Mr. Speaker, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance travelled across the country to engage Canadians in a national dialogue about building a strong economy and a strong society.
Canadians approached this consultation with an understanding that economic growth and fiscal success are not ends in themselves, but rather a means to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.
Canadians want balance, not just a balanced budget, but balance in government policy, in its goals and its results. Canadians want balance between the security offered by debt reduction and the benefits of investing in people, technology and research and development.
Canadians firmly believe that health, education and pensions are not just line items on a balance sheet but rather an expression of our core values. Canadians want to leave future generations a legacy of expanding opportunities and security rather than one of high taxes and escalating debt.
Canadians have demanded accountability from the government as well as responsibility from themselves.
In our report entitled Keeping the Balance, Security and Opportunity for Canadians , we have tried to respond with the substance our fellow citizens demand, as well as a budget plan.