Mr. Speaker, Canadians need their government to be fiscally prudent and so far Canadians are worried. They have not seen anything from the government that would give them comfort. When they look at the choices the government has made, they see that, instead of investing in them, their families and their future, the government has done just the opposite.
For example, Canadians are worried about the serious challenge in their future of an aging population. Why is the government not taking the Liberal lead and investing in senior care and in home care so that seniors can live in dignity and provide relief for families as well?
Canadians also want to know what strategy the government has to get out of the deficit. They do not want to go down the slippery slope of the past Conservative governments where the balance of trade was to the disadvantage of Canada, where investment was unattainable due to the huge deficit and where the IMF called Canada the basket case of the G8.
Canada was not the place to invest. Canada was not the place where anybody wanted to do anything. Therefore, Canadians want to know what the plan is. Where is the economic plan? Does the finance minister really have a plan?
Canadians are not very comfortable. History shows to the contrary. The same finance minister is the one who created huge deficits in Ontario and who left Ontario in such bad shape. He shut down hospitals, put 16,000 nurses out of work and left a mess.
Canadians want to know where the jobs are. The Conservatives keep repeating over and over again In the House that jobs are being created but Canadians want to know where those jobs are because they do not have them. They also want to know where they can get the jobs, as the government seems to spout so many numbers.
In fact, Canadians with education and experience cannot find jobs. Canadians want the government to tell them the truth about how, within the changing global environment, the Canadian economy will be competitive. How will Canadians remain competitive? How will their businesses remain competitive when the government does just the opposite? The government does not believe in science and has cut funding to research and development.
Canadians also want to know why the government is not giving the small and medium sized enterprises incentives. They are the ones that create jobs. They are the engines of jobs. Corporations already have the lowest tax rate. Twenty-five per cent is the current corporate tax rate, which is better than any of the G8 countries, thanks to the previous Liberal government's fiscal management. Canadians want to know why the government wants to increase their taxes but give tax breaks to large corporations that do not create jobs and do not need the tax breaks.
Canadians want to work and want a fair system of taxation. They understand the balance between fiscal prudence and social justice, a balance that Liberal governments of the past have been able to provide them. Canadians are fair-minded people. They want fairness across the board. Tax fairness across borders is a laudable goal. Tax fairness here in Canada is something the government does not have a single clue about.
I support this bill on tax treaties because I understand how important tax treaties are. I also understand how it will bring fairness but it is important that the record show that I disagree with so much more of what the government is doing to the Canadian people and to this great country.