Mr. Speaker, during that period of time as a finance critic for the Progressive Conservative Party, I obviously developed a very good working relationship with the then finance minister, Paul Martin. As he became prime minister, I developed an even closer working relationship with him. That speaks to a collegiality of Parliament that existed back when the Liberals were in power. They worked with opposition critics. They worked together for the betterment of Canadians. They worked together constructively and reached out to opposition members to seek their ideas and input. In some cases it was to seek their membership in the Liberal caucus.
The reality is that there was a different level of co-operation and of respect for Parliament when I sat as a member of the opposition to a Liberal government. The committees worked better at that time. We developed unanimous reports in many cases because there was a working across.
I do not blame the hon. member, the chairman, for the dysfunction that exists at finance committee. I do not blame him for the fact that the government members try to run it as a branch plant of the minister's office. I know he does his best as a professional to run the finance committee right, but I do not envy the position that he is put in by a government that—