Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to our budget, strong leadership, a balanced budget, and the low-tax plan for jobs, growth, and security.
We live in the greatest country on earth: Canada. People come here from all over the world for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, they come to Canada for hope and opportunity. Yes, they want opportunity for themselves, but more importantly, they want opportunity and hope for their children.
The riding I am so privileged to represent, York Centre, is very ethnocultural. I go around the community endlessly, time and time again, and what I see reminds me of when I was young, when my dad came to Canada as an immigrant and how hard he worked, and how hard new immigrants to Canada work. When I shake the hands of some of these men, these hands are worn. These hands have blisters. These hands are hardened by the hard work they do because they want to see their kids succeed in the hope and opportunity Canada has to offer.
We see this paying off. When I go to high school graduations, which I do every June in the riding of York Centre, I see kids whose parents came to Canada just a few years ago, and they are the ones who are getting all the scholarships to universities and colleges. They will be the doctors, the lawyers, the professionals, and the tradespeople of tomorrow.
I remember, growing up, when I would wait for my dad to come home late at night. He had a shoe store, and I remember peering through the window blinds waiting for him to come home. When I saw him pull into the driveway and get out of the car, I got so excited, and I know that these kids do too. As tired as he was, he still had time to play with me or do homework with me, just like these kids today in the riding of York Centre whose parents come from another country. That is what Canada is all about.
That is why we have presented here today, and since 2006, a path and a plan for economic prosperity in Canada. It is so immigrants will have opportunity and can have hope for their children.
We have presented a plan here in the House for debate today that is based on low taxes, on trade, and on a balanced budget. Why is it important to balance the budget? The opposition parties do not think it is important. We cannot really blame New Democrats. They are blinded by their ideology, an ideology of spend, spend, spend. Spend as if we have it, is their ideology. What is the Liberals' ideology? They are still searching for one, but they do have a set of principles, and if we do not like those, they have a whole other set for us.
Let me tell the House a bit about our plan, a plan for jobs, for growth, and for long-term prosperity. Our plan has created 1.2 million net new jobs since the depth of the recession in July 2009. Our financial sector has been rated by the World Economic Forum for the seventh year in a row to be the soundest in the world. We have lowered taxes not 50 times, not 100 times, and not even 150 times. We have lowered 180 different taxes. We have taken over one million people off the tax rolls altogether. We have brought in income splitting for seniors so they can split their pensions and do not have to pay as much tax.
Now we see that the Liberals and the New Democrats are against the proposals we have in this budget to put more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families. They seem to be under the impression that the government treasury will have less money. We know what that means. First, they have to understand that this is not the government's money. My dad and these dads and moms in York Centre who are working hard, that is their money. They have earned it. They say that the government will be out of that money.
The taxpayers would have more money to spend how they see fit. Let us not forget that, when our government introduced the universal child care benefit, it was the Liberals who got up and said people would just use it to buy beer and popcorn. What an outrage. People are using this money to pay for education for their children, and if they so choose, to pay for daycare for their children. It is about choice. It is about putting kids with the experts, those who know how to raise them. That is not the government, Liberals, or NDP. That is mum and dad. They are the experts on how to raise children.
Our fiscal plan is sound. It makes sense and it is working. We do not know the opposition's fiscal plan. We know the Liberal's is smoking marijuana, for one, but the NDP plan is to raise taxes and spend recklessly. Both these plans fail the first test of fiscal responsibility, which is that the numbers just do not add up. New Democrats just want to tax and spend because they think there is an endless supply of money out there. Well, that chicken has been plucked. There are no feathers left. There is only one taxpayer, and taxpayers are maxed out. That is why we are lowering taxes. That is why we see people spending more money.
We have lowered corporate taxes. The NDP seems to think we need to raise corporate taxes. We do not. It does not understand that corporations, artificial entities, do not pay taxes. Taxes are passed down to the end user, which is the consumer, so middle-class Canadians pay higher prices because corporate taxes are higher. Therefore, we lowered those taxes. Now we find that corporate investment in Canada is way up. Corporate taxes are way up and there are more jobs as a result. That, at the end of the day, is doing our job.
Canadians sent us here in 2006, 2008, and 2011 to get the job done, and that is what we are doing. We made a pledge to the Canadian people that we were going to provide jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity, and that is exactly what we are doing. We are going to be the first government in the G7 to balance our budget, and not just balance it—we will have a surplus of $1.4 billion.
The opposition parties are very fast at criticizing what we do, and they propose these kinds of wacky schemes like carbon taxes and one-size-fits-all daycare where there is no choice. They do not understand the reality, and when we try to explain it to them, they just want to double down on what they know is wrong, or they should know it is wrong. That is why it is incumbent on us, the government, the Conservative Party, who know that Canadians deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets so they can decide how to spend it. It is not to create big bureaucracies to spend and tax wildly with reckless disregard for the future.
Success is not by chance, but it is by choice, and we have been making the right choices since 2006. That is why we are not mired in recession, as are other countries around the world. If it were up to the opposition, it would have us right at the edge, like Greece.