Madam Speaker, I certainly agree with some of the things my colleague mentioned, in particular with the fact that the Liberal government is responsible for the chaos in the health sector coast to coast.
I would also like to comment on what she said regarding national standards. At first glance, national standards seem to make sense, but when you start thinking about it and look more closely, you realize that such a vast country, made up of provinces and of Quebec from coast to coast, and to another coast since there is the Arctic, cannot have a single standard. You cannot impose the same norm across the board.
There are differences in needs between the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario and the West. National standards might do more harm than good. In fact, the proposal of the premiers assembled in Saskatoon provides that a province, Quebec or any other, can withdraw from a new federal program, if judged inappropriate to its particular environment.
It would be an excellent thing, because the government would transfer to the province enough fiscal points to generate the same amount of money the federal government was willing to offer. That way, the province could set up a similar program, but better tailored to its own needs.
If we had followed this kind of approach over the last decades, we would not have experienced the troubles we have. I would like to give an example, and I will ask my colleague for her comments on the matter.
A case in point is the millennium scholarship fund; $2.5 billion of taxpayers' money will be entrusted to a private body headed by the president of Bell Canada. What for? To give scholarships to students. This seems great and it is for the rest of Canada, but not for Quebec.
For over 30 years we have had a scholarship system which has been running smoothly. Our situation is different. These millennium scholarships deal with a problem we do not have. Statistics prove it: Quebec students graduate from university with an average debt load of $11,000. In the rest of Canada, it is $25,000. Why? Quite simply because CEGEP is free; the last year in CEGEP is first year university in other provinces, a very expensive year since tuition fees are much higher than in Quebec. In some places they are more than double what they are at Laval or in Montreal.
The problem is when you want to make a system universal, it is very difficult to meet everybody's needs. How is the member who raised these issues earlier reacting to this? Does she not understand the opting out clause is fundamental to meet everybody's needs?