Thanks for the plugs today in Question Period, fellows. Much appreciated.
Le très hon. Stephen Harper (premier ministre, PCC): Monsieur le Président, je peux même citer le Toronto Star, journal libéral, où l'on dit au sujet du déficit que l'opposition ne veut pas commencer à sabrer dans les dépenses du gouvernement, mais bien au contraire, l'opposition demande que le gouvernement dépense davantage.
The editorial in the Toronto Star goes on to say, “Let's have a real conversation. The Liberal leader has said he would be open to the idea of raising taxes. The Prime Minister isn't”.
Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is coming from a party with a hypocritical position. That position is even noted today by what is going to be my new favourite paper, the Toronto Star. It says:
It's hard to take the opposition's outrage seriously. In January, when the government announced the projected 2009 federal deficit, both the Liberals and NDP accused it of not doing enough. The Liberals voted for the budget anyway, all the while attacking the Conservative government for (a) spending too much and (b) not spending enough. Now, the opposition parties continue with their internally inconsistent attacks.
Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the provincial budget in Ontario in 2001-02 was balanced. Yes it was. It was an excellent balanced budget.
I have to agree again with what is becoming my favourite paper, the Toronto Star when it looks at the opposition and it says, “The opposition should get a grip on itself. The deficit is a direct result of the global recession nor is the new deficit projection out of line with the outlook in other countries. The deficit would still just be 3.3% of Canada's GDP. By comparison, Washington's is 13.6%. Japan's, Britain's and Germany's finances are all higher than Canada's”.
I hope the--