Madam Speaker, as the member knows, I have followed the debate as well as anyone else here today. When I spoke earlier I stressed the fact-as I will try to do in my remarks now-that I strongly support the CBC, the SRC and its services in both languages. I support that across the country, as I mentioned this morning.
I support the French language service in the north. I support it in the rural areas. I support the English language service in Quebec. I support and I enjoy the fact that the international radio service, Radio-Canada International, is distinct in the fact that we reach out to fellow Canadians when they are abroad and to other people in both official languages. I greatly support the existence of the services in both languages.
To answer her question, I deliberately used the word streamlining rather than downsizing. This really means that we are. We inherited a government which because of debt is functioning at two-thirds of its effective capacity because one-third of our money is spent on interest. We inherited that. I am not pointing the finger or laying blame. That is a fact.
In order to get rid of the debt we undertake a dangerous but very necessary exercise. We have to make the government which is already functioning at two-thirds capacity even smaller in order to get rid of the debt so we can come back as a fully effective national government. I believe that very strongly. All the cuts we make have to be such that they streamline what is left so that in every ministry we leave the seeds for a future ministry which could be more powerful. In every program we leave the seeds, the foundations for a 100 per cent stronger program in the future.
To answer the question about the CBC, we as a government have made very different cuts in all our ministries. We cut one ministry by 55 per cent. One ministry is growing by a small percentage and in the all the others we have very carefully decided what the cuts should be. That is streamlining.
When we get inside the ministries or inside the programs, I do not believe the House can do it. I believe we have to tell our ministries that with the budget we have given, they should do the same.
My answer to the member's question is the CBC should manage its own affairs and determine itself where the cuts should be made.