Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his question. Obviously, it is quite clear to me how we should go about balancing the books. Those of us on this side of the House are convinced of the need to implement the principle of subsidiarity, whereby the mandate to deliver a service should go to the level of government in the best position to do so. The problem with Canada, and, with all due respect, the problem with the government's logic, is that all that is being offered is an observation. The observation is made that we have a debt of $600 billion, but no questions are asked about the institutional structure that led up to this debt.
Let us not forget that the federal government used to have a department of urban affairs and a department of recreation, and that is why we have the debt we do today. It is because of an imbalance that allows Ottawa to interfere in areas of jurisdiction for which it has no mandate. This is the spending power system. Unfortunately, the federalism we are seeing leaves much to be desired. This is not to say that federalism could not be interesting in theory, but for it to work in the Canadian context, it must be centralized. And for it to be centralized, interference in the affairs of the provinces becomes necessary.
My hon. colleague would be interested to know that before the Department of Health even gets around to delivering a service, a billion dollars has been set aside by the Minister of Finance for its operating expenses. Does my hon. colleague share my concern, my disbelief that Health Canada has more employees than the provincial departments of health? This is not what we should be seeing when it is not even the federal government's mandate.
The best way to reduce the debt, and I do not know whether my colleague will agree with us, is to undertake a political reorganization with the goal of establishing an association between two nations, two autonomous governments, who will obviously have economic dealings with each other where interests dictate, because we know that nations must put interests ahead of feelings. I think that the best way for Canada to reduce the debt is through an extensive political reorganization.