Mr. Speaker, if the hon. minister is not interested in what I have to say he has an option available to him. He can go up the aisle and out the door. I do not mean to be difficult, but I was trying to explain something. I was going back to my being in business and having to have a business plan. I was mentioning the fact that a government that is going to make Canada thrive also has to have a business plan. We need to know what we are going to do with the money we take in from taxpayers. We need to know their priorities and their needs and those are the things that must be addressed in the budget.
When Bill C-43 was presented, there were options available to the Conservative Party. We could have followed suit with the NDP and the Bloc and at the first opportunity voted to bring this government down. That would have been easy and, in some ways, it might have been very satisfying, but it would not have been responsible. If there is nothing else that we are, we are responsible. We are responsible to taxpayers, to the next generation and we are responsible for what goes on in the House.
We have an obligation as members of Parliament to try to make things work. We have to make them work for Canadians. When we lose sight of what it is we are here for, Canadians, then we have a serious problem.
We were willing and attempted to make amendments, amendments that met the needs of our constituents, the needs of all Canadians, things that were missing from the budget, things that were not there that needed to be there, the priorities of Canadians that were not reflected. We were told, point blank from the Liberal government, that there would be no amendments and that was the end of it.
However we are patient in the Conservative Party and we decided to wait until it went to committee where we could actually have the opportunity to voice a large opinion on what needs to happen in the hope that common sense would prevail and that there would be acceptance of provisions that would make things better for Canadians.
In the interim, before that stage happened, there was a deal made between the Liberal government and the NDP. Some of the things that the NDP has put forward are things that are very important to Conservatives as well. We care about the environment, about the next generation and about affordable housing, but we are a Conservative Party that is fiscally responsible. We will not give anyone a blank cheque. It takes some trust for us to accept that when we agree to a budget the government will do what it says it will do.
I have only been here five years but I have watched more supplementary budgets go through and I have watched taxes increase and increase and I have not seen a big difference happening for Canadian people. In my own riding I still have residents who are reeling from the impact of the softwood lumber debacle. They have not been supported or helped, and there is no money in this budget for those people. We wanted to make that happen. We wanted to change that in the Conservative Party.
I also have a huge contingent of ranchers in my riding. These are people who have been around for over a hundred years producing food. These are good, stable, honest people whose livelihoods have been ripped out from underneath them because of a government that did not act appropriately or quickly enough. We have gone two years now with that debacle and nothing has happened.
The Conservative Party wanted to see those things addressed but the Liberal government said no amendments. However that story changed rather quickly when it made a deal with the NDP to stay in power. Let us be honest here, that is what that deal was about, nothing more, nothing less. It was about staying in power. Now it is saying, as a government, that it expects us to just agree with this. We should just say yes because, by golly, that is what it has decided to do and if we want to argue about it, it will make us look as bad as possible.
Well the government can go ahead and make me look as bad as it wants because the day I sign a blank cheque that I do not have to cover and taxpayers in Canada have to cover is the day I should head out that door and go home. I would be of no use to Canadians and to my constituents if I were to accept that kind of a deal. I will not accept that kind of a deal.
If we take a look at the budget that has been presented as Bill C-48, it is two pages with a little tiny paragraph at the top. If we take a look at that and we say $4.5 billion, 400 words, which is approximately what is in there, that is $11,500 a word. I cannot agree with a bill that does not show me where the money will be spent and does not reflect the needs of Canadians. It is a bill that allows the government to do whatever it wants. I cannot do agree to that and neither can this party.
Can I endorse some of the things that the NDP party wants to do? Yes, I can. If those could be done in a reasonable fashion or if the Liberal government wants to present me with a business plan showing me how it is going to implement it and tells me what it is going to do, then perhaps they would get my agreement.
In my life I have been a negotiator for contracts. I recognize the difference between the words “will” and “may”. The words in this legislation say “may”. I hate to disappoint the NDP, and maybe none of them have negotiated contracts, but if does not say “will” it is not going to happen.
The NDP has been taken for a ride in exchange for their votes. This is all a big farce as far as I am concerned. It is not going to happen. The government knows it is not going to happen and I know it is not going to happen, but the NDP does not seem to know that it is not going to happen.
The NDP members would be better off if they were to join forces with the Conservative Party. We could put our heads together to convince the government do what needs to be done . However they have chosen not to do that and there is not much I can do about that.
The one thing I really do resent is that we have a government that has gone to the FCM, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and has spun the FCM a tale that says that if this budget does not pass it will get no money. That is simply not true. It will get the money.
What the government has not told the FCM government is that it is the government's choice to tie Bill C-43, which we supported, and Bill C-48, which we cannot support, together. If thee money for municipalities is lost, it will lie in the laps of the Liberal government. It will not be the Conservatives that made this happen. It will be the government itself.
I would like to believe that everyone in this House has the best interests of Canadians at heart. If in fact that is true, no one can sign off on a blank cheque budget that does nothing to help Canadians and adds to what we already have, which is a half a trillion dollar debt.
The people in my riding are looking for help. They are looking for work and they are looking for some kind of optimistic future, something that they can look forward to. This does not offer it to them. Those cuts that are coming to corporations may very well cost 2,700 jobs in my riding.
I cannot and I will not support this and I urge the government to rethink this silly piece of legislation.