Madam Speaker, this is spin doctoring at its best. However, as I have great respect for the hon. member, I do not think this is the cause of his problem.
There is a difference between program spending and departmental spending. I am not talking about program spending. Sure, the downloading went ahead as expected. The problem I have is with something that is called departmental spending which is part of program spending.
Since this was not stated in the budget, I can only rely on the graph that has been provided here. For example, government services were supposed to have gone from about $6 billion to $4 billion in the 1997-98 fiscal year. Where is it? It is still at $6 billion. This goes on and on. The only department that hit its target is the Department of National Defence.
I would be happy to learn from the hon. parliamentary secretary if he has in his briefing notes a page dealing with this issue. His comments concerned program spending, which I have no problem with. However, the issue that is being discussed this week in the Senate committee deals with departmental spending. I would love to hear why this article is wrong. I would love to be able to tell my people in the next election that the government is really on track but these numbers suggest it is not. I wonder what went wrong.