Mr. Speaker, it is important to review the events that led up to the introduction of Bill C-48 and how our socialist friends in the NDP down at that end have reacted with the corrupt Liberal government.
In weeks prior to the deal being made in some hotel room with respect to Bill C-48, the NDP stood up on a daily basis in the House reflecting and railing about the corruption that was being made public through the Gomery commission. This corruption was not being made known through arbitrary allegations, but through sworn testimony and sworn confessions by key Liberal Party members who had participated in the biggest corruption scandal that we have ever had in the last decade.
The NDP knew that. It acknowledged that on a daily basis. Those members criticized the government over and over again, every single day, for the corruption and the ripoff of taxpayers' money. Those NDP members cried about the Liberals scooping that money for their own campaign coffers when it could have been used on things such as affordable housing, the environment, and helping students with tuition fees. Those members talked on a daily basis about the nasty corrupt Liberals.
Then came the time when the corrupt Liberal minority government was possibly going to go down in political flames through a non-confidence vote. We have to perhaps forgive the leader of the NDP for being a little naive about the honesty of the Liberals, but then again maybe not because several people in his caucus have a lot of experience dealing with that crowd over there.
The NDP leader and some of his party members knew the Liberals were corrupt. They knew the Liberal Party stole tens of millions of dollars from taxpayers and had given it to their friends or used it on their campaign. However, the NDP members felt the Liberals were in a real tough spot and were going to go down in flames on a non-confidence vote, so they thought they would see what they could get out of it. The NDP members thought they could scoop some of the money for some of their projects.
In the blink of an eye NDP members went from calling the Liberal government corrupt, which it is, to being best friends via a deal made in some hotel backroom brokered by Buzz Hargrove, the new Liberal finance minister apparently. They came up with a deal. The NDP knew the Liberals were corrupt. That party knew the Liberals did politics in a very suspect way. The NDP members told the Liberals that if they received about $4.5 billion for some of their projects, they would forgive them, sleep with them, and everything would be fine. I did not say this, but that type of arrangement has been described by some as basic political prostitution. I did not say it, but I tend to agree with that statement.
Here is what happened. The Liberal finance minister presented a budget in February 2005, Bill C-43. The Conservative Party proposed some amendments to the legislation because we did not quite agree with it. The Conservative Party wanted to make this Parliament work. We were committed to making this Parliament work, so we decided to propose some amendments. We decided to support the legitimate budget, Bill C-43, for the 2005-06 parliamentary year.
Suddenly, because of the sinking ship fiasco, this new deal came along with $4.5 billion written on a napkin with Buzz Hargrove's signature on it. The NDP made a deal with the Liberals to provide them with support for the non-confidence vote.
This is $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money that came out of the sky, 23 floors up in a hotel, that the Liberals want us to accept when there is absolutely no plan for spending attached to it. There are some vague areas, but there is no plan. The areas that they describe are ones that have been criticized soundly by the Auditor General and we cannot support them.