Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today on behalf of my constituents in the riding of Medicine Hat and speak to the non-confidence motion moved by my leader and seconded by the leader of the New Democratic Party. The motion affirms and reaffirms that the Conservative Party is withdrawing its support for the government. I want to speak to why we are doing that.
Much has been said in this place in the last while about Judge Gomery, about his report on the sponsorship program and the levels of dishonesty and corruption that he found. In fact, he named the Liberal Party in his report. That is certainly a very damning indictment when it comes to a scandal that saw $100 million stolen from the taxpayers of Canada.
However, I want to talk about something other than just the culture of entitlement. I want to talk about the culture of press releases and announcements, a culture of feeling their pain without getting any results for Canadians.
The other side of all this, of what we have been through in the last year, such as the Gomery report and the sponsorship scandal, is the fact that the government has had 12 years to resolve big problems that grip the country today and they have not been resolved.
I feel very comfortable standing here and speaking on behalf of my constituents when I say that Canadians deserve better. They deserve better than these vague assurances and spending announcements without plans, these press conferences, things that are designed to take important issues off the front burner, put them on the back burner for a little while and let them disappear from public view. We see this over and over again. Canadians deserve a lot better.
What we are seeing are the final death throes of a government that is tired and out of steam. It resorts to taking shortcuts in the end, throwing all this money out of the back of the truck, hoping Canadians will be duped into voting for the government again based on a bunch of announcements. People need more than announcements. They cannot eat an announcement. They cannot drink a press release. People need some real results, and I want to talk about that.
I want to underline this by giving a few hard examples. One that comes to mind is something that I talked to somebody about the other day. I said, “Did you know that you are the recipient of the largest tax cut in Canadian history?” The person did not know what I was talking about. That is my point. The government runs around claiming that it gave Canadians the largest tax cut in Canadian history, but people cannot see it on their paycheques.
We are talking about real results, not a bunch of spin or press releases with the government saying that it is going to do something. People want something that makes a difference in their lives. It is amazing that the government's claim of $100 billion in tax relief has never shown up on anybody's paycheque. There are very good reasons for that. The $100 billion was not really $100 billion, and it was offset by tax hikes with the other hand.
My point in saying all of this is that people are tired of this. They do not want the spin any more. What they want are real results. They do not want to rhetoric.
I am splitting my time, Mr. Speaker, with the member for Niagara Falls.
The government, on the eve of an election, has brought down its third budget in nine months. I am sure it is a record. I have never heard of that. On the eve of an election, it has decided it wants to reduce taxes by $30 billion. The last time it was $100 billion and people never felt the impact of that one. This time it is $30 billion and probably we will end up owing the government money. The point is that we are not seeing the results.
The other example I want to give is that in the last five years, spending has gone up 48%. We spend $50 billion a year more today than we did five years ago, but where are the results?
We have looked at the issue of health care. A dozen years ago, when the it came to power, the government said that health care was its number one priority. Today, a dozen years later, waiting lists for acute and critical health care has doubled, even though we spend all that much more money.
Another example is we have this massive ramp up in spending for all these services. Today it takes much longer to deal with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration than it did a few years ago. The government has put all this money into that department.
In 1997 the government spent about $18 billion a year to provide salaries and compensation to the public service. Today it is well over $30 billion. The spending has gone through the roof. It now takes longer than ever to get government services from the public service. People are not getting results. That is the bottom line for the public. Canadians do not mind paying taxes if they get results.
There are many other examples to which I could point. I could talk about the firearms registry and the sponsorship program, how the government threw money at a problem. There were no results except bad results. We got not only corruption and scandal, but we also saw a huge rise in support for separatism in Quebec. The government blew that one completely.
I could talk about Davis Inlet, which I have talked about many times in this place. The government threw a bunch of money at a problem, $360 million for 900 people, or $400,000 a person. What did we get? All the problems were moved to a new location. Canadians are not getting results.
Let us talk about something that is very current. Not long ago the government came under tremendous fire for the situation in Kashachewan. Natives on that reserve were forced to live through a boil water order for a very long period of time. The government built a water filtration plant that did not meet provincial standards. The government could not even count on its own water system, even though it had spent millions of dollars to bring this about.
The Prime Minister has said this is his number one priority. I guess he has many number one priorities. Everything seems to be his number one priority. He said that 12 years had not been enough time to deal with this issue. Now we need 12 years and five months to deal with the issue. This is simply ridiculous. It is time for the government to yield to a new government that has a vision for the country, a government that believes in results over rhetoric.
My leader and the Conservative Party are committed to the country. We love it and we want to see it become an even better country than it is today.
We have a lot of problems in the country. We can fix those problems and we can do it, working cooperatively with other parties. We have done that over the last year and a half in this minority Parliament. We are prepared to do that, if we end up in a minority situation again. The Conservative Party is prepared to work with other parties. We believe in democracy. We will ensure that people have the right to stand up for their constituents and represent them in this place. That is part of the commitment of the Conservative Party.
We believe Canadians should have opportunities. We believe the government has an obligation to bring about an economy that ensures all Canadians have opportunities. Not just because it means giving people jobs and raising their living standards, but because it means more revenue for the government so it can provide for those who cannot help themselves. Canada should be the most prosperous country in the world, so we can also be the most generous country in the world. That will happen under a Conservative Party.
We have a vision for the country that will bring these things about. What we are asking for today, in moving this motion, is that we defeat the government and bring it to an end and clear the path for an election so we can engage Canadians in a great debate about where this country should go. Ultimately, we will ask for the support of Canadians to wipe the Liberal government away. If I were a Liberal, I would ask that this happen. Then I could start all over again with a new crew at the top who have some ideas and vision.
Canadians deserve better. For my friend across the way who is heckling, he will have lots of time to heckle when he is in the opposition.