Yes, they are poisoned. We must judge a government, and especially the minister, by its legislation. This minister is arrogant and his legislation is provocative. Furthermore, Bill C-20 is an insult to and a crime against intelligence.
It more or less tells the members of the National Assembly “You are not bright enough, not intelligent enough to determine your own destiny. Mr. Bouchard, Mr. Charest, Mr. Dumont, you are three minus habens. You are waterboys, second class politicians or, as Trudeau told Bourassa, hot dog eaters”. That is what Trudeau said.
Moreover, it is an insult to and a crime against freedom. My adolescent students used to say “We are free”. They were right. I imagine that Quebecers are quite capable of freely making their own choices. Bill C-20 says the question must meet such and such requirements. Any other question will be considered as ambiguous. Is that freedom? Is that the extent to which freedom can be exercised in this Parliament?
The federal government's judgment can supersede Quebec's judgment. As my colleagues said earlier, Bill C-20 is undemocratic. In 1980, the federalists won with 50% of the votes plus one; they were happy and they celebrated with champagne. In 1995, the federalists won with 50% plus one, and they really brought out the champagne. However, at the next referendum, if we win with 50% plus one, that would not be enough. According to the Prime Minister, such a result could not be recognized. The rules have changed somehow.
I have always admired Mr. Ryan who, many years ago, was the editor in chief of Le Devoir and has also been the Leader of the Opposition in Quebec. He is a remarkable man. He said he would recognize these rules. Joe Clark, a former Prime Minister, said the same thing in this House.
What is going on here is that they are using their strength to crush a whole people, the Quebec people. Never will the people of my riding, the people of the riding of my colleague from Charlevoix, whom I had the honour to meet twice, and the Quebec people as a whole go for such legislation.
Ottawa's bill is not only abusive, it is unjust. Its proponents are acting with the arrogance of conquerors. Those who support them are serving a cause or purpose. What cause or purpose? To eradicate anything that makes possible the existence and the expression of a people that the constitutional order of the Canadian society obstinately refuses to recognize.
We, in the regions, are fed up with a government, which, instead of trying to settle real problems and create jobs, is attacking our government, the government of Quebec and those who are truly elected by the people.
This government dares to dictate our conduct. That is something that no one can or will accept. We find the dirty tricks of the present Liberal government pretty tiring. Even the Liberal MPs from Quebec, and that is what is sad and unacceptable, fail to understand and are not attuned to their constituents. I can understand this in the case of those representing anglophone ridings, but the member representing Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet should have ears to hear what his fellow citizens are saying. After the next election, he will no longer be around. It is perfectly clear, because people with freedom at heart, people who understand what Quebec wants, will definitely show their MP the door, minister or not. And they will not be ushering him out an emergency exit for his safety, but booting him out the front door.
There is no way to ignore the sour note on which this past century and this past millennium came to an end. If the Quebec people were to bow to the yoke of Bill C-20, it would be a sign that we had been tamed. We would be just like the domestic animals on the farm to serve humans. I trust that my friends across the floor will understand, and I will offer a quick summary.
If the people across the way want to put up fences, if they want to impose a yoke on us, if they insist so much on keeping us, this must be, I should think, because our values are superior to theirs.