Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question and for his kind, comforting words.
I think the government would be in a much better position had it kept its word. You will surely remember, Mr. Speaker, since you were a candidate in the 1993 election campaign, that Mr. Jean Chrétien had made a promise in the first red book. “We will stop the reform proposed by the Conservatives, it is an aberration, that reform makes no sense at all. Elect us and you will see that we will never go ahead with that reform, which goes too far and makes no sense”. Canadians believed Mr. Chrétien and his representatives and gave them a Liberal majority government.
In 1997, he sang the same tune again. “Re-elect us and we will reform the employment insurance plan”. There had been a lot of criticism with regard to the reform that had been undertaken. The Liberals, who had condemned the EI reform proposed by the Conservative government when they were in opposition, went a lot further than the Conservatives intended to go in their reform when they were in office.
So, in 1997, Mr. Chrétien said, “Trust us and we will carry out the EI reform”. But it did not happen in 1997, there was no reform. They waited on the eve of the election to send an army of ministers across the country to say, “Stop the protests, we have not done the reform but I promise you that we will do it after the 2000 election”.
We are on the eve of the 2004, or perhaps 2005, election, and we are still waiting for the reform. But this time, the workers and the unemployed no longer believe in the Liberal Party and, the next time, they will send them to the opposition benches.