By Betty Hinton, MP
Good afternoon and thank you for coming out today to support the policies and principles we believe in and to show your support for me, your messenger. Thank you all for your confidence in me over the last two years, for your unwavering belief in our party, and for your dedication to Canada. It is truly appreciated.
For those of you who haven't met him, this is Jamie, my husband. Without his unconditional support, I couldn't dedicate my time to the issues and message that we have to share with our fellow Canadians. Jamie and I celebrate 33 years of marriage next month, and I'd like to share a little humour with you that I believe illustrates our successful relationship.
It goes something like this.
"Strolling through paradise, God found Adam leaning against a tree.
"I'm lonely," said Adam. "I have nobody to talk to."
Well here I stand. The rib.
Ottawa is a challenge. It's tempting for some in opposition to be satisfied to simply rant and rave over the stupidity of the federal Liberal government's spending choices, but we as Official Opposition have done more. Now don't get me wrong. Ranting and raving can be fun, and it's oftentimes therapeutic, but you and I promised more, and the Canadian Alliance has delivered.
We've led the way. We've forced change. We've informed the public of the flaws in pending legislation and offered constructive solutions. We've exposed corruption in government, wasteful spending, poor leadership, and plain old stupidity. We brought the simple premise of basic democracy to the seat of government, by forcing secret ballot elections of committee chairs. We've forced the resignation of minister's that thought your money was their money and that the rules of law and conduct didn't apply to them.
So where will we start when Canadians give us the mandate to be the government instead of the Official Opposition? We'll start by continuing to listen to the priorities of Canadians and by cutting the waste.
We'll start by rebuilding Canada's tattered reputation as a country the world can count on.
We'll start by rebuilding our relationship with Canada's strongest ally and biggest trading partner - our U.S. neighbour to the south. NO Liberal can accomplish this crucial step for Canada, because they have poisoned the well.
As a government, we'll offer affordable, universal Health care that looks
after people when they need it, and where they need it. We'll co-operate,
in a non confrontational way with the provinces on universal delivery
and timely access. We'll upgrade equipment and concentrate on fixing the
basics before exploring the enhancements. We'll fund our fair federal
Locally I've had the benefit of opinion from both you the membership, and from the general population. Through the non partisan Health committee I initiated, I've also had the benefit of opinion from MD's and naturopathic doctors, specialists, chiropractors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare professionals. Like my caucus colleagues, I've taken the input from the users and deliverers of health care service, back to the Canadian Alliance critic. Rob Merrifield insures that our policies and priorities reflect those realities, and will continue to do so.
We support intervention, prevention, and education to curb young offenders from becoming repeat offenders. Realistic penalties must be imposed and served if this country is to control anti social, criminal behaviour amongst our youth.
The Canadian Alliance does not accept race based sentencing for convicted youth or adult criminals, and we are the only party in the House of Commons that voted against this piece of legislation. In the words of Vic Toews, "Genetics is an invalid legal argument. Justice wears a blindfolded for a reason. You do the crime, you do the time."
The Canadian Alliance will put an end to Club Fed resorts. Bungalows, tennis courts, and whale watching expeditions do not serve the public good. Criminals should be punished for breaking the law, by having privileges taken away - not by having luxuries added to their lives. Randy White and Chuck Cadman have fought tirelessly for this principle. Why would a government treat the Karla Holmoka's of the world, better than it treats their seniors?
I spoke in the House just two weeks ago about local constituent Fern Fetterly, a Kamloops senior who is barely getting by on under $1000.00 per month. She is not alone. I told the House that it was tempting to suggest to Mrs. Fedderly that she commit a felony so she too would be guaranteed 3 squares a day, a lovely little bungalow, and access to tennis courts. The response from the ministry was a denial that Canada has Club Fed jails. Kevin Sorenson and I would be happy to take the minister to Vancouver Island and show him an example.
