Financial Statement of Minister of Finance

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, I have looked through this budget to find any evidence of cuts to the kinds of perks that Canadians are looking for members of Parliament to take on. The Prime Minister is expanding this House of Commons by 30 seats, which will add millions in costs every year. The budget of the Prime Minister’s Office is now, I believe, in excess of $10 million and yet the Conservatives are adding costs of $165 million to help pipelines, tankers and offshore drilling. They are adding $8 million so that the Canada Revenue Agency can go after charities.


Where is the fiscal responsibility in this budget? I know the hon. member for Kings—Hants is a bit of a fiscal hawk. I wonder what his thoughts are on the fiscal conservatism of this budget.

The Deputy Speaker: I should have stated that the subamendment is in order.

The hon. member for Kings—Hants.

Hon. Scott Brison: Madam Speaker, it is utter hypocrisy that a government would preach restraint to Canadians and the public service when at the same time it is increasing by 30 members the House of Commons. In reality, there is no other parliament or congress in the world that, as population grows, increases its numbers; not the Bundestag, not the Congress in the U.S. and not Westminster. What they do is redistribute, which is quite reasonable. At a time of restraint, to add 30 new members of Parliament is madness. We are the only ones in the world who are doing that.

The leader of the Green Party also raised the issue of the inconsistency of the government spending over half a billion dollars on quasi-partisan government advertising and at the same time cutting CBC, which Canadians depend on, by 11%. At a time when we should be investing in public broadcasting and cutting partisan waste and advertising, the government is doing the opposite to promote its own agenda and not to promote Canadian culture.