Mr. Speaker, I am intrigued by the chosen title for the bill, the unanticipated surplus act. It never fools Canadians that year after year the government deliberately lowballs the projection of surplus and then at the last minute it says that it has discovered several billion more dollars about which it did not know, which raises some concerns about financial management to say the least. Then it says that it has some money to roll out for whatever it deems to be the purposes for which it might receive the greatest political rewards. Could the minister comment briefly on that?
Second, I heard a lot of talk about the government's commitment to balance. I could use any number of examples, but where was the balance going into the 2000 election? This was after six great years of creating enormous deficits in health, education, literacy particularly, as this is an appropriate time note it, infrastructure, affordable housing, environment health and the list goes on. It also has created an immense deficit in the reputation of Canada, internationally, as a good global citizen, having driven our commitment to ODA from 0.5% down to 0.23%. Where was the balance in the 2000 election eve decision to give away $100 billion in tax cuts? The government attacks the ultracons for that all the time. Where is the consistency?