Mr. Chair, the Canada Economic Development Agency, or CED, has traditionally contributed to the development and diversification of the economy in the regions.
Yesterday, the government announced $71 million for SMEs in the regions of Quebec, even though this money had already been announced on May 13, 2020. The icing on the cake is that the minister is taking the money intended for the regions through the regional relief and recovery fund and giving it to Montreal.
Of course, we must be sorry about the major economic impact that the big cities have suffered during the pandemic, but it's inconceivable that subsidies for the regions would be taken away and given to the big cities. It's like stealing from Peter to pay Paul.
According to the government, Montreal's financial health has a direct impact on that of the regions. The regions need winning conditions to attract private investment. The CED must be more flexible to better meet rural needs. That's a win-win situation for Montreal.
Montreal needs the regions, not the other way around.