Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to the motion put forward by the Conservative Party on the Gomery terms of reference. This commission is becoming a pivotal issue in Canadian political history. Its implications are far wider than we can imagine, as are the implications of its findings and its report. We have seen the Prime Minister on television pleading with Canadians to let the Gomery commission do its work before he calls an election, so a lot of things hinge on this.
What is of more importance about this commission is that Canadians are angry. For the first time, Canadians have seen the biggest political scandal in the history of this country. Everywhere we go, we see that Canadians are angry. They have put their trust in the government. They said, “Here are our tax dollars”. They expect us to use common sense and fiscal responsibility in spending their money. What has happened is that their trust was completely shattered and absolutely broken.
But it took the Auditor General to point it out. The Auditor General said there was something seriously wrong. The trust that Canadians have put in government has been broken, battered and abused, as we have seen. Of course, then what did the Liberals do? They needed to protect themselves, so they called the commission because that trust was broken by the Liberal government, by the governing party.
Day after day in front of the commission, as I have stated, we see Liberals coming in and talking about how money was misused for their personal use, for gain for their party. Every day it is not a good picture for Canada, which prides itself on having a transparent system. The transparent system was broken and it was broken by the Liberals sitting on the other side and their friends out there.
What is amazing, as we can see from the reports coming in, is that this was done in election 2000. I was part of election 2000. Never could I have imagined that taxpayers' money would be used for personal gain by that party, that it would be used to gain votes. What is coming out at the commission is unbelievable.
There is anger out there and the Liberal Party knows it. The Liberals know that something rotten happened. They know that something wrong happened.
It is amazing. I am talking about election 2000. How many members sitting on the other side are from election 2000? They get up and pretend that this was something from the distant past, that these are new faces and they do not have anything to do with the past.
So we have the commission. We have heard what the Prime Minister says when he gets up. Of course, day after day the public works minister, a new face because the old face is gone, says quite simply, “Let us wait for the Gomery inquiry”.
Yet the Prime Minister had no problem firing the former public works minister when he was our ambassador to Denmark. It did not take him long. It begs the question: why did he fire him? Obviously the Liberals knew something was wrong. We saw them fire the CEO, Mr. Pelletier. Why?
So actions have already been taken which the Liberal Party knows are pointing a finger at them about what was rotten and what went wrong. Canadians want to know. First, through the commission they want to know how. Then they want to know why this happened. We all know why it happened. It is not a big secret.
They want to know how. Through the hearings of the commission we are finding out how it happened. They also want to know who is responsible and who will take the blame? That is the crux of the motion we are debating. As has been stated, the government in clause (k) in the terms of reference has said, “without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization”.
That says it quite clearly that the Gomery commission cannot point out who was responsible. That big question will remain. If the Gomery commission is let go without answering that question, Canadians will have no confidence in the political system of the country. We have to gain back the trust in this institution. We are held responsible for the use of taxpayer moneys. As I stated before, that trust has been broken.
All we are asking for is that Justice Gomery be allowed to name names and assign responsibility. Subsequently, the RCMP and other enforcement agencies can pick up whatever evidence comes out of that. It is important that Canadians know.
We all know it was the Liberal Party. It was under its rule. The Liberals are the ones who benefited the most. Therefore, it is not the issue who is responsible. We know it is them. We want to know who did not fulfill the responsibility of his or her job. We want to know people ultimately will be held responsible.
I will be sharing my time, Mr. Speaker, with my colleague, the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.
Back to the main subject and that is the political landscape has changed. We now have a minority situation and hopefully we will not in the next election. We will throw those guys out hopefully and we will take over. We are telling Canadians that we will bring responsibility and transparency. One of the platforms we are looking at is giving more resources to the Auditor General to ensure that Canadians feel that their tax dollars are being spent wisely by the government.
Canadians are law-abiding citizens. They do not mind paying taxes. Ours is an honour system. We ask Canadians to be truthful about how much money they earn. Then we tell them how much they need to pay so we can run the government responsibly. Canadians agree to that. Yet when that trust is shattered, they must be made aware of the answers.
It is absolutely necessary and important that we know the commission can say who was responsible for this. That is what the motion states. I know the members of the Liberal Party will not support the motion because they are on the hot seat.