I am glad the member for Peace River is talking about taxes. If we do not have the money, we cannot support the system, lower the debt and lower the deficit at the same time. That is voodoo economics. That is skidoo mathematics.
The government took a very responsible position, headed by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Industry and the new Minister of Industry. We made those tough decisions in a compassionate way. Yes, we created a lean government but it was not a mean government. We went to the people with commitments and promises we have kept. We are very proud.
The member touched upon payroll contributions. In 1993 they were pegged at $3.30 per $100. My colleague sits on the industry committee with me. He is a great participant with whom I have enjoyed spending time on the committee. They prefer to refer to payroll contributions as taxes, but as a former employer I call them contributions, as did the former leader of the Reform Party.
It is on record year after year that payroll contributions have been going down. Members opposite fail to accept this and ask why we have revenue. Let us talk about revenue. In 1993 we had 11.4% or 11.6% unemployment. We were having to put money out to support these people. Today we have over two million people working who are not taking out of the system but who are paying into it.
They talk about revenue and economic growth. I stand here proudly as I look at the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and the minister responsible for northern development who has invested in the north and created jobs. These people are working hard to put people to work.
The hon. member talks about tax equality. When I go to the doctor and I have an ache in my arm, he will start from that point and work his way. We did everything within our means to deliver compassion to the nation. I stand proud that the high tech industry the member talked about is growing by leaps and bounds.
There has been the creation of 2,000 21st century research chairs across country. The United States has MITs. Can we imagine having 2,000 MITs across our country? That is what it is all about. The government and the Prime Minister chose not to build monuments for the 21st century. They chose to invest in the future of the country, our youth, by creating the Canadian millennium scholarship endowment fund which is preparing our youth of today for the economy of tomorrow. That is one of the best investments we have made.
Let me close by saying that we have followed a very balanced approach. This is reflective of what we are doing by modernizing legislation permitting Canadian companies to compete locally and internationally. The member for Peace River referred to provincial barriers. I am hopeful in the future and with their co-operation we can move toward working with the provinces to bring down interprovincial barriers so that we can have mobility.
With our health care system we have sent a very strong statement to Canadians across the country that the Liberal federal government is adamant about protecting health care. It will enforce the Canada Health Act. It has put its money where its mouth is and we intend to continue in that direction.
In closing let me thank all the parties that co-operated to fast track Bill S-26 for the good of the country, for the good of Canadian people and for the good of Canadian companies.