The Acting Speaker (Mr. Royal Galipeau): I would like to resume the debate at this moment and invite the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London to speak.
Mr. Joe Preston (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would also like to recognize you on your first day in the Chair.
I rise today to praise the Speech from the Throne but first, if I may be allowed a moment, I would like to thank the great people of Elgin—Middlesex—London for allowing me to come back to this great place.
We come to this place at a time when many Canadians think we, as the representatives of the people, are not respected. An attitude of disrespect has fallen over this House. We will change this. We will work hard to earn the people's trust every day.
In this throne speech we bring forward five priorities, five new leaves of change. We must first accomplish these changes.
As we have heard in this debate and from the other parties, there are perhaps over 100 other changes that they would like to see happen. We have seen in past throne speeches 50, 60 or more issues in a throne speech but those were simply issues brought forward not action taken.
We would like to talk about the change in Canada by bringing forward five priorities and acting on all of them and getting them done, rather than 50 priorities, 50 promises made and all of them broken. We are bringing forward five priorities that are the biggest changes that Canadians would like to see.
The change on January 23 was that Canadians said they wanted change, that it is time for a change, a change in the way that we do business in Ottawa by making the federal government more open and accountable. I will speak in more detail to the accountability act later in this speech.
Canadians also spoke of change in the taxes they pay. They want to keep more of their income to pay for the necessities of life. We have heard, as I have said, from other parties and other members here today of more support being needed and of so many more requests that we could do. If Canadians were allowed to keep more of their hard-earned money, these supports may not be needed. They may in fact be taken care of by fine Canadians on their own.
There is change in how Canadians and communities are kept safe. We must protect victims and not criminals. We must remove gun toting criminals and drug dealers from our streets, not duck hunters from our woods.
We must provide Canadian families with the opportunity to do better in raising their children, the opportunity that families can do better and the choice is that of the parents, not of the state.
There must be a change in the speed at which Canadians can get urgent medical care. In a country as rich as ours, it is a shame that we wait for critical medical procedures. Canadians have called for change and we will deliver. By turning over five new leaves they will form our five priorities.
I would like to speak in depth to cleaning up the government and the use of the accountability act. The first leaf we will turn over involves the cleaning up of a mess left for us here in Ottawa by providing Canadians with open, accountable and, most important, honest government and ensuring that the sponsorship scandal or anything like it can never happen again.
The key to this will be the new federal accountability act which will change the way business is done in Ottawa. How? How it will change it forever is by eliminating the undue influence of big money donors, by banning large personal and corporate donations to political parties, by toughening the rules governing lobbying and getting rid of a revolving door that was so often seen in the past involving political staffers, bureaucrats and, yes, even members of this chamber.
We did not come here so that we will be better off when we leave here. We have seen too much of it. In the past House we saw many examples of people who came here even as members of Parliament and left here very rich as lobbyists. This is not why I came to this House and it is not why the people of Elgin—Middlesex—London sent me here.