Mr. Speaker, its existence was so secret that it appeared in the public accounts under the name Option Canada. Big secret.
But if the member wants to focus on spending, when we see the difficulties of the Quebec economy right now, we would just like to point out what was spent by the Government of Quebec in connection with the referendum: secretary for restructuring, $9.4 million; regional commissions on the future of Quebec, $8.5 million; grants to the Conseil de la souveraineté, $4.8 million; mailings to all Quebecers during the referendum, $2 to $3 million; hiring firms of lobbyists, $0.5 million; money spent by the office of the chief electoral officer, $57.8 million. This comes to a total of $82.7 million, according to Le Soleil , which published this article when the referendum was over.
So, when a government has financial difficulties and spends a minimum of $82 million on a referendum, they could have put this towards improving the economy, something Quebec really needs.