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House of Commons Hansard #169 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was million.

Topics

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

No, Mr. Speaker. I have had discussions since March 19, the day of the budget, with the minister of finance of Nova Scotia, with the acting minister of finance of Nova Scotia subsequently, and with the premier, with respect to implementation, because Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are in a unique situation in Canada because they have these accord agreements.

The other provinces and territories do not, so they are the only two jurisdictions that have a choice to make between continuing with the accord just as it was before March 19, right to the end of their entitlement under the accords, if they choose to do that, or electing to enter the new O'Brien formula.

That is an issue of some complexity. That requires some analysis. We have had a series of discussions concerning the implementation and the choices to be made.

We made an early decision, at the request of the province of Nova Scotia, and in fact during the first week after March 19, because the Nova Scotia budget was to be delivered on the Friday and this budget was earlier in the week, on March 19. The concern of the government of Nova Scotia was that it felt it was asked to make a sudden choice and it needed more time.

We said to go ahead and elect into the modified O'Brien formula, the new formula, which it did for this year, this 12 month period, and receive an extra $95 million for the people of Nova Scotia, and then take time to consider its choices. In fact, that is what the government has been doing and we have been doing in discussion with it.

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Order. It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

All those opposed will please say nay.

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill C-52--Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #200

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

I declare the motion carried.

I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

The House resumed from June 11 consideration of the motion that Bill C-52, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2007, be read the third time and passed, and of the motion that this question be now put.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:35 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I will address some comments with respect to the budget bill.

The budget would restore fiscal balance in Canada, cuts taxes for working families, invest in priorities like agriculture, health care, education, infrastructure, the environment and reduce our national debt. It is fair, it is principled and it is good for the long term.

The budget would invest in agriculture, including a $400 million immediate one time payment to address the rising costs of production, a $600 million one time payment to enact a simpler, more responsive income stabilization program for farmers, with a new savings account type program being cost shared on a 60:40 basis with the province, and a $2 billion announcement in new incentives for renewable fuels. All in all, it is a pretty decent budget for all of Canada, and Saskatchewan as well.

The budget is also a historic one in that it acknowledges and addresses the fiscal imbalance by giving $39 billion over seven years to the provinces in additional funding. The provinces now have the additional resources they need to meet their many pressing needs. Each province, including Saskatchewan, would benefit with this transfer.

Federal support for Saskatchewan would be $1.4 billion in 2007-08, including $226 million under the new equalization formula, $756 million under the health care transfer and $342 million for the Canada social transfer that includes additional funding for post-secondary education and child care and $75 million for infrastructure. In total, budget 2007 would provide the residents of Saskatchewan with over $800 million in new money.

It is in this context that the equalization formula and the amount payable to Saskatchewan under it should be viewed. The purpose of equalization is a not a permanent entitlement, nor should it be. As a province's economic fortunes improve, its equalization payments will decline. Conversely, as a province's economic fortunes decline, its equalization payments will increase.

The current formula, as requested by many provinces, includes a higher equalization standard of 10 provinces. A province like Saskatchewan would get the greater of the amount it would receive by fully excluding natural resources under one option or by including 50% of natural resource revenues under another option. Should Saskatchewan's economy, economic fortunes, resource revenues or production levels decline, equalization payments would continue where 100% of natural resources would be excluded.

The fiscal capacity cap would ensure a receiving province would not end up with a fiscal capacity higher than a non-receiving province. That is how equalization should work. Obviously, one would always like an even better and more substantial deal under equalization, but one has to take into account the context of the need for a principle based approach and the overall amount a province like Saskatchewan receives as well as the benefits flowing to Saskatchewan by virtue of the many provisions in the budget. Saskatchewan has received the largest per capita gains of any province under the fiscal balance package in 2007-08.

The budget contains many more provisions. For example, farmers and small businesses would benefit from an increase in the lifetime capital gains exemption, from $500,000 to $750,000. Manufacturing and processing firms would benefit from a two year 50% straight line write-off for investment in machinery and equipment. All of us would benefit from the tax back guarantee, where money saved from paying less interest on the debt results in personal tax reductions.

Our government has allocated $22.4 billion to our national debt in just two years. With these payments alone, the government will save $1.1 billion in interest payments in 2007-08 and nearly $1.3 billion in 2008-09, all of which will go toward tax reduction.

