Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on the bill. It is just unfortunate that the bill is what it is. We have seen yet another giant omnibus budget bill arrive from the Conservative government, which really does nothing to correct the major flaws that the government has imposed upon Canada and Canadians since taking office.
As for the major flaws, I have just written a few of them. We have seen a reduction in many of the things that we think of as part of what Canada holds dear, the things we treasure as part of Canada. The Conservative government has systematically dismantled or reduced things like VIA Rail, Canada Post, the CBC, Veterans Affairs, EI, and Service Canada behind it. All of those things have lost something since the government took office.
In health care, there is a new reduction in the amount of money the provinces will get. The Canadian Wheat Board is gone. The gun registry is gone. Elections Canada is now having its powers taken back, and voting will be more difficult for many Canadians under the Conservative government, if not impossible.
The environment took a huge hit under the Conservative government with the first of these mammoth budget bills when the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act was eviscerated. That was two years ago, and the regulations for that act have still not been published, so we still do not know how an environmental assessment will deal with human health.
Rivers in this country have lost their protection. Almost all of them across the country—rivers, lakes, and streams—are no longer covered by environmental protection. We think that is because the government wants the pipeline companies to transport oil across them more easily.
Rail safety has taken a big hit under the Conservative government. One only has to think about the tragedy that befell Lac-Mégantic and the fact that, when that train was operating, it was operating with a one-person crew that was authorized by the Minister of Transport.
Food safety has taken a hit under the government. In addition to the listeriosis outbreak, we also had the largest ever recall of meat in Canada after many hundreds of people were made sick by the government's inaction.
Regarding airline safety, we heard today that the government is suggesting there will not be flight attendants for every door on a plane. Does that mean that, when I get on a plane, I am going to be told which door will not have somebody to help me out? Will I get a discount if I take an unsafe seat on an airline? It makes no sense, and we cannot continue to allow this kind of reduction by the government in what we hold dear as Canadians.
The OAS, or old age security system, has been reduced by the government. People will now have to work until they are 67. The Canada pension plan disability has had its definitions changed again. The new regulations have never been promulgated, so we still do not know exactly how that is going to work, but there is a gap between the Canada pension plan disability and OAS that the government has not yet filled. People are going to go for two years without any income.
The government has defunded or taken away money from such organizations as CIDA, KAIROS, and women's groups in this country, which used to have government funding to help them express themselves and take legal action where necessary.
Drug safety has taken a hit with the government's refusal to make sure that the OxyContin-like drugs are as safe as they can be.
Transparency and accountability have taken a big hit under the Conservative government. The Parliamentary Budget Officer had to go to court to get the government to tell us what the budget really means in terms of how many cuts there will be.
The national childcare program was, of course, the first thing the government tore down. Affordable housing is taking a hit every day as the amount of money the government is spending on affordable housing—of which my riding is in dire need—is dwindling as time goes on, every day and every week. Of course, the government voted against the Jack Layton budget that would have put in some money for affordable housing. That money is going to disappear.
We have a situation in my riding of York South—Weston where 90% of the people who live in the concrete apartment buildings that were put up in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s—and there are a lot of them—are in precarious housing. They have some kind of precariousness about them. That is an enormous number, and about 60% of the people in my riding live in them. They are not receiving government subsidies. There is no government amount that is going to disappear, but they are already in need.
There are 33% of those individuals who are in critical need and are an eyelash away from being homeless. That is thousands of Canadians in my riding of York South—Weston. This budget has absolutely nothing for that critical need of many Canadians.
This budget and this budget implementation bill is another big mess of things that have nothing to do with the things that Canadians need to have happen.
In fact, several of the things that the government promised, in this budget and in the last, have never been implemented. For example, in 2013, the former finance minister stood in this House and promised that whenever the government spent money on infrastructure, it would incorporate apprenticeships into that infrastructure spending. I thought, “Great. We've been pushing for this for a long time. Let's look for it in the budget implementation bill”.
One budget came along, and it was not there. Another one came along, and it was not there. This one came along, and there is still nothing to tie infrastructure spending—the government does spend some money on infrastructure—to training and development of the youth in need in this country.
We have a promise that was made by the government in this budget speech to do something about pay-to-pay billing. It is not there. It is not in the budget implementation bill. Phone companies, cellphone companies, and Internet companies are still going to be able to charge extra money for people to get their bill in the mail. To add insult to injury, those individuals, when they get their bill in the mail, are going to have to walk several blocks to get it because mail delivery to their homes is going to be stopped.
We have the Minister of State for Democratic Reform suggesting that persons can take a utility bill, a phone company bill, and use that to prove their identity. They cannot do that if it is from the Internet, though, because Elections Canada has already ruled that is inadmissible.
We have the government suggesting that people will be able to get their bills for free in the mail, which it did not provide for in this budget implementation bill, and at the same time suggesting they can use that same utility bill to prove their identity in an election. The government is being hypocritical in its suggestion that one thing can do one thing and one thing can do another. It does not make sense.
The government has also promised transparency and accountability. Where have we seen that? Nowhere.
One of the things that is most frightening about this budget implementation bill is the attachment to FATCA. For those who do not know FATCA, it is the way that the U.S. government is going to tax some Canadian citizens, about a million of them. Some of them are accidental Canadian citizens, who have never lived in the United States in their lives. They were born in Canada, lived in Canada all their lives, and now are being told that they are somehow American citizens because of their parents.
The government has in this bill suggested that it will now be all right, without notice to the individuals, for the banks to give information about the RRSPs, RDSPs, RESPs, and other assets that individuals have, to CRA, for the purpose of giving that information to another country. One assumes that the reason they are giving that information is so that somebody can come and take that money out of their bank accounts.
This is outrageous. We are a sovereign nation. Canada is a country unto itself. The ability of this country to protect its citizens should include the ability against another country coming after those citizens' money. I am talking about Canadian citizens here, not persons who are living in the United States and who are American citizens. Let the U.S. government come after them, but not Canadian citizens. We should not be assisting another government to manufacture a reason to come into a Canadian citizen's bank and take that money. That is not something we should be doing, and it should not be in this budget implementation bill.
If we need to have that discussion, let us have that discussion, but let us not do it in a budget implementation bill.