My colleague on the other side of the House said, and I think I can quote him accurately and it is parliamentary, “We can give you some facts”.
I want to mention the statistical organizations. I will put aside Facebook for just a moment. The issue of facts and the Conservative government is pretty profound. What is the government going to cut? What are the facts that it is going to cut in the budget?
The First Nations Statistical Institute is going to be eliminated. This organization produces facts on what is a crisis situation in many aboriginal communities. The Conservative government does not like the facts so it is going to cut its funding.
The National Council of Welfare produces information on poor Canadians. The Conservatives are going to axe the funding for this organization. They do not want to hear the facts.
Let us look at Statistics Canada, which unfortunately produces facts. The government does not seem to like facts too much. It is going to see an $8.3 million cut for the current fiscal year, $18.3 million the following year, and $34 million the following year.
When the Conservatives cut the First Nations Statistical Institute, when they cut the National Council of Welfare, when they gouge Statistics Canada to the point it can no longer produce facts, it is fair to say it is a fact-free government. It opposes the facts. The Conservatives do not want to hear the facts. They cannot live with the facts.
When a member opposite says that they will give us some facts, my question would be, where are they going to get the facts when they are killing all of the fact-finding organizations? Canadian families deserve better than that.
I will move on to another comment that is exactly in that vein. The budget eliminates funding for the National Council of Welfare, a government advisory body and the premier resource for information on poverty in Canada.
There is another posting which deals with this. It is from another Conservative riding, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. This constituent said, “This budget is absolutely appalling. Keep this government's feet to the fire for having put in place more information suppression”.
I mentioned the elimination of those fact-finding bodies as something Canadians feel intensely about. They oppose the idea that the government should be in a fact-free zone, that the government should manufacture its own facts.
The facts come out of the PMO but they are not facts that come with any foundation. It is a fact-free zone and the government is eliminating the few agencies that actually produce facts which should be the basis on which a responsible government takes decisions.
A constituent in a Conservative-held riding commented, “What we are seeing is a government that is demonstrating divisive politics. Instead of talking about reality, they are refusing to actually follow that reality. Instead the reality is that many older people are struggling. They cannot afford to keep their homes, are working more than one job, cannot afford vacations, cannot afford to retire. Many in the older and middle-age generations fought and worked hard to make life better. It is the older working generation who fought for public health care, pensions, the 40-hour work week, paid vacations, weekends and more. It is the likes of the right wing, not the older and middle-age generations, that are ruining things for every generation. Let us retire in dignity, instead of the work until we drop philosophy of this government. It seems that we have forgotten why pensions were established in the first place: to ensure people did not have to work through their old age. They are a good thing, not something to play politics with. This is the Prime Minister's budget. It is not my budget. Raising the age for OAS which will delay retirement for many people will also lessen the availability of some of the better paying jobs for young people. If they want to create jobs, they should give retirement incentives”.