There are more things I want to say about equalization, but I want to highlight what I call the height of hypocrisy. All things must be taken in their proper context. I know there is great temptation to dumb down complicated issues to single issues and to focus exclusively on those issues.

The equalization issue falls within the context of the budget and is not a stand-alone document. Its purpose is to ensure that the provinces that have not are helped by those that have, so Canadians across our great country can generally expect comparable or the same types of programs and services regardless of where they live. There is, by nature, a give and take in that process, with the best interests of all Canadians at stake, which by its nature requires some movement and some give and take for the benefit of all.

First and foremost, the promise was to fix the fiscal imbalance and to get things in proper alignment to ensure the provinces could meet their provincial obligations, and equalization was part of that. Many, myself included, have argued for, and quite vociferously I might add, for the exclusion of all non-renewable resources from the equalization formula. Why? Simply put, it would mean more money. Everyone wants more money.

I have always said that one should try to substantially achieve the goal of exclusion and do everything possible to that end, but in the end a fair and equitable solution must be found to balance that interest with the good of all of Canada.

As hard as that may seem, the approach is broader, it is bigger than any one province or any one premier or any one reporter or news media for that matter. For the Randy Burtons and Murray Mandryks of this world, who see the issue in isolation of all the facts and out of the context of decision-making, perhaps they should look beyond their very narrow focus. Where were they, the Premier of Saskatchewan and the member for Wascana when the previous equalization formula was in play?

Saskatchewan lost billions of dollars while the member for Wascana was finance minister, including a time when the current Premier of Saskatchewan was watching from the sidelines. The member for Wascana will say that he delivered $700 million, but what he forgets to say is that Saskatchewan lost billions right under his nose and he did nothing about it. In fact, as one expert indicated, $1.08 for every $1 of oil that left Saskatchewan was lost, and in some cases more.

Where was the member for Wascana when the Atlantic accord was being signed by the previous Liberal government? Why was he not making a similar deal for Saskatchewan? It is the height of hypocrisy for him now to say that he would do it differently. Thirteen years of evidence shows differently. In fact, the member for Wascana put together the expert panel, resulting in the O'Brien report. For him to suggest he would have done anything other than accept the report, is utter nonsense, totally unbelievable and the height of hypocrisy. Saskatchewan will not be fooled. It would be far worse under the previous Liberal government and the unamended O'Brien report, which the member for Wascana would surely have accepted.

For the moment, Saskatchewan's economy is hot. We are doing well, despite any financial mismanagement. I know the premier would like to get his fingers on more money, not to develop Saskatchewan but to try and win an election he cannot win. It is interesting to note that the premier, along with the member for Wascana, sat on their backsides while the Atlantic accord was signed and made no noise until after the fact. Let us be frank.

The formula is taking place within the context of a budget vote. One has to take it in that context. Would one be prepared to vote against the government and have an election call? The hypocritical member for Wascana, including the Leader of the Opposition, along with all of their members would run, with their tails between their legs, rather than vote down the budget and call an election.

Only when they knew there were sufficient numbers for the budget to pass, did they decide to vote against the budget, with all the rhetoric that goes with it. They know that and so does everybody in the House. That includes their NDP cousins, who blow hot and cold, both blowing and sucking at the same time, on the equalization issue. Yes, they with their Manitoba cousins are saying that oil and gas should be included. Yes, they with their Saskatchewan cousins are saying that oil and gas should be excluded. All things to all people, but hypocritical as well.

Where is the spirit of nation-building? Where is the spirit of nationhood, where one goes against his or her better interests to ensure that nationhood works? It is called something simple. It is called greed. Give me, give me, but not if it costs me something.

We should be developing Saskatchewan and its resources. We should be growing our province so we can help others, so we can produce income and wealth. We should not be standing on a street corner with cap in hand looking for a handout. The current premier is trying to weasel a win for himself and he will go to long lengths to do it.

We are moving in a new direction in Saskatchewan. We have a new vision. We will not only become self-sufficient, but we will be leaders in our country and, in some instances, in the world.

