IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ on the Report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question Period

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, le directeur parlementaire du budget confirme que ce gouvernement a de plus en plus de mal à gérer avec précision ses prévisions budgétaires. L'écart entre leurs chiffres et les vrais chiffres est en moyenne de 10 milliards de dollars par an. Ce gouvernement est trop optimiste et il cache les chiffres du grand public. Ça prend de la transparence pour produire un plan de création d'emplois. L'économie en a besoin et les familles canadiennes aussi.

    Quand est-ce que ce gouvernement va être transparent et efficace dans son travail fiscal?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has made it clear that he thinks it is necessary to continue to reduce deficits in Canada and we entirely agree. Indeed, in the economic action plan, the emergency plan that we brought forward in January 2009, every year we had deficit reductions leading up to balanced budgets in the medium term. The Parliamentary Budget Officer supports that track, Canadians support that track. We are not going to make the mistakes the European countries did with big deficits and big public debt. Surely that lesson has been learned, except by the NDP opposition.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we take no lessons from the government because we know the job numbers that it throws out are—

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

    The Speaker: Order, order. The hon. member for Burnaby—New Westminster has the floor.

    Mr. Peter Julian: They do not like to hear the truth, Mr. Speaker.

    Canadians are also starting to see very clearly the government has problems managing money. The PBO report is clear. The Minister of Finance is refusing to publish important information on trade, taxation and GDP. The PBO says that its fiscal projections are $10 billion off. We need real numbers to make a jobs plan work. Why are the Conservatives hiding the numbers, when will they commit to fiscal transparency and when will they provide an effective jobs plan in this country?

    Hon. Jim Flaherty (Minister of Finance, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we have a low-tax plan for jobs and growth. Here it is. We like this budget so much that we introduced it twice this year. The Liberals opposed it the first time and look where they are now: down in the corner.

    For members who have not had a chance to read it yet, I have good news for Christmas giving. There are still a few copies left. The demand has not absorbed all the copies. Chapter 5, in particular, has the statistics on reducing the deficit. It makes warm, comfortable fireside reading. I urge the member—