Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I wondered perhaps if I could ask for unanimous consent for 20 or 30 minutes of the House's time, but I will not. I will confine my remarks to the time allotted.
There is something genuinely new about this year's budget and estimates process, which is that the government has decided to seek authority for the spending to implement these initiatives in a genuinely new way. Instead of preparing the programs conceived in the budget document and running them through Treasury Board, where the rigorous costing is done, and making sure that ministers have answers for parliamentarians when they ask about that funding, the government has instead lumped it all into one central vote. It is asking for authority for spending of over $7 billion for all the new budget initiatives in one vote. It has been a real problem for committees, which have not been able to get straight answers.
We know from the PBO, who followed a previous year's budget, that 30% of the items in that budget actually cost significantly more or significantly less than what was forecast in that budget.
Ultimately, I think it will be a problem for Canadians who find that their money has not been well spent because the due diligence was not done. That is why I have been endeavouring to stop it.