This week the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Natural Resources and the chair of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology will visit my constituency. Weyburn, Saskatchewan has the world's largest CO2 storage project. Estevan is the proposed site of the world's first zero emission coal-fired power plant. Midale, Saskatchewan, in the oil patch, has some of the most enhanced oil recovery technology that exists in the world.

It is time for the Premier of Saskatchewan to get on with the program and quit whining. Even Janice MacKinnon of the previous NDP government indicated that we needed a principled approach in equalization and that any side deals, in the kinds that were accorded, were done with an end in mind that was not helpful to the good of nationhood.

Our premier asked for an equivalent formula where oil and gas was included under the five province average. From what has happened in Atlantic, a 10 province average may it even make that better. That is what the equalization formula has. Yes, it has a cap, but it is for the purpose to ensure that those that contribute to equalization do not have a lower fiscal capacity than those that receive.

This is the way it should work. It is a matter of ensuring that all Canadians receive the benefits of similar programming.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am a little distressed to hear the members running against the premiers of their provinces. I cannot understand it. It seems like the neo-Conservative government is set to pick a fight with the provinces. That is not the way to run the federation.

My question for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is this. He very well knows that hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers are in Canada. If we add up the totality of their numbers, it is anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000.

The House has very clearly expressed its wish to have a moratorium on deportation of undocumented workers who are assisting in our economy. I notice the government has increased the funding for removals by $120 million.

When we consider that its actions of having created a crisis in the Immigration and Refugee Board, we have a huge shortage of adjudicators in the immigration appeal division. This means we have thousands of criminals who have status in our country. The government is trying to deport them, but that deportation cannot happen.

Why go after in increased funding for getting rid of undocumented workers who assist in the economy and not do what the citizenship and immigration committee said, which is putting a moratorium on undocumented worker deportations and at the same time focus on getting rid of the criminals, which the government should be doing?

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will continue on my line of the height of hypocrisy. The previous government, of which the member was a part, deported over 100,000 undocumented workers under its watch, under its nose, and did nothing.

We have put $307 million to integrate settlements of immigrants. We have also put new programs in place to allow temporary foreign workers and skilled people to come in to Canada legitimately. We are doing an extensive study in that regard.

Insofar as the adjudicators are concerned, they will be in place before long, and the member needs to stay and watch.

However, I want to make this point. The height of hypocrisy the member raises in that area equally applies to the member for Wascana. During his tenure, if he had the equalization formula in place of which I speak, Saskatchewan would have received an additional $5.2 billion that it had not received over all the years he was finance minister, in those 13 years—

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Further questions and comments, the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about hypocrisy. Could he explain to the House the hypocrisy of the government and also his personal hypocrisy, when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

I am sorry. You cannot refer to people's personal hypocrisy. You can refer to the government. You can accuse the collective of all kinds of things, but it is unparliamentary to accuse any member of being a hypocrite.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the member voted and spoke against allowing people to come from areas under strife and natural disasters. A protocol was set by the Liberal government, especially after the tsunami and after the earthquake, to expedite family class, as well as spouses, parents and grandparents to come into Canada. The member, who is a member of the government, voted against the committee's recommendation.

I wonder if the member could explain the hypocrisy of the government and certainly the hypocrisy of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration which is going down that route right now.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, it does not have very much to do with that but it does indicate the height of the hypocrisy of the previous government. We have to take things in context. When we look at the dissenting report that was made, it explains itself quite well. I would encourage the member to read it and take things in proper context, as should be the case with the equalization formula within Bill C-52 be taken into account.

In fact, if the government were to go down on a confidence vote, that member and all other members would be running from the House ensuring that the government did not go down because they cannot face an election. They are afraid to do that and we need to take this in the full context of where it is. We will be supporting the budget and the government because we have confidence in it. It will change the direction of this country and it will change it for the better. Canada will not be any worse off, as it would have been under the previous government.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Hopefully we have heard enough about hypocrisy from both sides of the House. We will resume debate with the hon. member for Markham—Unionville.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to focus a bit on the process. Some of the members may know that on June 5 the government issued a press release on its website entitled, “Liberal obstruction could hurt families, taxpayers”. The first sentence read that with just a few weeks left before Parliament rises “for the summer, obstructionist tactics being employed by [the Liberals]...could result in the loss of billions of dollars...”.

