Mr. Speaker, it is a true honour to be in the House today to speak on this very important issue. I thank my colleague who just spoke for his tenacity in standing up for Canadians. It is a real honour to be part of the Conservative Party of Canada with its legacy of standing up for Canadian taxpayers.
Over the years, when Canadians have seen fit to elect a party with an entitlement mentality like the Liberal party, eventually it creates a huge mess. We see Canada heading in that direction again. We are ready and committed to clean up any Liberal mess left over.
I am particularly honoured to be able to share what I heard from my youth advisory board. I notified youth in my riding of Langley—Aldergrove that I would like to hold a monthly youth advisory board meeting with them to discuss issues that were important to them. We have held two meetings. The first was on the marijuana issue. These are youth in grade 12 up to and in university, some working on undergraduate degrees. They are very mature, wise, bright, and engaging young people, and it was interesting to get their perspective. It is a non-partisan youth advisory board, with people with all kinds of opinions. The consensus within the group on marijuana was that the government was moving way too fast, that it needed to provide education, to listen to police boards across the country, and to slow the process down. Many of them are okay with the legalization process for marijuana, but not the way the Liberal government is doing it. It is moving way too fast. It seems to have this artificial date of July 1 of next year that legalization must be in place by Canada Day, so that everyone can start smoking then. The group is very concerned about the government's approach to marijuana.
I asked them what topic they would like to talk about next, and they said the new tax the government is wanting to put on Canadian small business. I found that fascinating. We met last Saturday morning and had another really good meeting that lasted for about an hour or an hour and a half. Some of the youth went into the meeting thinking that maybe the government was right and that some Canadians are not paying their fair share of taxes. To prepare for the meeting, the materials they received were general materials that all Canadians have access to. Much of it was non-partisan, and some partisan.
Overwhelmingly, those who went into the meeting thinking that maybe the government was right changed their position 180 degrees and came out of the meeting saying that the government was wrong. Calling hard-working Canadians tax cheats is shameful, and they were really shocked at the government taking that approach. They also said that the government needed to slow the process down. The number one thing that every Liberal member of Parliament heard regarding their so-called consultations was to keep the consultations going. The Liberal Party held the consultations during the summertime, starting in the middle of July and continuing in August and September and ending at the beginning of October. In those two and a half months, people were on holidays, and the consultations were often held in the middle of the week at three o'clock in the afternoon when Canadians were at work. Those who were not on holidays were working, yet the Liberals still held these so-called consultations.
The Liberals heard over and over again that they should keep the consultations going so they could continue to hear from people because they were not happy. The answer from the Liberal members was that the people were confused, that Canadians are confused and business is confused, so they would end the consultations to avoid the confusion. They would provide legislation so there would be no more confusion.
The youth advisory board also said that this process needed to continue and that there needed to be additional consultations. I am very proud and happy to be able to pass on what I heard from them this last Saturday morning. It is a very wise group of young people.
Today, we are debating a motion by Her Majesty's official opposition. I have listened to the debate and the comments made so far, and I think back to Jim Flaherty, who was a finance minister in the Stephen Harper government. He was appointed and very quickly earned the reputation of being the greatest finance minister in the world.
What an honour it was to be part of that government. He did deserve that title. He was an extremely bright, ethical, funny man. He had a great sense of humour. People liked to be around Jim. There was great sorrow at his untimely death. He was known as the greatest finance minister Canada probably has ever had. At the time, he was greatest in the world.
Just yesterday when I was watching the news I heard the questions by the media as the government was trying to calm down people. There was a news conference where the government was saying that it is really looking out for what is good for Canadians, that it wants tax fairness and is launching its new programs around fairness and taxes.
Canadians do not believe this. The media does not believe it. There is this cloud hanging over the finance minister. As has been pointed out, the office of the finance minister is extremely important. The finance minister is probably the most powerful posting in government in Canada. That finance minister has to be squeaky clean.
I really do not want to attack that individual, because I do not know his intent. However, it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that everything is squeaky clean. That is what this Prime Minister promised, that he was going to be squeaky clean and all his ministers were going to be squeaky clean. Throughout the last two years, the first half of a one-term mandate, they were going to do things that were squeaky clean and transparent.
There is great suspicion that things are not squeaky clean. I am hearing a lot of angst among Canadians that the government is not keeping its promises time and time again. The small business tax was supposed to be reduced. That was in the platform of the previous Conservative government, and it would have happened immediately. Now we are two years into this government's mandate, and look at what has happened to that. The government is in trouble now. Canadians are very upset with what is happening.
The government has now announced that it will reduce the small business tax back down to the 9%. Well, actually, it will go down to 10%, and then just before the election it will be lowered to 9%. That is not what Canadians want. They have not been told the truth throughout the whole process.
This motion is about wanting information. What did the finance minister declare to the Ethics Commissioner from the time of his appointment to July of this year when the consultation period started? That would indicate whether there was any intended self-benefit, or whether there is a conflict of interest. What is the motive of the Prime Minister and the finance minister?
I have heard Canadians say that these two people have really not lived like hard-working Canadians. They live off a trust. They have multi-million dollar assets. They are not like you and me, Mr. Speaker. They are not like normal Canadians. They are very wealthy people. To whom much is given, much is required.
Accountability is a critical promise by the Prime Minister. We need accountability from him, and we have not had it. We need accountability from the finance minister, and to this point we have not had it.
It will be interesting as we go to a vote on this motion, probably later today, to see if the members of the Liberal Party keep the promises that were made in the Speech from the Throne at the start of this Parliament that they would be a transparent, accountable government. We are not seeing that from the leadership within the cabinet. Will the Liberal members demand that their Prime Minister and finance minister be transparent and provide the House with the details necessary for transparency?