The Budget

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the member for Pickering—Scarborough East referred to this “big book”. As most members in the House have done, the government is calling it a budget, but it is not a budget.

There is no statement anywhere in this document that gives us a complete statement of revenues against expenses. There is no bottom line. There is no statement of what the total budget will be for any government department. There are random announcements of spending, but no rationalization of whether that spending is new money or old money, or whether, for instance, the $319 million Parks Canada would get in new money to repair the roads that are crumbling because of previous budget cuts would mean the budget would go up or down.

This has attracted the interest, of all things, of The Economist magazine, which has made note that Canada has departed from our time-worn tradition of ensuring that Parliament controls the public purse. I ask my hon. colleague if, in good conscience, he can call this a budget.

Corneliu Chisu: Mr. Speaker, in answer to my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands, I would like to point out that this is a real budget. I understand the budget very well. I am a technical person, not a lawyer. Lawyers put spins on words and so on, but I am a practical person and I know that if we are spending $7.5 million on something, we are spending it for that purpose.

We have a lot of good things in this budget. If the hon. member would provide some advice on how to do better, I would accept it, but if she is saying that it is not a budget and it does not contain anything, I am sorry, but that is not the case.