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Graeme MacKay is the Editorial Cartoonist for
Hamilton  -  Ontario  -  Canada
September 25, 1998

Finance Minister Paul Martin made the announcement
that, for the first time in 28 years, the Government of
Canada had recorded a budget surplus.

"This is an historic milestone. And it is an achievement
that belongs not to government but to Canadians
themselves," Mr. Martin said. The $3.5 billion surplus
had been applied directly to the debt – the first time
the Government of Canada had paid down the debt in
more than a generation.

"Apart from debt reduction, adopting any one of these
proposals in their entirety would put us in financial
difficulty," the Minister said. "That, quite simply, is the
very worst thing we could do. Safeguarding our financial
health at home is the sine qua non of riding out the
global storm we are now in. Turbulence abroad
mandates vigilance at home. Make no mistake. We will
do what we can. But we will only do what we can afford."
SOURCE