Mr. Speaker, I thought the questions the member raised in the debate were quite good and quite thoughtful. It is a pity that he had to first take the questions from the other side.
The hon. member was concerned about what would happen during a catastrophe, such as a hurricane or some other natural catastrophe. I know the hon. member has been in government for a number of years. I am not sure whether this bill would apply to a situation in which there was an intervening event.
The books are closed off on March 31 and the surplus is declared by the Auditor General somewhere around September in the following year. Now if in fact there were a significant natural catastrophe between March and September of that year, presumably that would come out of the then budget of the government of the day and it would be a draw on that budget. It may put the subsequent budget into deficit but, nevertheless, it would come out of that budget rather than the determination of the surplus on the year's previous budget.
I would be interested in whether the hon. member thinks that is in fact the way in which it would be handled.
The second issue he raised is that the good times may not continue to roll, and he is absolutely right, and he gave a number of very good reasons why those times would not continue to roll. In which case, I do not think this bill would have any application whatsoever.