Mr. Speaker, I want to look at this with a chronological approach. Back in Saskatchewan, I observed the goings on in Ontario in the early 1990s with the Bob Rae government. From my recollection of that government and what I read about it, there was massive unemployment during that period. By the time he left office, a million people were on welfare, more people than in the entire province of Saskatchewan. Taxes were very high and fiscal imbalances were really out of whack, something unbelievable in Ontario.
I remember seeing a sign in Buffalo. The Buffalo chamber of commerce put up a huge sign naming Premier Bob Rae as its man of the year. He was the man of the year for Buffalo because he had driven so much investment and business out of Ontario and into Buffalo that it thought it should acknowledge the benefit of NDP socialistic policies in Ontario.
Fortunately, in 1995 the people of Ontario put that party out of existence. It had caused so much damage in the province that for a few elections afterward not a single NDP member was elected to the federal Parliament. It was that bad. That is the NDP record with spending when it gets its hands on power.
The Conservative Party opposes this bill because we have seen what Bob Rae type governments have done to the economy and how it sets back the nation. We do not like to see that happen.
From a Saskatchewan standpoint, I have to oppose the budget because it does not address BSE issues. It does not address the forestry problems. A forestry sector in Saskatchewan is hurting very badly for a whole host of reasons. It does not help the grain producers who have been hit by drought, frost and income problems. It is unbelievable. The farmers in Saskatchewan are looking at a net income situation that is massive this year, unparalleled in the province's history.
Then there is the equalization formula. Of all provinces, the province that I think is most unfairly dealt with under the equalization formula is Saskatchewan. Every elected official, including the premier of the province, knows this. We are all united in an effort to get this thing changed, except for one, the Minister of Finance. I have to remind myself to keep mentioning that point.
None of these things are addressed in this budget. Rural communities in Saskatchewan are reeling from these sorts of problems, but not one step has been taken in this deal to address those issues.
Let me go back to the vote on the first budget bill. Our party had a lot of concerns about the budget. There may have been some good things in the it but there were a lot of negatives. We respected what people were saying across the country, which was to let Parliament work. Canadians did not want an election so we held our noses and abstained on that.
The leader of the New Democrats and his 18 New Democrat members voted against that budget and pointed fingers toward the Conservatives and said, “How dare you prop up this corrupt, incompetent Liberal government”. There was not one announcement in the budget for agriculture. New Democrats sent out ten percenters and news releases to Conservative ridings condemning the Conservatives for abstaining on the first budget. Lo and behold, a few months later, here we are.
Let us review another aspect of this whole thing. It is quite clear that history will show that this is one of the most desperate Prime Minister's in Canadian history. He goes from one crisis to another and will do just about anything to stay in power. That is how history will judge the Prime Minister.
Back in that period of time, the Prime Minister, through Tim Murphy and other people in his office, started trolling for opposition members of Parliament to prop up and support his government. They trolled and trolled. They caught one fish, a little fish in a big pond, but they did catch it and get it on the other side. They tried like the dickens to get more people. However, at the same time, three of the Prime Minister's own people left his ship. So much for his leadership.
Lo and behold, the Prime Minister had a meeting with the leader of the NDP in a five star hotel in Toronto. I am sure there was champagne. They had their luncheon and their meeting and so on, and they signed themselves a deal. It was an unholy arrangement, I would say. It solemnized something that I am not exactly sure would receive blessings from any divinity, but they did have Father Buzz there. Father Buzz Hargrove gave it his seal of approval.
With that trolling on that date, that desperate Prime Minister really hit pay dirt. He got 19 New Democrats to join his incompetent and corrupt administration. They were caught hook, line and sinker on that day. They bit big time. With all the trolling that carried on, the Liberals got one person from the Conservatives, but on that day they got 19 New Democrats that just went right into bed with them and solemnized this unholy arrangement.
What is this great Liberal-NDP budget? I have it here. If we throw off the front page, it is just legalese. Paragraphs one and three are legalese. The bill is one-quarter of a page long. What does it say? I will put this from a Saskatchewan standpoint. I am trying to find out how the farmers in Saskatchewan and the equalization issues and so on are addressed by any of these points. Maybe I missed something and the NDP members can point out where I am wrong.
For the environment, including public transit and the energy efficient retrofit program for low income housing, there is an amount not exceeding $900 million. I do not see anything about farming there. I do not see anything about BSE. I do not see anything about forestry and I do not see anything about equalization.
The second point deals with training programs and enhanced access to post-secondary education to benefit, among others, aboriginal Canadians, in an amount not exceeding $1.5 billion. Yet again, I do not see anything for agriculture. I do not see anything about equalization. I do not see anything for tax relief for small business people in Saskatchewan.
The third point deals with affordable housing, including housing for aboriginal Canadians, in an amount not exceeding $1.6 billion; and the fourth point deals with foreign aid in an amount not exceeding $500 million.
I do not want to be interpreted as being meanspirited in the area of foreign aid, but quite literally, I have communities in my riding in Saskatchewan that are reeling big time. We have a government in this country that is deaf and blind to the problems in those communities. We need some foreign aid in our own country as well because we have some big time problems in different parts of the country.
There is a lot I can say about this unholy arrangement between the NDP and the Liberals, but it still boils down to the fact that there is nothing really of any substance for the people of Saskatchewan. There is nothing for grain producers, nothing for BSE, nothing in the way of equalization, and nothing for a very troubled forestry industry. There must have been too much smog in Toronto that day and the leader of the NDP could not see Saskatchewan when he made his one-quarter page deal with the Liberals, but he did join that corrupt and incompetent Liberal administration when he signed that deal, and so did the other 18 members of the NDP.