Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise on behalf of the constituents of Mount Royal, one of the great and diverse ridings in our country, in response to the throne speech.
It is understandable that the throne speech focused on the economy, given as the throne speech itself put it, “This is a time of extraordinary global economic challenge and uncertainty”. The throne speech is not incorrect saying that the first order of business must be to put the international financial system on a sounder footing.
The government must also acknowledge that its own stewardship of the economy raises troubling questions and lessons to be learned here at home. I trust, and I say this in the hope that the government will reflect upon these questions and the lessons to be learned, and in the words from the Speech from the Throne, the government will “provide the strong leadership that Canadians expect...will protect Canadians in difficult times...will maintain a prudent course for the country’s finances...will work with Canadians to secure our future prosperity”.
We on this side of the House will join in that mission on behalf of all Canadians and in that context pose the following questions and the corresponding lessons to be learned.
How is it that, in the space of only two years, Stephen Harper's Conservatives have been able to transform eight consecutive years of strong growth and budget surpluses into economic slowdown and a deficit?
Why has Stephen Harper's government been the biggest spending government in Canadian history? Federal expenditures—