Madam Speaker, I am well aware that I am discussing Bill C-5, but there is a strong desire and need to mention this particular fact because for a surprise, we see that this bill, presented by the Liberals, is a strange thing.
In most of the previous bills, they have been dealing with how to squeeze money from the taxpayers who are taxed to death. For a surprise, we are looking into this matter. This is a matter for accountability. I refer to this simply because we are amazed and surprised how this bill is presented and quoted by them. I will go to my debate.
The Reform Party whip, the hon. member from Fraser Valley, has researched this same sort of behaviour by the Liberals which I mentioned earlier. I believe that there is a need to mention this because it is pertinent and important here.
He found that a Montreal accounting firm that gave $87,000 to the Liberals over the past few years has received $20 million in contracts from CIDA. I suppose that the true reason that the Liberals have it right this time with respect to Bill C-5 is that somebody else wrote this bill for them.
The Liberals have, in fact, very little to do with this bill. That is the reason my colleague from the other side has pointed out, because they have to do very little to this bill, that it is not written by them. It is given to them by the co-operative themselves.
I would guess that most of the Liberal backbenchers, especially the neglected, lonely and largely unknown members from Ontario may not have even read Bill C-5. Liberal MPs who are not in the cabinet do not have to read this bill because they are told by their Liberal Party whip how they are supposed to cast their vote, how to behave in committee and what to say in the media and to their constituents. Their whip does all those things for them.
The good constituents of Surrey Central know that, as their member of Parliament, I am free to vote the will of my constituents. My constituents tell me, not my party whip, how to cast the vote of Surrey Central in this House.
Again, I point out that this legislation was written for the Liberals by the co-operatives in Canada to modernize the current definition of co-operative basis, improve the governance rules, increase financing possibilities, amalgamation and other flexibilities needed by many of Canada's co-operatives.
In fact, my constituents and I are glad to be of some service and assistance to the more than 10,000 co-operatives operating in Canada by casting the vote Surrey Central has in this House in favour of approving the passage of this Bill C-5.
Most sectors of the Canadian economy have co-operatives. Co-operatives have been a very successful component in our economy. In fact, many co-operatives are non-financial co-operatives. These co-operatives serve many sectors of our economy, including agriculture, consumers, fishing, forestry, health, child care, housing and community development.
The largest amount of co-operatives in Canada exist in the agriculture sector. These co-operatives include marketing co-operatives as well as those involved in supply, production and services.
Canada's co-operatives employ more than 133,000 Canadians. Canadian co-operatives have over 14.1 million members, which is about half of the population of this wonderful country.
On this side of the House we are anxious to support anything which will help Canadians continue to be employed. We want to do everything we can to create jobs. We want to ensure fair treatment of the small business community and our co-operatives.
Bill C-5 will assist in ensuring a level playing field for our co-operatives to be competitive in the business industry.
By supporting an initiative that will modernize and assist the work of co-operatives in Canada, Bill C-5 will do something to help overtaxed Canadians who are struggling to find jobs. The Liberal Party has done nothing to create jobs for unemployed Canadians; however, it has killed jobs with taxes.
The billions of dollars the Liberals have spent on infrastructure—which is the wrong approach since the Liberals have no vision—have failed to change the unemployment rate in Canada since 1993. For 86 consecutive months Canada's unemployment rate has been hovering at about 9%.
The co-operative movement in Canada now reaches most sectors of the Canadian economy. Canadians co-operatives compete head to head with national and international businesses and corporations. It is important that the federal government support this movement, particularly with the globalization of businesses.
The Reform Party supports measures to ensure the successful operation of the marketplace, including promoting competition. We recognize private sector investment as an important source of capital for Canadian businesses, unlike the Liberals, who have been patting themselves on their backs day after day, even in question period.
We believe that the private sector is the key to job creation in Canada. Small and medium size firms in Canada could create more jobs if they were not taxed to death.
Most jobs in Canada are created by small business. That is not what the Liberals believe. They continue to spend hard earned tax dollars on public make-work programs which provide few short term jobs. Ask any Liberal on the other side and he or she will put you to sleep rambling on about what the Liberal government has done to create jobs for Canadians. Any Liberal spin doctor can give you a seemingly endless litany of things the Liberals have done to create jobs, but we know that the Liberals just do not have it right.
Governments do not create jobs. People create jobs. Our small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs, but they cannot do that when the smiling Minister of Finance cripples their businesses with taxes. How can they do it?
The Liberals have reduced the deficit by increasing taxes. They have frozen the unemployment rate since they took over the reins of the federal government from the Tories.
Bill C-5 is a good bill because it addresses the needs of the private sector. Canada's private sector is in the best position to determine what it needs to be competitive. For once, we have the Liberals allowing the federal government to respond to the needs of the private sector. It is a miracle.
Not only that, but it appears that the Liberals are allowing us to have a debate on Bill C-5. We were only allowed to debate Bill C-2, which was the largest tax increase in Canadian history, for a very brief time, less than seven hours. Following that the Liberals only allowed one day, a couple of hours, for Bill C-10 to be debated in the House. It was another tax grab. That we are allowed to debate Bill C-5 is another miracle. I hope that I will continue to see such miracles in this House for all bills which come before the House in the future.
We on this side of the House give a clear warning to the Liberals that we do not want debate on any bill to be suddenly cancelled, particularly those which dig deep into the pockets of Canadians.
These are the same Liberals who cancelled the Somalia inquiry. Never before in the history of our country has any government shut down a commission of judicial inquiry. The Liberals did. The Somalia inquiry was only two-thirds of the way through its work when the Liberals shut it down. The inquiry was very close to analysing events at the department of defence that took place under the Liberal government.
In Bill C-10, the bill that only saw the light of this House for a matter of a few short hours before the Liberals shut down debate, we saw that the Liberals cannot even do something as simple as negotiate a tax treaty with another country without trying to figure out a way to squeeze more money out of the already overtaxed Canadian taxpayers.
Income tax take has been rising steadily in this country. The Liberals are balancing the budget on the backs of Canadian taxpayers. Canadians know that the average family's purchasing power has been decreasing since 1993. Personal income tax revenues have increased significantly since the Liberals have been in power.
The savings rate for Canadians has dropped from 10% in 1992 to less than 1%—