Honourable senators, when we debate appropriation bills in this place, we commonly say that the government seeks Parliament's approval to spend certain sums of money on certain items. However, as honourable senators well know, it is more accurate to say that appropriation bills require Canadian taxpayers — workers, families and consumers, rich and poor, young and old — to spend their money on the items described in the bill. That, honourable senators, casts our deliberations in a very different light.
If the money were Parliament's or the government's to spend, and if we had a big self-replenishing money pot in a special vault under the Peace Tower, our choices would be easy. We would buy the best of everything for Canadians. However, it is not that easy. When we debate an appropriation bill, we are debating whether compelling Canadians to spend their money on the priorities described in the bill is a good deal for them.
- Debates of the Senate • Parliament of Canada homepage • Debates - Issue 45 - June 29 2010