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View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2020-04-29 17:23 [p.2267]
Mr. Speaker, I join my friend from Peace River—Westlock in saying how much we long to get back to worshipping together in our places of worship.
In the member's speech, he asked if the government could point us to a model of what economic recovery could like. I was reassured by a fascinating review by the parliamentary budget office on March 30, which I recommend members have a look at. There really are not road maps or models for what we are going through when we voluntarily shut down our economy in the pandemic. It is quite different even from the 2008 financial crisis, wherein I note parenthetically that the Conservative prime minister of the day actually prorogued Parliament and shut its doors so we couldn't be here to discuss anything, so we will take it as absolutely genuine that the Conservative Party wants democracy with us meeting face to face now. That was not the case in 2008.
My point about the parliamentary budget office report is that it points to World War II as probably our best sense of something like this. What the parliamentary budget office points out, and I am just going to double-check the report, is that there were massive deficits for Canada at the peak of the Second World War, averaging 21% of GDP year over year, from 1942 to 1945, and yet because the spending and the deficits were temporary in nature, we had the largest surplus ever in the history of Canada following the war, a budgetary surplus in 1947 of 5% of GDP. I am sharing that background from the parliamentary budget office.
Because this spending is not permanent, because it is temporary in nature and because we want to keep people and businesses afloat, the hope is that we have a road map here, but it is looking to history, not to the current—
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