Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Calgary Shepard for that point. Having three children at home, I am used to speaking when there is a lot of noise around but nonetheless I appreciate the point. It is an important one.
The issue of sustainability really speaks to the core of so many other conversations we have. Are we preparing for the future? The government is not interested in it. It is not interested in having a fiscal plan that would prepare us for the well-being of the next generation.
The Liberals promised in the last election that they would have a balanced budget after four years. They also said no more than $10 billion in deficits in each of the three preceding years. They totally blew that target out of the water. They have added a massive, unprecedented amount of debt. They know this will impose significant cost burdens on all of us. It means that without a plan to pay this deficit off, there will be higher taxes and more challenges. Canadians who are already struggling to get ahead will have to pay more as a result of the failure of the Liberal government.
On the other hand, our party presents to Canadians an alternative positive plan, an approach that believes in the importance of balancing budgets not as an end in and of itself, not just because we like the look of a balanced budget on the balance sheet, but rather because we understand that for Canadians who want to get ahead and who want to pay lower taxes a balanced budget is important.
Canadians understand the importance of a balanced budget in their own lives. They know that if the budget is balanced, that if we are paying down debt and we are not facing increasing burdens of interest on that debt, we can actually do more in the long term. If we have a balanced budget framework, the expenditures that are made in areas like social programs and tax cuts are sustainable changes. When we promise spending outside of the framework of a balanced budget, those promises are not at all sustainable. We do not know if they will continue because the government does not have a fiscal plan that guarantees it will be able to continue.
However, as the previous Conservative government did, when commitments are made in the framework of a balanced budget, to increase benefits, to provide tax reductions, to support the vulnerable or to invest in, for example, the housing first approach to homelessness, we know that those things will continue into the future.
That is the difference that a balanced budget makes to people at home. That is the difference it makes to people who are trying to get ahead. When there is no balance, when there is no plan to get to balance, we all have to pay for the debt and deficit associated with it. When there is a plan, then people who are working hard to get ahead know that they have the predictability of a fiscal plan to rely on, that the spending they are receiving will continue to increase into the future and that the commitments that are being made are a reality. When we do not have that fiscal plan in place, that is the kind of situation we are up against.
That is why it is important that the House not support the message to the Senate that the government has put forward, that we reject the particular message coming from the government and that, instead, we have an alternative message that recognizes the value of this particular amendment, which builds performance-based contracts into our understanding of sustainability and ensures the fullest understanding of sustainability in the context of how we do it.