Mr. Speaker, Ontarians remember only too well when Mike Harris' minister of education said that he would create a crisis in education so that the Conservatives could then implement their right-wing agenda in schools.
Now the federal finance minister has taken a page out of the same play book and is bringing what he learned from Mike Harris straight to Parliament Hill. First, he has made sure that the financial cupboard is bare by creating the biggest deficit in Canadian history and now he is telling Canadians that it would be irresponsible to spend money on them.
He has had no problem finding new money for his pet projects: $16 billion in untendered fighter jet contracts; $13 billion to build prisons for unreported crimes; and $6 billion for additional corporate tax cuts.
However, for hard-working Canadians and cash-strapped municipalities, the finance minister says that there is nothing left.
That is simply not good enough. The innocent victims of this recession who have lost their jobs, lost their EI and lost their retirement savings cannot tighten their belts any further.
I would invite the finance minister to come to Hamilton and talk to the locked out workers of Local 1005, to seniors whose pensions cannot keep up with the HST, to homeowners whose basements are flooded by broken water mains and to students who are drowning in debt. It is time to put their priorities first. It is time to remember whose money he has been spending.