Leave it to the hon. member to defend the indefensible, Mr. Speaker, a bill that formalizes the Ontario Liberal system whereby the Minister of Finance has a quota of half a billion dollars from his stakeholders and the Minister of Health has a quota of half a billion dollars a year from the stakeholders for the Liberal Party. That is what cash for access was, and that is what this bill would establish as a legal system.
When there was doubt in the past, when the Ethics Commissioner could say something was wrong, there is a really easy answer once this bill is passed: “We follow the rules.” Who just said that? The hon. member said, “We will follow the rules.” Why? It is because, as the member for St. John's East said, there are rules that the parties set for themselves, and that is what this is. The rule the Liberal Party is setting for itself is to collect cash for access. The Liberals are the only ones with ministers and parliamentary secretaries, like him and like his minister, who have held cash-for-access fundraisers. They are the only ones who can do that and actually deliver access to ministers and people who can make decisions, so of course he wants to have a set of rules that allow that, because that is the Liberal system.
Their response is not what the Ontario Liberals had to do, which was to shut down cash for access; their response is to legalize and formalize cash for access. I am getting tired of saying it, but I am not as tired as Canadians are going to be after they see it under way.
For a while—for a couple of years, maybe—“we are following the rules” will work as an answer, but it did not work in Ontario. People figured out that the rules were made to facilitate that kind of Liberal corruption, and the chickens came home to roost.
That is what is going to happen to the Liberal Party here. They can formalize the system, but at the end of the day it is a corrupt system. They can legalize the system, but when it is a corrupt system, Canadians will not stand for it, and eventually, sooner or later, they will pay attention and find it unacceptable. Then the Liberal Party will pay the price for having made that critical decision to disrespect the fundamental principles of clean government and create a corrupt fundraising system and a law under which it can conduct it.