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View Marty Morantz Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Minister, I just want to see if you could reconcile something for the folks who are watching today. I know you're fond of talking about how Prime Minister Harper handled the economy, and we have different views on that. You've made that point over and over and over, but you have to look at yourself as well. Back in the 2015 campaign, you made commitments to voters, as did the Prime Minister, that the budget would be balanced in 2019. I went back last night and read over some of the personal statements that you uttered. I'm sure you recall making those statements.
As well, the first item in the mandate letter from the Prime Minister to you is that you will continue to reduce the government's debt as a function of our economy. That's number one on the list, so I'm assuming it was very important to the Prime Minister that you maintain that. In the last fiscal update, the debt-to-GDP ratio actually rose. That's no longer an anchor you can lay claim to, at least for the time being. Hopefully, it will improve.
Getting back to the issue of the promise, I wonder if you can reconcile this. The 2019-20 budget originally projected a $19.8-billion deficit. In your update, you said it would be $26.6 billion. How do you reconcile what you said and promised personally to the Canadian voters before they actually placed their trust in you, and what has actually happened?
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