Mr. Speaker, one would think we would have a chance to skip adjournment proceedings, but I am actually glad we get to be here for this last moment, this last chance to again revisit a question I raised. On November 24, I raised two questions, and did not get a satisfactory answer. I am hoping today will be different. I am hoping that on this last day, there will a Christmas miracle, and I will get answers to my questions.
At the time, I posed a riddle to you, Mr. Speaker, which I will read again, because it seems to have been quite popular with members of the press gallery:
We're exempt from tax hikes of the everyday sort. You won't find us in a parliamentary disclosure report. What are we?
Why, we're the finance minister's private holdings, of course.
At the time, I did not get a satisfactory answer. I got evasion, a pretty standard response that I am used to in the House at this point, especially from that particular minister. It is still a continuing question on the personal finances of the minister, and not a personal attack on him.
Are the decisions the finance minister is taking in the best interests of all Canadians? Do they make sense? Are they in the long-term interests of future Canadians who will come to this House some day, perhaps as newly-minted members of Parliament, the seats we are stewarding on their behalf? It is one of those questions.
I ask this because we also have a record of attacks on small business that we saw a partial retreat on today. We have workforce participation numbers. Statistics Canada keeps reporting that workforce participation is falling year after year. Starting in 2015, it has actually accelerated a little. Half of the reduction in the unemployment rate is not due to new jobs being created by the private sector; it is due to people dropping out of the workforce.
We have a $20 billion deficit in this fiscal year, compounded by nearly a $30 billion deficit in the previous year, and we expect it to climb to $113 billion in the next four years, or so. Therefore, in its first mandate, the government will have added an immense amount of debt.
How is the finance minister is making decisions? Are they actually in the best interests of Canadians, or perhaps a smaller, more elite group of Canadians he has specifically selected.
I will ask the parliamentary secretary of the government's choosing. What is actually in the private holdings of the Minister of Finance? Will he reveal it? Will he let the House be the judge of whether he has been making decisions truly for the benefit of Canadians?