Mr. Speaker, I was more amused by the revisionist statements of the hon. member than the actual content of his speech. He seems to have a peculiar recollection of facts.
As I recollect the facts, the opposition leader was virtually out the door about five minutes after the finance minister delivered the budget to say that he would not defeat the government on this particular point.
Then the opposition leader apparently had an on the road to Damascus experience and thought that maybe that was not quite the best thing he had ever done in his political life. He reversed himself and said no, this government had to be put out of its misery.
We then had a difficult situation. Would we effectively collapse and show the Canadian electorate, which clearly said it did not want an election, that Parliament cannot work in a minority situation? That was not an acceptable choice, so as a consequence we entered into this particular configuration, which, I would point out to the hon. member, is a 1% change in the contingent spending profile but consistent with the fundamentals, objectives and goals of the budget.
I put it to the hon. member that his recollection of the facts on which we got here is deficient, and that the basic reason we are even debating the bill has to do with the withdrawal of the Conservatives' support prematurely of Bill C-43.