Perhaps it's the same rationale that allows them to consider letting prisoners vote federally or the belief that gun registration is the best answer to public safety.
Who else could justify flushing a billion dollars down the drain, with no reduction in crime, and be proud of creating an administrative nightmare? Who else but a Liberal would criminalize duck hunters, recreational gun owners, and ranchers while managing to stomp all over Canadian property rights? Who else would refuse to respond to the legitimate question: "How much will it cost Canadians to complete the gun registry, and how much to maintain it?" They can't answer because they don't know, but that won't stop Gary Breikritz from asking. He's led the charge for more than 7 years and he's not about to quit.
What about the Environment Minister? He doesn't know what the cost to Canadians will be for ratifying Kyoto, and they can't show us a measurable positive effect either, but the PM isn't worried about details like that, he won't be the PM when it's time for average Canadians and business, to pay the piper. He hasn't actually implemented it after all, he's only ratified it, but not without a fight. Bob Mills broke a House of Commons record for his one man filibuster, and alerted many Canadians to the serious flaws and penalties within this weak legislation.
How about the Endangered Species legislation? Once again race based. One set of rules if you're Aboriginal, another set of rules if you're not. This government insists on driving a wedge between its peoples. Once again, an infringement on private property rights. There is no legislated guarantee for fair market compensation if your property is confiscated to protect an endangered plant or animal species. In Myron Thompson's words, this will lead to shoot, shovel, and shut up. The Canadian Alliance was the only party to vote against the legislation, because it lacked that guarantee. Stay tuned. This legislation is going to do wonderful things for the Canadian real estate market.
What will it cost Canadians for the latest mistake from the ministry of Human Resources? "Calamity Jane", as she's affectionately called by some of her own caucus, issued 500,000 more SIN numbers than there are Canadians. Two hundred and thirty some odd mailed to the same address. This is the same minister that lost track of a billion HRDC dollars not so very long ago. Is there anybody minding the store? A SIN #is the key you need to access bank loans, passports, student loans, CPP and a whole host of other benefits. Has she done anything significant to correct this? No. Well, here's a tip Jane. Cancel every SIN # that you issued in the last ten years and make the recipients reapply. Real Canadians might not enjoy the inconvenience this will cause, but at least the black-market recipients will be exposed.
The Ministry of Immigration has lost track of 36,000 illegal entrants to Canada who were scheduled for expulsion. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we don't contain people while we verify them. Instead, we use the "honour "system. Hey, maybe they bought some of those SIN #'s before they disappeared.
The Softwood lumber issue remains unresolved and the money promised for diversification will not be available till August. It will be too little, and possibly too late but what the heck, it works for the Liberal election timetable. Revenue Canada has written off hundreds of millions due to GST scams, with no hope of recovery, but the Alliance are fear mongers for mentioning it.
Enough is enough. It's time for change.
I stand for Canadians who believe it takes less than 47% of our pay cheque to pay for the services required from government.
I stand for seniors and war veterans who built this country and stood for me, before I even existed.
I stand for youth, the future of this country, who deserve a better legacy than debt.
I stand for a secure world free of genocide, even if it requires war to achieve the goal.
While the Liberals having been riding rough shod over Canadian values, Canadian Alliance MP's have focused on the present and the future of our country. Our leader, Stephen Harper, is working to build teams, just like ours, filled with people like you who don't just complain about where our country is going, but are willing to work hard to change things. This country is going to require rebuilding and YOU are the architects. We have a bright, young leader who is an economist. He shares your vision for this country and has a team of dedicated caucus members with impressive support staff who believe in the policies you have developed.
I am proud and pleased to have been given the opportunity to continue
to represent your views within our great party and in the House of Commons.
I wouldn't be here without you, and that's something I never forget. I'm
counting on you to be part of our successful team once again. Together
we can. We're debt free, we're strong, and we're united. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT
IN WAITING. So, in the words of my favourite hockey team, let's get ready
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