Mr. Speaker, I feel that first I must reply to the comments made by the hon. member with regard to my constituents.
As I stated several times in my speech today, my constituents came to a prebudget consultation meeting and hundreds of constituents wrote to me. I felt it was my duty to present their views today. Those are the views of my constituents, not my views, with regard to the majority of the speech I made today. I think it is only proper and fair that the constituents of Essex-Windsor have the same rights as constituents in other provinces. They wanted those rights and that is what I put forward today.
With regard to the problem of the deficit and trying to put the blame on the Liberal government of the 1970s, I would like to remind the hon. member that in the late 1970s and the early 1980s we had a recession in Canada. Everyone knows that you can expect to have a higher deficit during recessionary times. However, the 1980s, during the previous Tory government, should have been a time to curtail spending and bring down the deficit. It was not. It increased spending.
To try and blame the Liberals of the 1970s I think is a very poor effort on behalf of the hon. member, when everyone knows that during economic growth, which we are experiencing now, it is the time to cut spending and get our finances under control. That is not what happened during the 1980s when the Tory government had the opportunity.
I do not believe we should blame past governments. We should be giving credit to this government and to the Minister of Finance for undertaking this effort to allow Canadians to express their opinions and to allow for this debate today and in the future. It allows us an opportunity to put forward views and ideas and allows all Canadians to have input. That is what is happening. That is what this government started and it is unprecedented.