Mr. Speaker, first, we can see what is going on in the Government of Quebec, where the mother house is making major changes to the Parti Quebecois program as it stood at election time. I just make this comment in passing.
I would simply like to read what is in the red book, the document our election campaign was based on. Here is what appears on page 22 of the English and on page 20 of the French:
A Liberal government will replace the GST with a system that generates the equivalent revenues, is fairer to consumers and to small business, minimizes disruption to small business, and promotes federal provincial fiscal co-operation and harmonization.
This is exactly what we have begun to do. We have succeeded in doing it with three Atlantic provinces and are negotiating with the others. Quebec was even ahead of the others. It understood the advantage of harmonization. We will finish the job with Quebec and we hope the other provinces will understand that a unified sales tax system in Canada is much simpler for everyone and much more effective.
We made it clear in the red book that we could not abolish a tax without equivalent revenues, because the priority of all governments at the moment, in Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto or elsewhere, is to eliminate deficits, which have been a source of economic problems throughout Canada, in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes.