Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak again. Perhaps I could very briefly speak as an economist and a student of Canadian history with regard to the answer of the finance minister. These are facts.
When Mr. Chrétien, whom he mentioned, came to power, he inherited a $42 billion Conservative deficit. Within four years he had put that deficit into a surplus, balanced the books and then ran eight consecutive years of surplus. That is the happy situation the minister inherited from Mr. Chrétien's Liberal successor. Those are the facts.
I have also examined growth rates of program spending by government and I am happy to share them with the minister in a non-political fashion. If we take the whole Liberal period from 1993 to 2005, the growth rate was less than half of the growth rate under his two years of government. Those are facts and I do not want to enhance them with political histrionics.
I will go on very briefly to say that this is a budget that is mile wide and an inch deep. It is a shotgun approach which has no focus at all. To the extent there is any merit in this budget, it consists of the fact that the government has taken Liberal ideas and applied those ideas to its budget, generally speaking, in a watered down fashion.
Let me end by just giving a few examples of these borrowed or stolen Liberal ideas.
Here is the first example: permanently transfer the gas tax, as we promised in February 2007.
Here is a second example: provide direct support to the automotive sector, as we requested in January 2008.
Here is a third example: create jobs and improve public transit by making new investments in infrastructure, as we recommended in February 2008.
Here is a fourth example: set aside funds to hire additional police officers, as we promised in March 2007.
I could go on with all the examples of Liberal commitments and ideas that have been borrowed and then implemented in a highly unsatisfactory, watered down way but I will not go on because I will have the opportunity to speak at greater length tomorrow.
Therefore, I move:
That the debate be now adjourned.
(Motion agreed to)