Look, I actually think this is a good debate. You pay attention in Parliament to the debate over Bill C-59, over the different parties and the platform. Not to be too analytical about the politics of this, I think there's a very good debate in the country right now. I think there's a pretty clear choice about where we're going. I think Canada is in a very good place. If you look at KPMG's assessment, you see that the costs to create a business in Canada are 46% lower than in the United States.
I have a quotation that I come to often, by former Secretary of State and New York senator Hillary Clinton, who says:
Canadian middle class incomes are now higher than in the United States. They are working fewer hours for more pay…living longer on average, and facing less income inequality.
It's true that Canada is doing well. We have incredible challenges, of course. It's a competitive global economy. The manufacturing sector has some very specific and acute challenges in particular sectors. We have to work well with provincial governments, who sometimes are working at counter purposes to us in terms of lowering costs and being competitive. But we have to work together to make sure that we're maximizing the quality of our investments in infrastructure. I say this often, but this infrastructure question is important, which is why it comes up often in question period. It's so essential.
We're the second largest country in the world in size, but 37th largest in population. That's a gap, but there is also a gap in our fiscal capacity to make sure that we are all connected together as a country and that we're taking full advantage of that connectivity for economic benefit. It's why we have to work really well with provinces to build the infrastructure we need to be economically competitive going forward, east and west and north and south.
It is really important that we stay competitive, that we be fiscally responsible, that we balance the budget so that we have the fiscal flexibility to have the programs we have, such as the infrastructure program, the Building Canada fund, the gas tax fund, and all these programs, so that we can invest in infrastructure, be competitive, be cost-competitive, have world-class infrastructure, improve our quality of life, and be able to compete.
The policies, for example, in the auto sector that are in place in Mexico are not something we should be looking to import into Canada—billions of dollars in corporate welfare, lower-than-minimum wage standards of pay for workers. We need to make sure that we have good quality jobs in the auto sector and that we're competitive in other ways, and the only way we're going to stay competitive is if we maintain our fiscal discipline so that we can keep taxes low and can compete in other areas in terms of quality productivity, quality employment, and competitive cost pressures.