Well, look, as a government, we can't take seriously those who argue that we should have Keynesian economics when times are good, Keynesian economics when times are bad, Keynesian economics when times are okay, that at all times we should just spend more and more, that “To heck with the kids. To heck with the deficit. To heck with the debt. Don't worry about it.”
We actually have to arrive back at a balanced budget. The deficits that we ran were deliberate deficits that were agreed to by G-20 economies as a result of the collapse of the American economy and the global consequences that came from that.
These were agreed-to deficits on a specific timeline when there was agreed-to stimulus spending going into the Canadian economy. Even with very low interests rates, people were not borrowing money and were not investing in the economy because we had the worst recession since the Second World War.
These were deliberate deficits, and we've had to take serious, concrete action to reign them back in and to eliminate them. We've gone from a mere $55 billion annual deficit to having a surplus. We've done that in just a couple of years time. We've done that through fiscal restraint, fiscal responsibility, and also by growing the Canadian economy.
We have to have that kind of flexibility with balanced budgets and surpluses on the horizon so that we can do things and react responsibly to challenges in the Canadian economy.
The auto sector is the perfect example. We do want to pursue OEM investments in Canada, but we also have to a flexible approach with regard to our policy. We have the fiscal room to either lower taxes or, as has been talked about here, to draw the private sector R and D into the automotive supply chain through partnerships so we can continue to grow. But you can't do that if you are just shovelling more money out the door without any kind of restraint; it requires the fiscal room.