Madam Speaker, as I enter into this debate, it is unfortunate that, once again, parliamentarians are seized with having to discuss a Liberal ethical failure.
I would like to respond a little to some of the members opposite who seemed to be so concerned that we in this House have to deal with the long list, the big pile, of ethical failures when, in their words, we should be debating the things that matter to Canadians. It is unfortunate that these Liberals seem so concerned about their own political aims that they would do something like prorogue Parliament when we could have been debating the very issues that they say are so important. We could have been debating them weeks ago. We offered, as the Conservatives, to come in on Sunday to debate the very legislation that they are saying we need to spend more time on. We offered that, and they said no, and so I find it tragic, but this is typical in true Liberal fashion.
The Liberals will be so quick to say that there is an emergency, that we need to be part of a team Canada approach, whatever the case is, when, really, they have no interest in listening to anyone other than those narrow perspectives that they decide are important. It is unfortunate that, in the process over the past eight months, so often this House and the perspectives of many in it have been silenced. If they were interested in a team Canada approach, I truly believe that we could have looked at many of the programs that have helped Canadians and they would have been made better. We see something like the emergency wage subsidy. The Liberals started at a 10% subsidy, which, after significant pressure from members of my party, the Conservative Party, and many Canadians and business groups, it was raised to 75%. That is called a team Canada approach, and I am glad that there are instances of that, but we could have done so much more had they not sidelined Parliament.
If we look at the prorogation, it is unprecedented in using a legitimate parliamentary tool to shut down the investigations into the actions of the Prime Minister and his senior cohorts. It is unprecedented that a prime minister would abuse executive authority in such a flagrant manner. It is unbelievable.
One of my colleagues across the way used the word “disappointment”. Now, in his context, he said that he was disappointed that we are debating Liberal ethical failures, and I am sure he is. He would rather be talking about anything else, I am sure. I will tell members what I hear each and every day from my constituents: disappointment in this Liberal government, disappointment in the laundry list of ethical failures, disappointment in the fact that there is a Prime Minister across the way who is saying that the idea of a national unity crisis is crazy. It is unbelievable, and a true shame for the honour that needs to be represented in the House from coast to coast to coast.
I find it tragic that we have government members who are so embroiled in their own scandal, so embroiled in their own political aims that they would refuse to acknowledge the crisis. It is not for lack of trying from every western MP, and not just Conservative western MPs, although we do make up the vast majority of them. Western MPs have been making it clear that there is a unity crisis, yet the government refuses to acknowledge that it even exists; for shame.
We have before us today another Liberal ethical failure of a former member of Parliament breaching the ethics code 10 times. This is a code that was put in place to ensure that members of this place had a framework to ensure that their ethical conduct fit within the expectations of Canadians. One of my fellow Conservative colleagues was reflecting upon his many years in this place and said that, back when it was first introduced, the idea of naming and shaming was enough, that the members of this place were concerned about how they conducted themselves, and they were concerned about the fact that they wanted to do what was best for Canadians.
However, when we look at the conduct of the top of the current government over close to the last five years, let alone the conduct of many others, we see time and time again the absolute disregard they show toward ethics and the conduct that Canadians expect us to uphold. There is real disappointment in the actions of the Liberal government. It is so consumed by its own scandals, waste and mismanagement that it is truly distracting from its ability to do the things that Canadians expect it to do.
It is important for us to continue to debate the other items that are before the House, but if we do not ensure that the trust and integrity of this institution is upheld, we are in an incredibly difficult place. When the trust in this institution is eroded, we see significant challenges. We see that there is a lack of trust in anything the government says, not just its political leaders, but anything that the Liberals say. Canadians cannot trust their Prime Minister when he has truly misrepresented himself in this place, and it has been found to be the case, whether regarding his Aga Khan vacation or the SNC Lavalin scandal.
I sat on the ethics committee this summer and every day there was a new development about the government's unbelievable conduct. It was an absolute embarrassment to the institutions and places that each one of us represents, all 338 of us and the seats that we are temporary custodians of. The erosion of trust that has been taking place is unbelievable.
Therefore, it is important that we debate issues like this, for we have to ensure that when somebody makes a mistake there is a full accounting of that. The motion that my colleague from Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes has brought forward is a step to ensure that there is an accounting and that responsibility is taken, because Canadians demand nothing less. There is a need to ensure that responsibility is taken for the actions of the government.
Canadians cannot trust the words of the current government, and it is causing a breakdown of the trust in our society. It is truly a societal issue: when we cannot trust the words of our leaders, it causes a societal breakdown that is concerning beyond all belief. We need to take this issue very seriously, just as we all need to take ethics and our conduct very seriously. We need to work diligently to ensure that trust is brought back to the institutions of Parliament and that we demonstrate that this place matters. There is one place in this country where every square kilometre of this beautiful nation is represented, and that is on the green carpet within the walls of this chamber. We need to demonstrate to Canadians that we are all worthy of that.
I represent a large rural riding with many communities. I had a conversation with constituents the other day and asked them to give me a brief report on how things were going in their communities and how they feel the government is doing. I listened on Zoom calls with person after person, about 20 of them in all. Time and time again, what I heard most was that they were tired of the scandal, the waste and the mismanagement of the government, and that they were looking forward to a day when good governance was brought back to this country: governance that Canadians could trust.
I am proud to support the motion brought forward by my colleague and look forward to answering questions in that regard, so that we can bring trust back to the hallowed halls of this Parliament.