Mr. Speaker, the finance minister will be giving Canadians an economic update next week. It has been reported that he plans to announce paying down the national debt by the amount of $15 billion to $17 billion.
Paying down the debt is important, but at this time it is crucial that as a country we address the crises of our lack of housing and our failing infrastructure.
A commitment by the government of $1 billion per year for 10 years would address the housing shortfall in all of Canada. A commitment of $1.5 billion per year would give us a real start on improving our highways as well as supporting increased public transit and green infrastructure like water and sewers.
One of the main reasons we have a surplus is that the government has abandoned its responsibility for housing, roads and infrastructure. Now the health and lives of Canadians are at risk. Canadians have lost confidence in a safe water supply and local governments are resorting to tolls to improve road safety.
The finance minister has more than enough resources to address these problems. No more excuses: let us fix the problem.