Mr. Speaker, the member and I think other members in his party have said that the existence of a surplus means that Canadians are overtaxed. It is an interesting comment but he should also understand that under the system of accounting for the Government of Canada, the only way to pay down $1 of debt is to have $1 of surplus.
Paying down debt, in my CA terminology, is not a P and L item. It is a balance sheet item. Just for the member's edification, a surplus is necessary under the current rules to pay down debt. Under the rules, every dollar of surplus automatically must go to pay down debt. We cannot spend any amount of that after March 31.
The member suggested that if we see an anticipated surplus coming we will spend it all in advance. He argues that Bill C-67 must be a spending bill because they are spending it but Bill C-67 does not apply until after the fiscal year. The member is talking about before the fiscal year is over, so Bill C-67 would not apply. Clearly, he has not read the bill nor does he understand it.
I would suggest that we can debate as much as we want in this place about whether or not things are going well but the important indicator is whether Canadians think the country is in good shape.
I believe the international community clearly has recognized that Canada's economic performance has been a leader in the G-7.