Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak against the government's Bill C-28. I do this because it is part of the budget of 2006, which we on this side of the House are completely against.
Although there are provisions in the bill that we do support, as they are Liberal proposals from our budget in 2005, we do not support the agenda of the minority Conservative government at this time. Speaking of its agenda, it is important to note that, as we campaigned on, the Conservatives are showing their true right wing hidden agenda now that they are in government.
When the Conservatives introduced the budget, they announced massive spending cuts within it, even though they were handed a $13 billion surplus from previous Liberal governments. Why would they do such a thing when we have so much richness in this country that was left to them by our government? They did it because they had to appease their ideological, right wing Conservative base.
What did the Conservatives do with those cuts and where did they cut? They eliminated the early learning and child care program agreement across this country. It seems that the signature of the Crown means absolutely nothing. The fact that the Government of Canada and the provinces signed an agreement means nothing. By the way, that also happened with the Kelowna accord. Everybody had signed the agreement but again those signatures meant nothing.
I will not go through all the draconian cuts to Status of Women Canada of $5 million, plus changing all the criteria, which means that equality seeking groups can no longer get funding. Justice seeking groups can no longer get funding. It seems that the minister responsible for Status of Women said that women were equal in this country anyway because it says so in the charter. The fact that we need programs and advocacy organizations to ensure that actually happens means nothing to them.
They made cuts to the literacy program. I do not know what the Conservatives have against people learning to read and write in order to improve their skills so they can get better jobs. Productivity in this country is a major issue. The government says that it is interested in productivity and yet it is cutting literacy education which is where it is most needed.
Cuts to affordable housing affect the most vulnerable in our society but the Conservatives do not care. They have their narrow voter base to support and that is as far as they will go. They pick and choose income tax measures that satisfy the minority voters who support the Conservative Party. They believe it does not matter if it is bad for the economy as long as it helps them to get a majority government. Even their own right wing think tank has said to them that cutting the GST is a bad move because it does nothing to increase productivity in this country, but they did it anyway.
The NDP is no better. It used its own agenda to force an election and now it must deal with the consequences of a Conservative government.