Mr. Speaker, this is not economic compensation for a problem created by the federal government; it is political compensation.
It is very easy to understand. If consumers in the Maritimes are asked to pay less sales tax in order to participate in the minister's proposal, and the federal government pays out $1 billion in compensation for this tax Maritimers will no longer have to pay, this is tantamount to saying to the people in the other provinces:
"Pay up $1 billion now, so the people in the Maritimes can pay less sales tax". This is what everybody understood.
Will the Minister of Finance confirm that the government's propensity to centralize everything including the collection and management of the GST and sales tax will cost Quebecers some $250 million?