I hear the hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke heckling. I was writing my memoirs and reminding myself of the day that I went to make an announcement in Haley Station in her riding. The evening before, my staff gave advance information to the hon. member. Instead of respecting the usual rules of confidentiality, she leaked the whole thing to the media, trying to grab a few of the headlines, and even invented for herself some praise as to how she had influenced the process.
The story gets a little bit funnier, because a little later after the announcement was made we returned to the House and the hon. member's seatmate was standing right beside her questioning the same program that she had been praising in her own riding just a few minutes before, namely, the technology partnership program. Thus, we had an Alliance MP, now called Conservative, which is the same thing anyway, standing in the House telling the Prime Minister that, first, it was terrible that we had the technology partnership program and, second, that it assisted companies like Bombardier.
Meanwhile, the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, still wearing egg on her face from what she had just done, was sitting right beside the member and it was obviously unbeknownst to her that her colleague was criticizing the program that not only was she complimenting but was taking credit for bringing to her own constituency.
That tells us of the Conservatives' inconsistency and how they can be wrong about good Liberal programs. In that case, and it is a rare exception, the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke was right in praising the program. She was wrong in taking credit for it, of course, and we all know that, but she at least was on the right track in that regard.
In any event, let us get back to the fiscal and economic facts of Canada. It is important for us to note that under this very competent Liberal government we have had eight consecutive budgetary surpluses, reducing our federal debt by $61 billion.
The House would no doubt want to know how many times the previous Conservative government had a balanced budget and a budgetary surplus. How about zero for the previous Conservative government? It never had a balanced budget, not even once, let alone the repayment of old debt. More than half of the accumulated debt of this country was generated between 1984 and 1993 when I sat on the opposition benches there, watching the Conservative government of the day.
Canada was the only G-7 nation to record a surplus in 2004. You would know that, Mr. Speaker, being the independent, objective person that you are. Canada is the only G-7 country expected to remain in surplus in 2005-06, that is, with the passage of Bill C-43 and Bill C-48, we will be the only G-7 country to be in a surplus.
I remind the House of what I said a few moments ago about the Conservative years. That is the reality. They can try to spin it every which way they like, but it does not change facts.
Let me get to some other facts here. The debt to GDP ratio of this country, that is, the debt to gross domestic product ratio, is now 41%. Shortly after we took power it had risen to 68%. It went from the second highest in the G-7 to now the lowest debt to GDP ratio, thanks to the Liberal government that we have now. The hon. members across the way obviously did not know of this when they said they were against Bill C-48. Perhaps listening to these clarifications will make them change their minds.
Furthermore, there are tax cuts of $100 billion for Canadians. The Conservative members do not mention this, of course.
We could talk about corporate taxes, which are in many ways more advantageous here than in the States. The Economist says that, in terms of a political environment attractive to investment, Canada is second in the world behind Denmark and ahead of the United States. This is an achievement of our government.
The members opposite do not mention this. They might do well to listen. Better yet, I have statistics that might convince a reasonable person who thought otherwise. This might leave out some of the members opposite, as they are not always reasonable.
We have increased our commitment to health care. There is a lot of discussion about that. We made $63 billion available in support to the provinces for health care between 2000-01 and 2007-08. We provided more money for the child tax credit. We improved the Canada pension plan by investing funds and by creating the regulatory framework that everyone is familiar with.
We have invested. A little earlier today, one Conservative member was speaking about investing, a member for whom I have a lot of respect and who is usually knowledgeable on issues involving research and so on. I am sorry, but I forget the name of his riding. He talked about not investing enough in research and innovation.
I do not know how much is enough, but we have invested $13 billion in research and innovation, turning Canadian universities and research centres into world leaders, including, for instance, the synchrotron in the province of Saskatchewan, which I had the pleasure of visiting during my last days as a minister. I guess time flies; it is a year and a half now since I have had such a function.
Let us end by talking about unemployment. The Canadian economy created 35,000 jobs last month alone. There is 6.8% unemployment now in Canada, compared to 11.2% when we took power, and three million more Canadians are working today than when we were elected. I will be leaving in the next election, but I will be proud that three million more Canadians are working since I crossed from the opposite side of the floor to this one.