Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively and I have again come to the same conclusion: Bloc members continually pit one against the other and continue to pit Quebec against the rest of Canada. That is their mission. Since that is why they are here, what else can one expect?
The member also talked about how, when we moved to the equal per capita formula, Ontario somehow benefited more than Quebec and that B.C. and Alberta somehow benefited more than Quebec. I point out to the hon. member that Quebec did in fact balance its provincial budget when it received a $1.4 billion increase in equalization payments.
I want to remind the hon. member that the province of Quebec also benefited from an increase in equalization payments. The province of Quebec receives 34% of transfers from the federal government. It has, as the hon. member mentioned in his speech, just under 25% of the population. One has some difficulty understanding how a Bloc member can continue to stand up and say that somehow the rest of Canada is being so unfair to the province of Quebec.
He asked why we had moved to the equal per capita? Is the hon. member actually saying that in the eyes of the federal government—and there are a number of people sitting in the gallery today—some Canadians are more equal than others depending upon which province they live in?
We inherited a system which was a cap on cap. When we were able to find the resources, we moved to an equal per capita so that every Canadian, regardless of what province they lived in, would receive an equal amount of money in transfers that go to the provinces for health care services and education. I do not understand how the hon. member can say that we are being unfair to Quebec because we are moving to an equal per capita system for all Canadians.
The member also talked about economic dependency. Has the hon. member ever thought that perhaps the economic dependency that he is talking about is really triggered by the consistent push by the Bloc for separation? That underlying theme does have an impact on Quebec's economic development each and every day.
I guess the bottom line is that they have nothing to add to the debate so they will just pit the rest of Canada against Quebec and say, “oh, my God, we are being unfair again”.
As a member of parliament, he should at least have the decency to say that there are things the federal government offers to the province of Quebec and to all Canadians, regardless of where they live, that are of benefit. There is a reason to be part of this great country and that is to ensure that we all move into the next millennium in a way that we are able to prosper together.