Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec finance minister Bernard Landry tabled an excellent budget. With the little leeway available to him, he has shown the transparency and ingenuousness his federal counterpart has not.
The only fly in the ointment is that the President of Treasury Board's testy reaction to it was to call Bernard Landry petty and ungrateful. What next!
In 1996, the President of Treasury Board told us “When Bouchard has to make cuts, those of us in Ottawa will be able to demonstrate that we have the means to preserve the future of social programs.” Then, a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister was boasting that the federal government would be assuming 90% of the costs of the ice storm, when in fact it will barely pay 40%.
Here we have a glowing example of the federal government's cynicism, pettiness and ingratitude. The President of Treasury Board had nothing to say about the Bernard Landry budget, and preferred a personal attack over congratulations for his excellent work under the circumstances. Now, that is pettiness—