Mr. Speaker, I will not prolong this, but I am going to defend my minister. The hon. member opposite said some nice words about the minister, but I do not think he said enough.
Let us get this thing in perspective. We have been flogging this horse for so long now that I think it is down to a burrow. What happened was that we reassessed our budget. We had money assigned to programs that we figured we could get away with taking because the programs were not using up all that money and we wanted to use the money to put it where we could best use it.
We had five or six things that were on our “we would love to do” list. We took that money and we managed to do five of the six things. There was enough money left in the VIP to look after the widows of those veterans who died before June 2002. There was a bit of misinformation there. If the widows were on the program on May 12 then they would continue on the program.
That is all the money we had within the budget. Inasmuch as I am not one of these proverbial spendthrift Liberals, I believe we should stay within a budget. It was a re-apportionment of money within a budget. I do not want to go outside that budget, neither does the minister and neither does anyone else on this side. That was all the money there was.
That having been said, the veterans' organizations said, “That is too bad, but let us do what we can”. We might have been better off to say that we would not do anything with the VIP because, after all, there was not much fuss being raised about it so we could have left it alone, but we did not do that. We looked after who we could.
I know the minister is lobbying hard outside the budget to look after those other widows. The Prime Minister has made a commitment to look at it and between the two of them I have hope that it may be done, but all we have at the moment is a hope. There is no commitment, no guarantee, but we did what we could within the budget.