Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Souris—Moose Mountain.
It is a privilege today to rise on behalf of my constituents of Fundy Royal to speak to only a few of the many reasons why the tired and corrupt Liberal government has lost the confidence of this House.
This House is condemning the Liberal government for its arrogance in refusing to reasonably compromise with the opposition parties over the timing of the next general election and for its culture of entitlement, corruption, scandal, and gross abuse of public funds for its own political purposes.
It could be said that the loss of confidence in the minority Liberal government has been a long time coming. The loss of confidence at this time is the accumulation of more than a decade of mismanagement, waste, and even the stubborn denial of problems that Canadians knew beyond any doubt existed.
Sector by sector, throughout our economy, the Liberals have lost confidence. Group by group, concerned about strong social policies, have lost confidence in the Liberal brand. Canadian by Canadian, concerned about the waste, mismanagement and even theft of their hard earned tax dollars, have lost confidence in the government's ability to clean up the mess exposed by the Auditor General and confirmed by Justice Gomery.
I want to discuss a few other areas where everyday Canadians from my constituency have contacted me to express a lack of confidence in the government's ability to look out for their interests.
First, I will speak a bit about agriculture which is very important in my riding of Fundy Royal. Earlier this week we debated an opposition motion calling on the Government of Canada to give our negotiators at the World Trade Organization talks a mandate to ensure that Canada's supply management sectors are protected and that any agreement reached strengthens the international marketing position of Canada's agricultural sectors.
That motion had to be tabled and debated because farmers and all agricultural stakeholders across Canada are not confident that the government is ensuring that our supply management system will survive the current round of negotiations at the WTO. We should not have had to twist the Liberal government's arms to force it to support our farmers so late in these trade negotiations. The Liberal government in Ottawa should be fighting to protect our producers of eggs, milk and chicken. Rather than taking the lead, the Liberals have been shamed into supporting our farmers.
The agriculture sector in Canada's economy has no confidence in the government's ability to command our negotiators to stand against the agricultural subsidies, tariffs, and other supports that rich economies, namely the United States and Europe, have been giving their agricultural producers.
In my home province of New Brunswick alone, there are 260 dairy farm operations that generate $90 million in farm cash receipts. These are stable businesses, providing steady employment. I have confidence that only a Conservative government will defend the interests of all Canadian farmers on the international stage.
Another area where my constituents have certainly lost confidence in the government is in the area of child care. The Liberal child care plan claims to be universal, but it does not give a single penny to stay-at-home parents, family caregivers, and shift workers. It is particularly biased against those living in rural communities. We have been asking for, and what our Conservative Party stands for, child care dollars to be given directly to parents and letting them decide what is best for their own children.
I want to talk a bit about keeping promises. That is something that this Prime Minister did when he first came to office. He made a lot of promises that Canadians expected him to keep. Canadians certainly cannot have confidence in a government that does not keep its promises.
It started, famously enough, in 1993 when the Liberal government stated it would “kill, scrap and axe the GST”. Of course that did not happen. Ever since then, we have had virtually no confidence in anything that the government says.
Even today we read of another broken promise. We hear that the party opposite intends to run a nasty and dirty campaign, a campaign that is negative. This is what the Prime Minister has stated in the past:
As we go into that election campaign let us understand that we are a party of principle,--
I think Canadians will have a chance in the next election to judge those very principles. He stated also, “I would hope that this would be a campaign of ideas. I do not want to sink to that level”. Yet today, another broken promise, word that we are going to have a negative campaign coming from that side.
The Prime Minister also famously came to power promising to eliminate the democratic deficit. He even, in a way, coined the phrase. What a total farce.
I sit on a subcommittee that is studying the appointment of judges. In spite of evidence from witness after witness that political connections play an important role and some would say the most important role in being selected to the judiciary, the Minister of Justice refused to even acknowledge in any way that any such a link existed. This was in spite of one study in the province of Quebec that showed that over 60% of appointees since 2000 contributed to the Liberal Party of Canada. The fact is that less than 1% of Canadians contribute to any political party, yet when it comes to the appointment of judges, over 60% had contributed to just one party, the party in power.
That is the kind of thing that causes Canadians and members of this House to lose confidence in the government, especially when all it will do is deny a problem even exists. We all know that in order to solve a problem, we first have to admit that there is a problem. I have heard time and time again the Minister of Justice and other ministers say that there is no problem. How can the government fix the democratic deficit when it refuses to admit it exists? The answer very simply is that it cannot.
I believe that a Conservative government is the only one that Canadians can trust that will restore democratic faith in our system.
We have been hearing quite a bit about the Liberal ad scam program, and a lot of this debate centres around it. The government of the day almost lost the Quebec sovereignty referendum. Afterward it told us to be confident, that everything would be okay. Yet we find that the scheme that it set up, instead of bringing Canada together, instead of building a stronger country, has brought us to the point where we are today, where we are torn, we are split. It has created such a backlash among Canadians, such a loss of faith, because the Liberal Party could not see that there is a difference between the country that we all love, the country of Canada, and the Liberal Party of Canada.
That is what Justice Gomery found. He found that there was an intricate web of kickbacks and illegal contributions and deception involving millions of taxpayer dollars spent on Liberal election campaigns. I want to read some quotes from Justice Gomery:
They disregarded the relevant laws governing donations to political parties.
The LPCQ as an institution cannot escape responsibility for the misconduct of its officers and representatives.
Two successive Executive Directors were directly involved in illegal campaign financing, and many of its workers accepted cash payments for their services when they should have known that such payments were in violation of the Canada Elections Act.
The Commission of Inquiry Found:[...] the refusal of Ministers, senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office and public servants to acknowledge their responsibility for the problems of mismanagement that occurred.
The negligent administration of the Sponsorship Program by PWGSC [Public Works and Government Services Canada] opened the door wide to profiteering by those five [communications and advertising] agencies and their owners, and they took full advantage of the opportunity.
Canadians know that as long as the Liberal Party of Canada is in power, no one will be held accountable, no one will be punished, and no meaningful reforms will be made.
I firmly believe that only by electing a Conservative government led by the member for Calgary Southwest will we clean up the mess left behind by the Liberal government.
Finally, the current Liberal government has absolutely no credibility when it comes to tax cuts. We all know that. I have been hearing so much from my constituents. Nobody is fooled. I do not believe there is one Canadian in the country that is fooled by a last ditch deathbed conversion when it comes to tax cuts.
I am encouraged that the Liberals have chosen to run on our platform. All of a sudden we hear the Minister of Justice talking about getting tough on crime. The Minister of Finance, who year after year has said that there is no money for tax cuts, that Canadians cannot have a tax cut, that the government cannot afford a tax cut, is now proposing a tax cut.
Canadians will not be fooled. There is a loss of faith in the government. I believe that the time has come for Canadians to have their say and to pass judgment on the government.