Mr. Speaker, let me begin by congratulating the Prime Minister on his re-election.
I would also like to remind the Prime Minister that it was he who appointed Mr. Kevin Page as our dispassionate and independent Parliamentary Budget Officer. This is significant, because Mr. Page came out with a report this morning which leaves the Prime Minister absolutely nowhere to hide in terms of direct and personal responsibility for Canada's impending budget deficit, the first in more than a decade.
On page 16 of his report, Mr. Page wrote, “The weak fiscal performance to date”--that means a deficit is coming--“is largely attributable to previous policy decisions”--that means actions by the government--“as opposed to weakened economic conditions”--that means the global economic crisis.
In black and white, the Prime Minister's own appointee has said that our impending deficits, and he says we will be in deficit for at least the next two years, is due to actions taken by the government and not to a deteriorating global economy or Canadian economy. These are actions like reckless spending increases by the finance minister, to the point where he is the biggest spender in Canadian history; the erosion of the tax base; and, worst of all, the spending of Canada's contingency reserve, which is our safeguard against going back into deficit.
Would the Prime Minister admit, coming from his own appointee, Kevin Page, that he has no longer anywhere to hide, that the deficit is not the fault of the international community, and that he and his reckless finance minister are the sole proprietors of Canada's deficit?