Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
I would like to go back to the discussion we were just having. My two colleagues who just spoke supported the legalization of cannabis, and the discussion we have had over the last few minutes about these administrative charges was interesting.
When talking to prosecutors about past charges around simple possession, they will tell us that many times people go into court charged with multiple offences, such as perhaps other drug offences or trafficking. Those kinds of things are tied in, and the charges are often pleaded down to simple possession. In that kind of situation, the offender would qualify for the Liberals' proposal; whereas, a teenager from a rural area who is charged and does not have the capacity to get to a court hearing, or who fails to appear and gets this administrative charge, would not qualify for that kind of hearing.
Right from the beginning, we see the unintended consequences of poor legislation, and this is not the only bill where that has happened with the Liberal government. The present Liberal government will be known in the future as the government that brought legislation in without having thought through much of it. When bills come back with 25, 30 or 40 amendments, we know that the government has not done its job with respect to preparation.
We have seen that all over the place. We have seen it with respect to a million different issues. We are seeing it at home right now in my area, on the canola issue. We found out early on that the Chinese government wanted us to do something about tariffs on steel, and our government refused to do that. It was more interested in kowtowing to the Chinese government than dealing with our biggest trading partner, the United States. As a result of not moving on it, we ended up with tariffs. Now we have further tariffs on canola. We have tariffs on pork. We have these tariffs because the government does not consider what it is doing. It does not take into account the consequences of its activities, and then we see all kinds of secondary effects. This legislation, when I get around to talking about it, indicates that as well.
We see it on carbon taxes and other taxes imposed by the Liberal government. It has had the highest impact on Canadian people with the least effect of any type of carbon program that one could put in place.
Aboriginal affairs would be another good example. We heard this afternoon about the fact that the government failed to consult the aboriginal community with respect to another bill. The government has not asked the aboriginal community what is best for its people. The Liberals claim that the majority of people who would be impacted by that legislation are aboriginal and those with a very low income, but they have not asked them what would work for them. Often aboriginal peoples do not have access to urban centres or easy access to the Internet and those kinds of things, and the Liberals do not ask them what would work for them. Instead, they come with a plan that for many people would not work.
With respect to aboriginal affairs, the Liberals have divided communities. Many bands want to participate in the energy projects in our part of the world. They want to have a part of the prosperity that comes out of energy projects, and the government has basically divided those communities. That seems to be what the Liberal government does most effectively.
The government talked about having consultations on this legislation, but it failed to do that. It also claimed to have had consultations at its firearms meetings in the last few months. It set the meetings up to make them work as well as possible for itself, but that did not quite turn out. There were 135,000 online responses, and basically it was 75% to 80% opposed to the government making a move and changing things. I guess the government did not anticipate that, but that was the reality of the Canadian population. Once again, the Liberals misread it.
We see unintended consequences around energy disasters such as the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. There was no need to do that.
Probably the place where we have seen the most obvious set of unintended consequences is around financial management. We have seen those folks just blow through people's tax money.
It was interesting. Last week, we were talking about the budget implementation bill. The deputy House leader, at every point, talked about the public purse. However, rarely did he talk about taxpayers and the fact that there is only one place that the government gets money, and that is out of the pocket of the taxpayers of Canada.
On each of these things, whether it is budgets that are running deficits that are two and three times what were promised, or the Trans Mountain pipeline, a pipeline that no one wanted to sell and no one wanted to buy, the government has not thought about taxpayers. The proponents themselves were willing to spend the money on the project. However, now we have Canadian taxpayers who have dived into it to the tune of about $5 billion so far. If the government is going to get the project done, it will be another $10 billion. The government has committed that kind of money to it without even thinking about taxpayers.
The Liberal government has also failed to spend its infrastructure money fairly and equally.
Another area where there has been unintended consequences, probably one of the most obvious ones, was the summer jobs program. The Liberals completely misread Canadians, trying to force them to follow the Liberal ideology. Anyone who had a different perspective from the government was then pushed to the outside.
I would argue that we are back here again. We have the late introduction of Bill C-93. It looks more like a public relations project than anything else. Again, this follows in the footsteps of Bill C-45 and Bill C-46, bills that the Liberals passed without an understanding of many of the consequences of what they were doing. I was not one of the people who supported those two bills.
The Liberals find themselves in a situation right now where they do not have the capacity to meet the demand. They did not prepare for that. They do not have capacity to set a realistic price. Those folks who are happily selling on the private market are doing just fine, in spite of the government's attempt to try to stop that.
The messaging across the way has been that the government is going to keep this out of the hands of people who should not have it. When I am talking to junior high-school students, for example, they are telling me that this is more accessible to them than it has ever been in their lives.
There is certainly no solution at the border either. I heard Liberal members say earlier today that they have had discussions and this is not going to be a problem for Canadians. We know full well that it is. We have a small crossing near my home. I went down to Montana a couple of weeks ago, to the post office down there, and came back. U.S. Customs agents are now stopping Canadians on the U.S. side of the border before we come into Canada.
As members know, people stop at the U.S. side on the way down, and when they come back, typically they drive to the Canadian side and then out. They are now stopping everyone prior to being allowed to exit to Canada. I asked why they were doing this, and I was told that they have direction from on high. I asked when it happened and was told that, coincidentally, when Canada legalized cannabis. There is another problem here that the Liberals never thought of at all.
I have another thing I want to talk about today as I am wrapping up. It seems like time flies very quickly here. We have talked a lot about the difference between pardons and expungement, and those kinds of things. The government has made its choice; others have very different ideas.
One of the things I want to bring up goes back to the taxpayers. There is a bill here of somewhere between zero and $600 million to do this process. I have a question as to why the taxpayers should be stuck with this bill one more time. The government seems comfortable spending everyone else's money.
This morning, we heard a Liberal member talking about his friend who, when he graduated from university, could not get a job at 7-11, but now he is a public servant. He is a public servant and is probably doing really well. Why should the folks who are now working at 7-11 be expected to pay for his pardon or expungement, whichever direction the Liberal government finally goes in with this legislation?
We have gone so far away from considering where money comes from. The government takes it out of the pockets of average people and does not think a thing about it. We have a situation here where people have broken the law, and they typically broke it knowing what the law was and that if they got caught there was going to be a punishment.
The law is now changed, and I do not have any problem with people getting pardons or expungement of these records. The question is, why should the taxpayers, those folks who are working for an hourly wage, be expected to then pay that bill?
I suspect that this is going to be much less successful than the Liberals said it will be. I was surprised a little earlier when one of my NDP colleagues talked about the pardons that have been made available to the gay and lesbian community. He said that only seven people so far have applied to the process. That probably means the process is too complicated for people to be bothered with and people have not done that.
Today I have heard figures that 10,000 people will apply, that there are 200,000, up to 400,000, who will be impacted by this. My question to the government today would be, why does it expect that the taxpayers of Canada would once more pick up the cost for a government bill that has a number of unintended consequences that were not considered ahead of time?