Mr. Bev Shipley (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC): Madam Speaker, it is indeed my pleasure today to be standing here in this great place to talk about the implementation of our sixth budget, Bill C-38, which is about jobs, growth and prosperity in the long term.
It is an interesting time. As I listen to the questions that come about in this House, basically, it is the same questions all the time. However, this is trying to understand what this budget is about.
I am going to talk a little differently from some of the other speakers because, actually, budget 2012 is a building block that started with a foundation of Canada's economic action plan back in 2007.
The residents in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex understand what a balancing of a budget means. They understand what it means to move forward. They understand what it is to build on top of a great foundation.
Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, which is in southwestern Ontario, is an area that has an incredibly robust agriculture sector. It is an area made up of small- and medium-sized businesses that have a vision and a goal to become more successful and to build on great plans. It is a constituency that is made up of families that respect accountability and decisive action.
And so, when we go out as the Conservative Party of Canada to talk to, not only the people across, but specifically the people in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, they want to know how we got to where we are, in terms of the strength of this economy and the strength of Canada in relationship to the rest of the world. So, that always gives me the opportunity to talk about where we were, where we came from, and how we are going to get there.
I think I am one of the most fortunate MPs in this House because I represent the people of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. They understand the significance of when we create a deficit we actually have to pay it down. when the times are good.
When we got elected in 2006, because we had to take over and fix up some of the stuff that had been done by the previous government, we actually had an economy that was moving along and we paid down over $37 billion of the deficit, of the debt.
Actually, in 2008, things went bad.
In 2007 our party could see things around the world that were not conducive to growth. So we took action. Actually, that is when we introduced the economic action plan.
I do not know if there has ever been a budget process that has started with a vision as to how we are going to come into a problem, how we are going to work our way through it and then, at the end of the day, how we are going to continue to grow and build this country to not only be the best country that it is now, but for it to continue to sustain itself, not just for the short time, but also for the long time.
We believe that if we give businesses in this country of any size the opportunity to grow and we give them the opportunity to be successful, most of them would take that chance. However, we have to give them some tools.
We believe that Canada was an overtaxed country, in terms of, not only people, but in terms of businesses.
We believe that the governments are only the stewards of taxpayer money. We do not create the jobs, but we have an obligation to create the environment so that businesses and organizations can create the jobs.
We believe that a low-tax system and structure is one of the key elements which would allow businesses to become successful.