Mr. Speaker, the motion I was referring to was dealt with earlier this morning. We are now back to the closure motion that was principally before the House prior to that time.
Essentially the same issue is before us as Canadians and that is the question of the legitimacy of this government's conduct. I would like to draw the attention of the House to what we have witnessed over the last several days.
We have had the spectacle of the Government of Canada in this House filibustering its own legislation in an attempt to delay the House, to introduce meaningless procedural mechanisms so that the House can never get to the real point that is before Canadians, which is the question of whether or not this government has the confidence of this House. Because if the government does not have the confidence of this House, it is not properly the Government of Canada and this matter should be put before the Canadian people for an election.
This is one of several tactics which this government has used. It has used the tactic of closure and the tactic of filibustering its own legislation. I have not been able to find and am unaware of any circumstance in Canadian parliamentary history or parliamentary history at large whereby a government would introduce filibustering motions to filibuster its own legislation to delay the House. That is a perverse use of this hallowed chamber, which we have never before seen in the history of this country.
If this government believes that it has the moral authority to govern this country, why does it not simply put itself before this chamber and allow a vote to take place? Instead, we have filibustering, delay and closure. Prior to that we have had the gerrymandering of opposition days to prevent the opposition parties from putting in front of this hallowed chamber the very question that all Canadians want answered, which is whether or not this government has the confidence of Canadians. It does not. We know it does not. It should submit to the judgment of this House.
What Canadians have seen over the last several months in revelations from the Gomery commission is enough for Canadians to form the answers and the conclusions they need. As I door-knocked in my constituency, the way one individual put it to me was that “Mr. Justice Gomery may be the judge, but we the Canadian people are going to be the jury”. That is very much the sentiment out there.
I would like as well to come to the question of the finances of this government. There is complete confusion in Canada today as to what the budget of the Government of Canada is. What is the budgetary policy of this government? No one knows. This House does not know. The Liberal members themselves do not know. The NDP members certainly are completely confused as to whether they have a deal or do not have a deal.
One of the principal and most fundamental traditions of this place and of our system of government is that the government must administer the public finances of Canada on a basis that has been approved by the elected representatives of the nation. That is a principle of parliamentary democracy that goes back a thousand years at this point in time. We are seeing this government abrogate that principle.
Approximately six weeks ago, a budget was announced here. In the last two weeks, that budget was reversed and changed. It was amended and then amended again. How could anyone with any credibility say there is a clear budget in place from the Government of Canada?
No one knows what the fiscal policy of this country is right now. That is a shameful situation. It is a situation that violates the principles of our parliamentary democracy. It also leads to questions in the financial and business communities and the community of all Canadians who make financial decisions. What is the fiscal policy? For heaven's sake, how are we governing ourselves as a nation?
Instead, we have the spectre of a $4.5 billion buy-off of the NDP that seems to point us in the direction of an NDP-Liberal coalition. The last time we had that in this country we destroyed the public finances of Canada. It took us 20 years to dig ourselves out of the mess that we got ourselves into as a nation when we last had that kind of left of centre coalition governing this country. It cannot be allowed to happen again. It is a decision of the Canadian people. It is for that reason the question of confidence must be decided in the House. There must be a vote. We must have clarity on this issue.
When I travel in my constituency and when I meet people as I did recently, they are very clear that they do not support what they see from the government. The revelations of corruption from the Gomery inquiry strike at the heart of public confidence in our country. These are very serious allegations of fraud upon government, of public money laundering, of theft. These are all matters which are referenced in the Criminal Code.
The evidence we are hearing at Gomery, not from witnesses who have an axe to grind, but from witnesses who are senior representatives of the Liberal Party of Canada, is that there legitimacy to those accusations. Senior representatives of the Liberal Party of Canada have been stepping forward and saying that the Liberal Party has been complicit, has been involved, in that conduct.
Day after day we hear the Minister of Public Works stand up in this chamber and say that Canadians should not have this matter put before them, that we should wait until Mr. Justice Gomery completes his report. That is not what the Canadian public is saying. Canadians understand that the Gomery inquiry will carry on and that it will deal with what it has been legally mandated to do. The Gomery inquiry does not have the jurisdiction to levy criminal charges. It does not have the jurisdiction to make specific fault finding.
The consequence of all this is that Canadians have lost confidence in what is happening in Ottawa with the government of the day. The government has lost the moral authority to govern the country. That is part of the reason we have seen the situation in this chamber. Until the government has the courage to step forward and show Canadians that it is prepared to submit to a vote of confidence in the House, the situation in our nation will continue to deteriorate.
If the Liberals feel strongly that they have the confidence of Canadians, let them come before this chamber, submit themselves to the House and be judged. The elected representatives of the Canadian people, the members of this honourable chamber, will stand and will vote on the confidence issue. That is what Canadians expect and that is what we need to have at this point in time.
This situation cannot be allowed to continue. The government has taken itself to the very edge of constitutionality in the country. The government has taken itself to the very edge of history of our parliamentary traditions. It does not have the right to do what it has been doing. It does not have the confidence of the House. It does not have the moral authority to govern. It does not have the confidence of the Canadian public. Something must be done about this.
The motion that we have before us with respect to closure touches upon this. It is another procedural mechanism by which the Liberal government delays, obfuscates, ducks and dodges so it will not have to face the House of Commons and submit its conduct and its punitive budget, which has undergone three changes in the last two weeks, to the House of Commons and find out if it has the authority to be governing the country.