Mr. Speaker, this is an extemporaneous speech. I was not really going to speak, but I wanted to just mention that the hon. member bringing forward this bill has missed a golden opportunity.
I have been here for almost 14 years. I have never been chosen for a private member's bill, yet he was chosen, and what did he do when he introduced his bill? He had 15 minutes to explain to me and to others in this House why this bill should be supported. Instead, he chose to take a few cheap shots at the Conservative Party and then he sat down.
There was no opportunity to ask questions because we ran out of time. I would have liked to have asked him some questions. But he missed an opportunity which he had handed to him, which I would have loved to have had for my private member's bill.
Second, and I am not sure about this because my memory is no longer perfect but I do recall that a similar bill like this was brought in here previously when the Liberals were in power. It seems to me that the Liberals all voted against it. For them to now come here and say that the Conservative government is refusing to give the royal recommendation to this and thereby not allowing it to go forward, they did the same thing when they were here.
There must be some valid reasons. I have not had an opportunity to study those reasons indepth, but there must be some reasons and I believe that our parliamentary secretary put it right on the line, and that is, when we make changes like this to our social programs, they must be done rationally. They must be done with full accountability and they must be done in such a way that they are sustainable.
Those are the questions which need to be asked instead of ranting and raving here, and calling us all those names which they love to use. They hope that by repeating them often enough there will be people who will think that we do not care about these people. We do. We care deeply about them. We are bound and intent to establish programs which are, as I said before, sustainable, cost effective, and truly open and accountable.
I really wish that the member would have taken the time to deal with his bill and to present it in a way that would have persuaded me to support it. I just wanted to get that off my heart.