Madam Speaker, I listened to the hon. member from the NDP, and I fully agree with him. I also share his concerns.
The budget is totally silent on the issues of employment and tax cuts. It does not propose anything to eliminate the debt and, more importantly, it includes no firm commitment on how surpluses will be used. We know full well that the Liberals are merely launching new programs, such as the millennium scholarship fund, in an area of provincial jurisdiction.
We know that the debt is the result of the federal government's absolute spending power. It is the result of initiatives implemented in the seventies and designed to promote federal identity, such as Air Canada, Petro Canada, and so on.
It is often said that the Conservative government is to blame. However, the largest deficit was incurred when Marc Lalonde was Minister of Finance, in the seventies.
Does the hon. member agree that this government is currently headed in the same direction as the Liberal government of the seventies? Does he agree that we will have to put a stop to the federal government's absolute spending power in areas of provincial jurisdiction, if we are to eliminate the debt?