolutely no regard as to why. There is absolutely no regard as to transparency or to the value of what will help. They use taxpayer money as if it were a gift given to them to spend, not understanding that it is a trust given to them by Canadians for transparency to ensure that the things Canadians want are taken care of such as health care and all the other areas that have been crying for attention.
Now we see the same Prime Minister talking about the same area. Where was he all the time when he was the finance minister of Canada? Now the government talks about defence spending. It is the same old recycled dollars going into defence. Nevertheless, we still need it. We will wait and see. Please give the dollars, not just talk about it.
Now the government is talking about a health first ministers conference in July. The Prime Minister wants to ensure that there is a deal. What was he doing all the time he was the finance minister? How come there was no deal with the provinces at that time? He was the one who was responsible for cutting funding for health care. Even now there is nothing in the health care accord that says that there is stable funding. It is still left to the government to decide how much funding it will give and which funding it will cut. Then it will expect the provinces to do it.
Let me tell the government, there is only one Canadian taxpayer. If it is going to shift the burden to the provinces, it does not shift the burden off the shoulders of Canadians. The main thing Canadians are telling the government is to get off their shoulders and take its hands out of their pockets.
The ad scam and abuse of our tax dollars is just amazing. Now the government says that we have a public inquiry. When we go to the polls, Canadians will speak on the record of the government on fiscal management.