Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has been very clear. The compensation program offered to provinces having harmonized their tax with the federal tax applies to all of the provinces.
The provinces which lost money because of harmonization are entitled to compensation equivalent to half of the losses incurred. In the case of Quebec, it broadened their tax base since harmonization. For each of the past six years, it has collected more in sales tax than it did at the time of harmonization. Having lost nothing, therefore, it did not qualify for compensation.
This has been stated clearly, moreover, by the person who was Minister of Finance at the time of harmonization, and is now the opposition finance critic. He stated clearly and honestly that, in fact, Quebec had gained rather than lost in this arrangement with the federal government.