Mr. Speaker, before and during the last election campaign, the Prime Minister stubbornly denied the existence of any crisis. He then even presented an ideological statement about dealing with the crisis, promising a surplus. A few months ago, his Minister of Finance was talking about a $34 billion deficit, and yesterday he admitted that it would be $50 billion instead. Today there are 1.5 million people unemployed and half of them are not receiving employment insurance benefits.
Was the Prime Minister totally incompetent in not seeing the signs of a looming economic crisis, or did he want to conceal the economic reality in order not to compromise his chances of being re-elected?