Mr. Speaker, we have been having this debate in the House for some time.
I agree with the member that the budget bill was not a budget bill; it was an omnibus bill. It included the essential elements of a plan to help Canadians at a very difficult time, yet the government, just as it did with its November economic update, piggybacked on that legislation, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, attacked pay equity and the Competition Act, and I think there was another one. At the same time it said the bill had to pass in order to get the stimulus package. All of a sudden there were these other items. It took time to do that and it detracted from the discussion about the budget by putting in items that had nothing to do with the budget. That type of political gamesmanship is unacceptable at a time when we should be focused on the key issues.
With regard to the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the weakening of environmental laws, I believe the member will find that there is nothing that has happened that cannot be fixed. However, what we could not fix is if we defeated the government, stopped the process, stopped the money, went to an election, and came back some time in October only to be at the same place and all of a sudden found out that Parliament and the government had abandoned Canadians at their time of greatest need when an economic stimulus was needed in order to help them retain jobs, create jobs or help the most vulnerable in our society.