Mr. Speaker, the words "duplication" and "encroachment" have symbolic meaning in Quebec. The separatists never miss an opportunity to condemn federal interference.
However, what about when the shoe is on the other foot? Do we hear Bloc Quebecois members asking the PQ government to respect federal jurisdiction? No. They fall silent, as they did last week following Minister Simard's announcement.
Might I remind members that international aid comes under federal jurisdiction and that the minister responsible for CIDA is doing an excellent job in this area.
Sylvain Simard's plan to create a parallel secretariat will simply squander $1.5 million annually in an area that comes under federal jurisdiction.
As a Quebecer, I call on the Government of Quebec to direct its attention to citizens' concerns about hospital cutbacks. Minister Simard has just reminded us of the fable of the frog and the ox.