February 28, 2000 (36th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Preston Manning


Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, in about three minutes I will formally move adjournment of the budget debate until tomorrow. Before doing so I want to thank the finance minister for his presentation, a presentation which is more remarkable not for what it contains but for what it fails to disclose.
I find it absolutely astounding that this budget statement contains no reference whatsoever to the $1 billion boondoggle at human resources development. It does not answer the question of taxpayers as to why we should give the government more money to spend when it wastes what we already give it.
If the vice-president of a large public company had a $1 billion boondoggle in one of its divisions and even failed to mention it in the annual statement to the shareholders, the stock of that company would be driven through the floor, heads would roll and the vice-president of finance would end up in a federal institution, and I do not mean the Senate.
Five years after the official opposition called for eliminating bracket creep the government has finally agreed to do so, and we commend it for doing so. While the budget loudly proclaims a number of other so-called tax breaks, it buries and obscures every provision in the government's financial plan for tax increases like the prescheduled increases in CPP premiums that take about $38 billion out of the $58 billion profit.
Far be it from me to cast a shadow over this day. Let our Liberal friends retire to the captain's table as the Liberal Titanic sails into the night. Let them eat, drink and be merry and celebrate while they may the illusions of this budget while the band plays Amazing Grace , and then let us reassemble tomorrow to commence the budget debate where the omissions, the half-truths and the illusions of this budget will be exposed in the clear light of day.
Therefore I move:
That the debate be now adjourned.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   The Budget
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