Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to be here today and to speak to the budget which affects all Canadians. The budget contained some good things because the five major initiatives that were actually good came out of the Liberal handbook.
I know the Conservatives love to quote and, in particular, the Minister of the Environment, so I figured I would do the same thing to support my arguments.
The first major initiative, which I think is important, is making the gas tax for municipalities permanent. We brought that in under the leadership of the former prime minister, the member for LaSalle—Émard. If we were to speak with people from the municipalities, I think they would say that is probably the one thing that has allowed them to plan long term. Making it permanent was the next step.
I would like to quote from the speech by the leader of the official opposition given in Toronto on February 27. He states:
I will make the $2 billion per year gas tax transfer to municipalities permanent, through legislation.
We are very pleased that the Conservatives were listening to our leader at that time.
The second issue is on help for the auto sector. Weeks before the budget, the Minister of Finance said that he would not help the auto sector or any other industry for that matter, any manufacturing industry. He thought that we could let the market take its course and things would weed themselves out type of thing.
In the budget, all of a sudden the Conservatives announced some funding for the auto sector. Again I would like to quote the speech given by the Leader of the Opposition in Hamilton on January 18. He said:
--a Liberal Government will create the $1 billion Advance Manufacturing Prosperity Fund--the AMP Fund. This fund will support major investments in manufacturing and R&D facilities that will serve as an anchor for clusters of economic activity.
Here we go again, the Conservatives were listening. They have nobody looking at this stuff or planning this stuff but it is nice to see that they at least are listening to the Liberals.
On the third issue, they stole our issue on the idea for job creation through infrastructure. I will go right to the quote.
On February 15, 2008 in Ottawa, the leader of the official opposition said:
We would make this investment through the Gas Tax Transfer agreements for sustainable municipal infrastructure. Public transit, water treatment, waste management, and cleaning up contaminated sites are the most pressing needs.
That was another Liberal Party platform issue that was taken out of our handbook by the current government that is void of all ideas.