Hon. John McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization)):
Madam Speaker, I have a couple of comments I might make on the hon. member's statement.
Only a Liberal would say that half a billion dollars is insignificant. It is a tremendous amount of money and it comes from the taxpayers of this country.
Second, he compares the expenditures on highways to the United States and to Italy. First of all the United States does its highways in a different manner than we do. It is responsible for more of the interstates than we are in this country, as the hon. member knows. There are toll roads in the United States. Is he advocating that? We do not know if the Liberal Party would do that or not.
June 7, 1993
Italy is responsible for the roads. It does not have provincial governments that are responsible for roads like we have in this country. He is comparing apples and oranges.
The Minister of Finance has brought forward a responsible program to help with infrastructure and certain parts of the Trans-Canada Highway which I think is very responsible, at the same time keeping in mind the fiscal responsibilities that any government in this country has.