Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to have the opportunity to address such a very constructive question. I know that was the intent of my hon. friend from the environment committee.
First we have to look at the GST, which is a tax itself. No one likes taxes, but the GST was a replacement tax for a hidden federal manufacturing tax. It was a good thing to do, according to this government. Otherwise, it would have changed it. It was such a good thing that the minister of heritage decided to run twice on the very same issue.
When it comes to the national debt and which part of the debt we should pay down, we need to take a very serious look at the debt issue itself. There is a partisan swing there, but the overall impression is this. The past government lowered the debt as a percentage of GDP.
To be quite honest, more should have been done and more needed to be done. We need to continue to use our export driven economy, our access to the American market to keep our economy growing and pay down the debt in a very serious deliberate way so Canadians know we are making investments in that. We have a moral obligation to do it. We have a reason to do it from a productivity perspective.
I will be very pleased to answer any questions.
I thank my hon. friend and colleague from the environment committee for his interest in this particular issue.