Madam Speaker, it is quite revealing that the secretary of state for regional development in Quebec should thank the opposition for giving him the opportunity to talk about Montreal. Just imagine. He needs to be given that opportunity by the opposition because the government does not give it to him. That is quite something.
Today, my colleagues will be talking about a whole series of actions, or non actions, rather, of the federal government affecting Montreal. But first of all, I think it is worthwhile to set some objective criteria to better understand the situation in Montreal.
A very interesting study has been made of 15 big cities in the world, including three Canadian cities, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Various indicators can be used to better assess the situation in Montreal. On that basis, we will see who is responsible for what, and what the federal government is doing or not doing in Montreal.
If we look at labour cost indicators, we see that Montreal ranks third, behind London and Stockholm, for directors general; second, behind London, for secretaries and professional engineers; third, behind London, Stockholm and Vancouver, for system analysts; third, behind Atlanta and London, for laboratory technicians, and fourth, behind Toronto, Atlanta and Los Angeles for electronic assemblers.
We compare very well, contrary to what some would have us believe, such as the militant community paper of the West Island, The Gazette , which paints quite another picture of Montreal for its North American and worldwide readership.
On the business tax indicator, Montreal ranks second, behind Stockholm. On the R and D cost indicator, Montreal is the very first city in the world. On the telecommunications cost indicator, it ranks second, with Toronto, behind London. Montreal has the cheapest first class office space in the world.
On the industrial land cost indicator, Montreal ranks second behind Atlanta. It stands in third position, behind Toronto and Atlanta, on the industrial construction cost indicator. Montreal holds to the third sport, behind Vancouver and Stockholm, on the hydro cost indicator, despite our harsh winter. For natural gas, Montreal ranks fifth in a group of 15 cities, which is not bad.
In terms of the quality of life index, Montreal is third with an index of 1000, behind Toronto and Vancouver, which are about at the same level with indexes of 1002 and 1003 respectively. In terms of public security, Montreal is sixth out of 15 cities. The cost of living index has Montreal in second place right behind Vancouver, with only a point difference. Montreal ranks first for its cost of housing index.
So, these are very encouraging statistics, and yet Montreal faces some serious problems. There are those who would say this is due to political uncertainty. That is the expression they are using these days. In answer to which we argue that there is one certainty, which is that the members opposite are doing absolutely nothing. And we can prove it.
When they talk about political uncertainty, I can still hear the big names supporting federalism, such as Laurent Beaudoin of Bombardier, for instance, who said during the 1992 debate: "You know, political uncertainty is preventing people from investing in Montreal and that is terrible." The same week, he announced the biggest investment Bombardier ever made outside the country. It bought Short Corporation in a city known for its incredible stability, Belfast. Belfast is a very stable city.
When the Prime Minister travels with Team Canada, he goes to visit Russia, another very stable country, Russia is. We see it all the time, the mafia is practically running the whole country over there. The rouble is not worth much. They are out of money. Yes, indeed, a very stable country.
Now we have free trade with Mexico, and is Mexico more stable than the province of Quebec? Do we have something like Chiapas in Quebec? Is the former premier of Quebec in hiding somewhere in the world, because he is accused of fraud and suspected of murder? Come on! Get serious. We are all in favour of trade with our Mexican friends, but do not compare the stability in Quebec with the situation in Mexico. That is pushing it! You might be Liberals, but I hope you can still reason a little bit better than this.
Still on the issue of stability, we are now negotiating a free trade agreement with Israel. That country is on the news every night. Can you compare the political stability in Jerusalem with that of Montreal? Of course not.
They like to use the expression "political uncertainty" and when they do I can see them smiling, because they are glad to see what is happening in Quebec. They say one thing when they are in Montreal and something else when they are in Ottawa. That is what the Prime Minister likes to do. We all know that.
Now we are going to talk about the real things, the real figures, and I guess my hon. colleague, the Secretary of State for the Federal Office of Regional Development, does believe in the work of Statistics Canada. I guess it is a reliable federal institution, graded A+. We will see about that.
Expenditures on goods and services: federal structuring expenditures in Quebec in 1994, 19.7 per cent; grants and subsidies to businesses, 20.5 per cent; capital financing, 18.3 per cent; total structuring expenditures in Quebec, 19.7 per cent; Quebec population, 24.9 per cent. We seem to be short of 5 per cent here. And yet this is published by Statistics Canada and not by the Bloc Quebecois.
Federal investments in Quebec: 1993, 18.5 per cent; 1994, 15.7 per cent; 1995, 15.3 per cent; 1996, 13.2 per cent. These are the figures. These are the facts. Everything else is only rhetoric and lip service on the part of all of the prime ministers, from Trudeau to this one. And I see that the one who is getting ready to take over is sending the same signals, is thinking along the same lines, is backing us into the same corner.
That party, as paleontologists would say, is an exemple of an evolutionary dead end.
To conclude, I move, seconded by my colleague from Laval-Centre:
That the motion be amended by adding immediately after the word "recognize" the following:
"the area of".