Mysteriously, that press release was taken off the website after it was pointed out by our side that it was the government that had obstructed and delayed the passage of Bill C-52 in a matter of weeks.

I wanted to put that on the record and go through a quick timetable to demonstrate the point that it was far from the Liberals obstructing the passage of this bill. It was the government side, which, presumably, is why it took down the press release from its website after it had been up there for a very short time.

First, on March 19 the budget was finally tabled in the House, much later than most budgets but, coincidentally, only seven days before the Quebec election. The first delay was to produce a budget that was so terribly late by the standards of most years.

March 20 to March 23, the usual four days of debate occurred on the budget document, which is perfectly normal. On March 29, the budget implementation bill was tabled in the House of Commons. March 30 to April 23, the budget was debated at second reading on four out of six sitting days. The time span here includes a two week parliamentary break, which is also normal.

We now come to a real abnormality. Between April 24 and May 11, the Conservatives took the unprecedented step of removing Bill C-52 from the legislative agenda for 15 consecutive sitting days, three weeks in total. That was the only significant delay the budget experienced and it was 100% the fault of the Prime Minister, his government House leader and his government.

We have asked on a number of occasions, and I believe the House leader asked the finance minister earlier today, for an explanation of the three weeks in a row, the 15 consecutive days, during which the government simply yanked the budget bill out of the legislative process. We have not had any answer at all.

Therefore, if there is one reason for a significant delay in this budget bill and a significant delay in getting all that money out to Canadians, it is not on this side of the House. It is a combination of a super late budget in the first place and those 15 consecutive sitting days.

I will continue on with the chronology. On May 14 and May 15, the budget was finally brought back for second reading and was passed in short order. May 16 to May 30, the members of the finance committee sat extra hours outside their usual meeting time in order to pass the budget through committee stage as quickly as possible. They met on five of the next possible sitting days and got the budget through. June 4 and June 5, the government's own report stage amendments were debated and voted on. From June 7 to today, June 12, we are currently on the fourth day of the third reading debate.

I have gone through the full chronology and I would simply say that it is incontestable that the two delays of this budget were from that side of the House and that in other respects this budget bill has moved expeditiously through the various stages of committee hearings.

In terms of the substance of the budget, I would like to quickly summarize the points I have made in previous remarks on this budget. For me it is really summed up with the two words “incompetence” and “dishonesty”. I think those two forces interplay with each other in a number of aspects of this budget.

On the first of those, one has to cast one's mind back a number of years when the Minister of Finance was a senior member of the Ontario government and at that time the Ontario government ran on a platform of a balanced budget.

Lo and behold, after that government lost and the auditors came in, they found there was a deficit of $5.6 billion. For a government to run on what turned out to be a $5.6 billion deficit is not only fiscally incompetent, but it is also dishonest to pretend to be running on a balanced budget when it is not.

I would give a second example. it was clear to every Canadian who paid income tax that budget 2006 contained an increase in income tax. Again, that is incompetent because there is not an economist on the planet and I think very few Canadian taxpayers who would prefer an income tax hike to get a penny off the price of a cup of coffee. It is also dishonest when the government continues to repeat that this is an income tax cut when everybody knows, all the journalists and all taxpayers, that it is absolutely incorrect. The government makes that statement not once, not twice but interminably.

The third example is the equalization. Here we have the spectacle of that famous statement by the Minister of Finance to the effect that the long, tiresome era of bickering between federal and provincial governments is over. It lasted about 30 minutes until he was red in the face in a debate with the Newfoundland premier on television, and it continues to this day, which is perhaps day 80 or something thereabouts of the budget debate, whereas it is well-known that a good budget and a successful budget is out of the news cycle in three days, and here we are on something in the order of day 80 and it is not even clear whether another member from Nova Scotia may vote against the budget today.

Here are blatantly broken promises to the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and to the Government of Saskatchewan. For all the words of the member from Saskatchewan who preceded me, he essentially ignored the only relevant point, which is that the government blatantly broke a promise to the people of Saskatchewan. One wonders why there is not even one Conservative member from Saskatchewan who would stand and vote against the budget on behalf of his or her constituents, as did at least one and possibly more members from Nova Scotia.

