I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, that was my mistake.
The Prime Minister of Canada was being given his report card by the Auditor General of Canada, Michael Ferguson. The context is as follows. The Auditor General shows him a note with the following written on it: incompetence, lies, and unaccountable spending. That is written in the cartoon. Our famous rock star, and I am referring to the Prime Minister of Canada, is standing beside his wax sculpture at the Musée Grévin. He looks at himself in the mirror and says, well, that wax figure is not that bad.
That says a lot about the attitude of the Prime Minister and the government. That is our Prime Minister's priority, and what he thinks of the impartial officers of our Parliament.
Total disregard. He could not care less about the Auditor General of Canada, who evaluates how well Government of Canada departments and programs are doing.
Incidentally, in his latest round of reports, the Auditor General looked at the Phoenix pay system. There is no comprehensive governance structure to develop a sustainable solution to pay problems. The Auditor General himself mentioned that in his report. The Liberals' only defence is to say that we, the previous government, are responsible, but it has been 16—no, 18—months since they gave it the green light, and they have still not found solutions to make sure our hard-working Canadian public servants get paid.
This is unacceptable. They are floundering. I do not know whether yesterday's vote on marijuana got them thinking, but they have not implemented anything and they still have no date. Public servants do not know it. Public servants have gifts to buy and mortgages to pay, but all they get from the government is radio silence. The Liberals have no solution.
That is serious. Their sole defence is to blame the former government for this fiasco. We were not the ones who gave it the green light. They were. They need to find solutions. Their job is to govern, although for the sake of all Canadians, I hope it is only for four years.
During yesterday's question period, and again today, the parliamentary secretary to finance answered opposition questions directed at the Minister of Finance. We are unable to get any answers to highly relevant questions about ethics and the appearance of conflicts of interest. We are asking questions and doing our job properly.
We are doing it so well that the commissioner recently fined the Minister of Finance $200 for certain violations. The Liberals cannot say that they are following the rules and are guided by the commissioner. The 335 or so other members, and I hope there are no others on that side of the House, because we on this side are all in compliance, followed the rules and respected the commissioner's ethics.
It is ironic that the Minister of Finance has a bill here today that we are debating. I do not trust this minister. He is not capable of giving an answer. We would gladly move on to something else. We would love to get the economy moving forward. We would love to see programs and departments get the resources they need. Why does the minister refuse to answer yes or no? Once he does, we can move on to something else. They are the ones who refuse to answer.
The government introduced a bill several months ago. Yesterday, at third reading, we voted on the legalization of marijuana. The Liberals are unable to manage the public service pay system, and now they would have us believe that they are legalizing marijuana to protect our children and eliminate organized crime. I do not buy it. They have not proved that they are competent.
The real reason the government is in such a hurry to legalize marijuana by July 1, 2018, is the economic impact this will have. The government is in a tight spot and has backed itself into a corner with the budget. It has been spending money hand over fist but not seeing any results.
In 2019, the government will have a record to defend. Legalizing marijuana will do two things. First, it will allow the Liberals to recover a little more money to pay down their infamous deficit, since they promised to balance the budget by 2019. However, they are now realizing that the way they have been managing the public purse will not allow them to do that.
I have given four speeches in the House on marijuana. I said that the physical development of young people aged 18, 20, 21, or 22 is not yet complete, and that statement is based on studies conducted by psychologists, psychiatrists, and scientists. I am not a doctor, but all of the studies show that brain development is not complete until age 25. Why play Russian roulette with marijuana? I find that unacceptable.
Do my colleagues know why the government has set the legal age for marijuana use at 18? It is because they hope that in 2019, the young people who will have had the privilege of using marijuana legally will vote for them. The government has a hidden agenda. The Liberals are in financial trouble, and they want more votes. It is always smoke and mirrors.
My introduction has been long, but I must say that the government is patting itself on the back. It is telling us that the Canadian economy is going well and that the Liberals are the champions of the economy. The way they see it, the Canadian economy has never been stronger. They need to come down to reality. It is true that the economy is doing well or at least it is not in such a bad shape. Luckily we are not in an economic crisis. What would we do if we were? It would be tragic.
We Conservatives have weathered an economic crisis. Under the leadership of Stephen Harper, Canada was the first country to emerge from the economic crisis and get back on its feet. Among the G20 countries, Canada was the first country to do so.
We need to be aware that we are now spending hand over fist. Occasionally we invest in an economy, which is perfectly fine in a fragile or precarious situation or an economic crisis. However, since we are not currently in a crisis, it is irresponsible for the government to be spending so recklessly.
The government is congratulating itself by saying that it is investing in the economy through its infrastructure programs. I have the privilege of being the deputy critic for infrastructure. Quebec municipalities do not know what to do with the program. The Liberals said that they would pay up to March 31, 2018, but they also said that there could be an extension until March 31, 2019, but only 40%. What we do not know is whether the 40% pertains to project completion or submission. Can we help out our regions by giving them some breathing room?
Since everyone is in a hurry, costs are increasing. There is no vision, because we want to have the money available right now. It is irresponsible. Who is going to pay yet again? It is Canadian taxpayers, that is who. Being responsible means thinking about the taxpayers and not raising their taxes. That is what we did for 10 years on this side of the House. As for the members on the other side of the House, they are raising taxes. At some point, our taxpayers will not be able to function anymore.
I would have liked to talk about several other aspects, but time is running out. I will take the time when I answer questions.
In closing, I would like to say that I do not feel that I can trust this Minister of Finance. He does not have the decency to answer the questions that opposition MPs and Canadians have for him. From now on, any bills he introduces will fuel my skepticism about him. He reacts only when his back is against the wall. Personally, I do not want to give this Minister of Finance a blank cheque. I do not trust him.