I have livened them up. They are awake. They are alive, even at ten to six in the afternoon.
In a very direct way for members opposite, they will never get anywhere by running down the neighbourhood. They will never get anywhere by running down the place where they live. They will never get anywhere by running down the people who work hard.
I am proud to say that all of Canada is a good place to invest. I am proud to say that every province is a good place to invest. I will always say that whether I am in opposition or whether I am in government. Canada is the best place to live. Canada is the best place to invest. Canada is the best place to bring up children. Canada is the best place to be. Every province can claim the same thing.
We will never succeed as Canadians if we have the attitude that somehow when we get into office it simply becomes a chance for us to make partisan hay each and every day. That is what we see in the House of Commons every day. It is a sad thing.
I read the farewell speeches of the former member of Ottawa Centre, Ed Broadbent, and my predecessor, Bill Graham, who was the member for Toronto Centre. Both of them commented at the end of their time that they could not believe the lack of civility in the House of Commons and the way, from their experience, it had gone down.
I do not want to wait until I leave to make those remarks. If somebody asked me what the big difference between what life was like in the old days when I was first here and today, I would say it is the absolutely barbaric way in which debate takes place in the House of Commons. It is not a reasonable exchange. Every time someone asks a question, all the Conservatives say is the equivalent of “Your granny wears army boots”. That is the thoughtful response we get from the government each and every day, each and every step of the way.
We on this side have a principled difference with the government. We do not agree with its vision. We do not agree with its direction. We do not agree with its policies. We have a principled division, but that does not require us each and every day to simply refuse to answer questions or refuse to deal with the nature of the House.
I was on television today with a member of the Conservative Party who said the reason the Prime Minister would not appear before a committee was because he knew it would be a circus. What is he saying about Parliament? Parliament is a place where we are supposed to do the public business. Our committees are supposed to be the place where we do the public business. It is a sad commentary that this is what has happened to the institution which we are supposed to revere.
I disagree strongly with the comments that were made by the Minister of Finance because they are harmful to my province and to my country. I believe he should stand up and correct the record. I believe he should say that he may have differences from time to time with other governments, but he should never say that this is a bad place to invest or a bad place to do business.
We need to have that capacity as a public place in Parliament where we recognize that each and every one of us has limits to what we can and should say about other places and other members.
When I see the government in action, I see a government that is consumed by a partisan interest. It is a government that, in a sense, is still an opposition party that has suddenly found itself in government.
The Conservatives do not think like a government. They do not act like a government. They act like a group of people who have temporarily taken over the government and who cannot resist taking partisan, nasty, brutal shots at everything that gets in their way, whether it is a provincial premier or a mayor they do not like, or a member of the opposition they do not like. Whatever it is, they throw the ball and their heads to see how they respond.
Some of us who have been around can handle it and we will deal with it. However, we will continue to deal with it in a way that speaks profoundly to the need for us to share the great values we have as Canadians, the great values we see going forward and the great need for us to have a federal government that has the capacity to serve the interests of the entire country.