Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member for Okanagan—Coquihalla and to several of his colleagues, screaming and yelling about how this $4.6 billion, very carefully allocated to some very clear priorities that are absolutely supported by Canadians and desperately needed by people, is somehow reckless, irresponsible, and it will break the bank. They infer that it is just totally irresponsible for this kind of big money to be dedicated.
Yet the member just stood up and acknowledged himself, in a very accurate way, that there have been very large surpluses that the government has not acknowledged. The potential is there for it to trot out the surpluses. The last time around the projection of the surplus was $1.9 billion and the surplus was actually $9.1 billion. What is the reversal of those two numbers? Something like $8 billion. What is the problem?
How is it that the Conservative members who understand this would not support something as clearly targeted to the needs of Canadians. Bill C-48 deals with four things: first, accessible and affordable education that we know is critical to a prosperous and productive society; second, affordable housing, which is an important job stimulus as well as something that Canadians desperately need. I heard the member for Central Nova talk about making sure families can live together. Affordable housing is part of that. Third, public transit; and fourth, energy retrofitting of low income housing, so we can have clean air to breathe. In addition, we finally make a tiny step in the direction of meeting the 0.7% commitment to international development aid, which his own party has now finally reluctantly come around to support.
How can the member explain the contradiction between the excessive rhetoric on how this cannot be afforded and what he knows to be the facts?