I will tell him that too, absolutely.
Mr. Speaker, I do not mind being harassed. The problem is, when they hear the facts, they cannot take it. The fact is that the member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park, who was asked a similar question, was intellectually dishonest with his response. I know I can use that word. Why? The member for Cape Breton—Canso and the member for Mississauga South asked him a very simple question. Were the EI premiums, under Liberal administration, ever increased? In those 13 years that we served in government, did they go, as the member for Cape Breton—Canso clearly stated, from $3.18 per $100 to the $1.72 per $100 that it is today, saving employers and employees just over $14 billion?
Why could he not be honest enough and say, yes, they did go down? The Liberal member, and I have to stress, the good Liberal member for Cape Breton—Canso, simply asked a question. Where did the money go? Why did the parliamentary secretary mislead this House? If this Reform, now called Conservative, Party wants us to co-operate, the least thing they could do is be honest with us.
For example, the other day, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development was on television being asked questions about Bill C-52 and she really could not give answers. All she said was, “We will see” or “We do not know”.
It reminds me of what Kim Campbell said before the 1993 election. She said to reporters that she was not going to answer the questions then, she would answer them after the election.
No, Canadians are not stupid. Canadians want to know now, before they make decisions. That is why we are asking these questions.
The member for Edmonton—Sherwood Park talked about entrepreneurs and independent business people, the self-employed. An independent entrepreneur, an independent business person does not become a self-employed independent because he wants to become unemployed. He is an independent entrepreneur because he wants to continue earning a good living to support his family and his surroundings.
An independent business person, a self-employed person, does not become self-employed because he wants to become unemployed to collect EI.
My father, God rest his soul, told me a story as I was growing up. He said that when he went out looking for work he did not ask how much the job paid. He simply wanted to work. He was not concerned about how much EI would pay, he was concerned about whether there was work.
A self-employed person does not become self-employed because he plans to be unemployed. He plans to be gainfully employed for as long as he can.
Catherine Swift of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said that the bill makes it voluntary for self-employed Canadians who want to opt in and it fixes a “glaring gap” in the program.
The government cannot give us statistics such as who, how many, what the uptake is going to be, what the cost is going to be, et cetera.
I do not know what the gap is all about that Ms. Swift is talking about, because what is going to happen is that the people who are working are going to be taxed. We know that because hidden in the government's budget--