Mr. Speaker, while I appreciate the comments of the member for Miramichi, I was quite surprised by the claims made by the member and the previous speaker with regard to a lack of support for municipalities. In the previous government, the support for municipalities was lacklustre at best.
In contrast, we now have a government that has pledged some $33 billion in support for municipalities and for small communities right across the country. Not only does that include an extension of the gas tax, which, by the way, the previous government back-end loaded so that under its previous commitments up to 60% of its commitment in gas tax has yet to be realized, but we have continued it for an extra four years, well out to 2014. I think in a lot of cases the municipalities forget to consider that.
This means billions of dollars. The two programs combined, the full GST refund commitment and now the gas tax commitment to municipalities, total some $18 billion, which is fully three times what the previous government committed in any case to municipalities.
The member's words ring hollow. I would ask the member to consider them and to respond in some way as to how he could make such a claim in light of what he now sees in this commitment by the government.