March 27, 2003 (37th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Alan Tonks


Mr. Alan Tonks (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have not been in the House a long period of time but I have from time to time observed how a member can stand and speak in an expansive fashion on an issue, in this case the budget, and then at the end of it, as a tactic, undermine what was quite a decent overview with a really cheap shot.
I have to say, with great respect, that we are here as parliamentarians to try to raise the bar of dignity, decency and honesty with respect to the discussions on an issue. We should not have to place our Speaker in the position of having to remind the House of that on the basis of something being raised that we have questioned, which is our right. I find myself in the position now of having, other than to ask a question on the budget, to take exception to the last statement.
In the context of alliances in the North American continent, Mexico, Canada and the United States have been the closest, similar to the initiative taken in Europe with the common market. We find that two members, led by the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and our Prime Minister, have chosen through the United Nations to take a specific initiative and to stay with that, and they informed the president.
Where do we go from here in the view of the member? Do we continue to make it appear that we are not of one mind with respect to the future and the legacy of our people or do we continue along that line of cheap shots and bring the bar down? Is that what we are all about in this Parliament? Is that what they are all about in that party, because I think the people of Canada take great exception to that style?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2003
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