Madam Chair, I can answer that question for my riding in northern Saskatchewan: Nearly $1.5 million were left on the table. That represents hundreds of job requests to hire students through the Canada summer jobs program that were denied by the current government.
Instead of simply using a program already in place that not only helps young Canadians, but is a lifeline for struggling community programs, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that do not hold investments in Toronto real estate, the government looked to politically benefit itself.
Let us think of all the jobs that could have been created for these students, the opportunity provided and the value added to their communities if the government had simply used the existing Canada summer jobs process instead of creating a sole-source contribution agreement that would have put more than $43 million into the pockets of the Prime Minister's friends.
Could anyone on that side of the House explain to my constituents why cabinet was prepared to pay students to volunteer at less than minimum wage, and yet the requests for the Canada summer jobs program by the people of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River were either denied completely or substantially underfunded?