Mr. Speaker, I believe the member opposite understands pretty well what is at stake here. The contribution of the federal government in Quebec, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, has been quite obvious.
First there was Bill C-22, then Bill C-97, and I think that there is still a commitment to maintain this policy, as stated in Bill C-91, in the pharmaceutical industry in Quebec.
There is no doubt that Montreal's economy depends a lot on these technologies. The opposition is finally recognizing that, with this federal policy, we have been able to concentrate this high-tech industry in Montreal and in the province of Quebec.
Of course, if Quebec were to become independent or to secede, these companies would most probably decide to leave Quebec and settle elsewhere. After all, the main concern of these companies is, first, to enjoy a climate of confidence, but also to have the assurance that the federal government will protect their market and maintain the criteria that are so important for the pharmaceutical companies that want to stay in Quebec to grow and prosper.
The issue of confidence should not be overlooked. Any investor would tell you how important political stability is. The industry needs to know that the country will support it, in spite of all the problems we have. As you know, we went through some tough times after the Second World War, when the debt level per capita was very high in Canada, but we came through. The people looked to the future with confidence. They saw there was a lot they could do together. However, by dividing Canada, with Quebec going its own way, we will unfortunately lose not only some tax benefits similar to those provided for in Bill
C-91, but also the advantage of belonging to an economic partnership that has, in fact, proven itself.