On interest deductibility, we have gross incompetence of a finance minister entirely out of his depth. The incompetence became clear and he withdrew, but he withdrew in an incompetent manner because he focused on double dipping when all the experts are in agreement that the real issue is something called debt dumping. Not only that, but the manner in which he withdrew he alleged that only he had read the budget properly and all of those tax experts out there, whose job is to read and to analyze budgets, had in fact got it wrong. Again, here is a case of incompetence but not even a willingness to admit that any error was made.

Finally, the mother of all broken promises is income trusts. Again, we have seen a comedy of errors, a comedy of unintended consequences in terms of not just a broken promise, but a grossly incompetent execution of that broken promise.

In conclusion, I would simply reiterate that we on the Liberal side will be very proud and happy to vote against the budget. We certainly have not given up on the income trust issue. It will be an election issue in the next election, whenever that may be, and we are confident of victory. We will bring a sensible income trust policy to Canada and significant relief to those hundreds of thousands of Canadians who took the Prime Minister at his word and, as a consequence, lost some $25 billion of their hard-earned savings.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

Noon

Blackstrap Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment and maybe correct the record a little bit. The member who spoke said that the Liberals were so interested in seeing this bill pass and that we are creating obstacles.

I want to remind him that between the calling of Bill C-52 at second reading on April 23 and May 4, we debated the Excise Tax Act, we debated the senate consultations, we debated the firearms offences, we debated the age of consent, and we debated dangerous offenders. We had the Liberal opposition day on residential schools. We had the NDP opposition day on Afghanistan. We had the Bloc opposition day on greenhouse gases.

After the bill was introduced on March 30, for four consecutive days the Liberals had all the time and spoke relentlessly. For four full days the debates were ongoing. As most government bills do, we allowed them to debate the bill for four full days.

How can he say that they showed signs of passing this bill when in fact they showed no signs? They were always creating obstacles in debating this very important budget bill. I would like the member to comment on where he is coming from.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if we on the opposition side are supposed to express deep gratitude to the government for deigning to allow us four days of debate on the budget. This is standard parliamentary practice, so that involved no delay whatsoever. Four days of debate are perfectly normal, standard practice.

As I mentioned in my speech, if there is any delay in getting money out to Canadians, those two delays are the government's fault. First, it is extraordinarily late to have a budget in this House as late as March 19. If we look back over the years, budgets have almost always been substantially earlier than that. Second, there were 15 consecutive days between April 24 and May 11 when the government simply yanked the budget off the agenda.

Those are measured in weeks and many days. Those are the sources of delay and nothing the hon. said that I could fathom would suggest in any way that the opposition was guilty of any delay.

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I always enjoy listening to my colleague when he speaks. He is a man of great pedigree when it comes to financial matters and he uses that well in this House. I agree with everything he said except I have one little issue.

He said the mother of all betrayals was the income trusts. That was a huge one, but members will have to forgive me, particularly this week, if I suggest the mother of all betrayals was the Atlantic accord. However, there are lots of broken promises with this government, including the income trusts and Atlantic accord.

He talked about incompetence. I would also add regifting of successful Liberal initiatives. If there is one thing we have seen that the government cannot stand, it is programs that work if they have a Liberal pedigree, programs such as EnerGuide and I am not sure if my hon. colleague followed the summer jobs fiasco. Last week we had the officials at the HRDC committee who admitted that the program has been badly mismanaged and botched up.

We had the spectacle of organizations like the Autism Society of Nova Scotia, diabetes and cancer groups, boys and girls clubs, and youth and recreation groups, all being told they did not qualify. Some of them got 19 or 20 out of 70. Lo and behold, when the opposition, primarily the Liberal opposition but lots of opposition said, “Wait a second, that is crazy”, somebody turned the light on. I wonder if he has any thoughts on that. And could it possibly get any worse with these guys?

Third ReadingBudget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very wise comments and I would like to just acknowledge that I think he is probably the most knowledgeable person in this chamber on the subject of post-secondary education. He has brought much light to this subject when confronted with those forces of darkness that sit across the way. I guess, at least for this week, I would concede that the Atlantic accord is the number one betrayal. Perhaps when we get into the summer and the fall, we will put it on an equal footing as equal mothers of all betrayals--