Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I am proud to have my two daughters in the gallery.
When I first became involved with the Reform Party of Canada, almost 10 years ago, it was out of concern for their generation. I realized then that for the youth of our country to have the opportunities we have enjoyed, major reforms would be necessary.
In 1987 our national debt was half the $600 billion that it is today and Reformers were concerned about interest cutting into social spending then. In 1987 tax revenue was around $97 billion. Now it is $135 billion. And we felt overtaxed then.
In 1987 we suspected governments cared more for the rights of criminals than the rights of victims. Today they have proved it. In 1987 we thought Parliament needed a complete democratic makeover. Now we know it. In 1987 I believed the only hope of a brighter future for our children was the Reform vision of a new Canada. Today I am sure of it. 1997 is the year of a fresh start for all Canadians.