Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Nova Scotia for the hard work he has done for children with autism and for veterans. Before I was elected to Parliament, I was a teacher and I was aware of the work my colleague did in advocating for the rights of autistic children who, sadly, are being ignored by the Conservative government.
My colleague asked what kind of government would decide it is more important to give money to corporations instead of investing in vulnerable people, children and veterans. I would respectfully suggest that it is a government that seems to be out of touch with communities across this land. It is a government that is out of touch with the people who need help.
Why is government here? Is government here to advocate on behalf of just big business, or is government here to help out communities, to help out the vulnerable, like autistic children?
This is a very important bill. It deals with the finances of the nation. When the Conservative Party was in opposition, it asked the then Liberal government to be upfront and truthful about the surplus and to have a debate in this place about how that surplus should be spent. Now as government, the Conservative Party is not doing that. It is not going to appoint a budgetary officer of Parliament to provide that information. It is irresponsible and hypocritical.
On the point that my colleague made about how we invest in people, I might add there are over 10,000 people right here in Ottawa, in the nation's capital, who are looking for affordable housing. They have been on a waiting list for a very long time. They are being ignored by this legislation. There is no money for them.
The government has said that it has invested in affordable housing. A point that should be made is that money was in Bill C-48, the amendments that the NDP made in 2005. That is the last investment we have seen in affordable housing. It is not good enough for the residents in Ottawa. It is not good enough for the people of Canada.