Madam Speaker, I rise proudly today to oppose Bill C-10, the budget implementation bill.
It is quite interesting when one does a quick analysis of what has happened since the financial crisis hit, which is a huge indictment of a capitalist system run amok and now attempts are being made to salvage it by bills like this one and other attempts by other right-wing governments around the globe. It is so symptomatic of how the crisis came about. It was based hugely on greed, incompetence and corruption, particularly in the United States, but its tentacles have spread right across the globe. Because we in Canada are so integrated, part of the globalization formula which both major political parties in this country have advocated for so long, we got caught in the crisis and we are going to get caught in it even more. In spite of the Bank of Canada's prognostications, the reality is we have not hit bottom and we are still some distance from hitting bottom based on the way our economic system works.
We saw the government, both during the election and even more so after, continue to be in complete denial of the crisis we were faced with. That has not ended. The budget is a continuation of the government's psychological bent of refusing to recognize reality. It is living in a fantasy world and the budget reflects it.
It also reflects a good deal of cynicism on the part of the government. It follows the same pattern the Prime Minister personally has followed for so long in taking every opportunity to push his ideological right-wing agenda. We see it in this bill in so many ways. It is a continuation of his broken promises, as we have just heard from my colleague, whether it was in appointing people to the unelected Senate, which he promised so vehemently he would never do, or whether it was calling the election in the fall. I remember watching him a number of times give speeches in advance of making that decision, and in advance of fixing the dates for elections in this country, a policy our party has supported for a long time, and the vehemence with which he spoke, and then watching him breach that promise so easily at the first possible opportunity to pursue his own personal objective of trying to get a majority government. We see that continued in the budget.
The Prime Minister stood in this House and he stood before the cameras of all our TV channels, all of our media, and said that he was going to change, that he was going to stop having every single item, no matter how important, be a confidence vote. He was not going to do that anymore.
Then what do we see in Bill C-10? Buried in this bill, which of course is a confidence vote since it is the budget implementation bill, there are at least half a dozen items that have nothing to do with the budget. They are policy issues in a number of different ways, but they are items that the Prime Minister wants from an ideological standpoint. Whether it is attacking the labour movement in this country, or whether it is attacking women over pay equity, he has buried a whole bunch of provisions in this bill, which is now going to be a confidence vote, which compels the so-called official opposition to support it, given the pledges it has made.
This bill is going to go through at some point, unless the Liberals finally come to their senses and maybe stand on principle, but that seems to be a contradiction in terms when we are talking about the Liberal Party. Unless that happens, a bunch of bills will go through the House comprised in Bill C-10, which should not be confidence votes and we should be allowed to vote on those bills without that hanging over our heads. I do not think there is anything more offensive and I say that personally.
I remember watching the finance minister speak about pay equity in his November financial update. In terms of the tone, the words he used and even his body language, I was offended by the vehemence with which he was attacking women and the movement around pay equity that has gone on for decades and still has not completely resolved itself. Then at the next opportunity the government almost hides it in Bill C-10.
We listen to the President of the Treasury Board try to justify it by, quite frankly, as my colleague from Winnipeg said, misleading the House about the provisions in provincial legislation and claiming it is the same. It is not. It is nowhere close. The epitome of it is the government is saying it will get done through collective bargaining. It was interesting to hear my eloquent friend from Newfoundland and Labrador point out that human rights are not bargained. It is either a human right or it is not and it is not bargained. That is what the government is doing in trying to lead us to believe that is the mechanism it is going to use.
To put the lie to that, one only has to read the bill, and I invite the Conservatives to do that to understand what is really in it, if collective bargaining does not work and a number of women say they did not get their pay equity and they want to pursue it, there is a mechanism to pursue it, but their union, their organized support mechanism, cannot help them. In fact, if it tries to help them, it will be fined $50,000. For every incident it will be fined $50,000 for doing what it should be doing in terms of its responsibility vis-à-vis its membership. If that does not put a lie to the real intent of the government, I do not know what would.
Madam Speaker, are you signalling that my time is up?