Mr. Speaker, the member should seek an opportunity to rise in debate in a normal way instead of jumping up in such child-like fashion and interrupting the flow of someone who is trying to articulate a point which might be contrary to his and might be somewhat more factual. I am not making it up; I am reading from a document that quotes the supreme court.
If the member does not believe that the supreme court decision I am reading is accurate, the member should say so, I suppose. But I do not know where he would be coming from. What is the point of that debate?
It could only be—and not to be unfair because there is really another party I want to talk about a little more—that the NDP has looked at this and said “Darn it, they really have something here. They will put forward a bill that is clear to Canadians; a question that is clear”.
Most of their ridings are in eastern Canada, in the maritimes. I am sure the people in the maritimes are about as fed up with this talk of separation as are the people of Quebec, Ontario, the west and our territories. I am sure they are all sick and tired of this whole debate and would like, once and for all, to put the rules straight on the table.
The members look at it and say “Holy smoke, they might have something here. They have actually put together a bill which says there has to be a clear question, that the appropriate democratically elected people in the country have to be consulted and there has to be a clear majority”. Frankly, I think that is what the majority of Canadians want, including those people in Quebec.
In an attempt to find a way to oppose this bill, they have latched on to the tried and true aboriginal issue. We saw that in Charlottetown and in Meech. We came to recognize as a nation that if we want to try to amend the constitution, which is exactly what would be required under any attempt by a province to secede, the country is not governable in that sense. To amend the constitution of Canada is virtually impossible, to date at least, with perhaps one or two very minor exceptions to do with education, because any one person, as we saw in the Manitoba legislature, can refuse unanimous consent and hold up the entire country.
Any premier can go back to the legislature of a province promising to hold a vote, renege on that vote, and the whole thing dies.
If a member wants to throw something into the mix, throw in the tried and true aboriginal question and sure enough the process will be derailed.
I do not understand where the responsibility lies for a Canadian parliamentarian to do that. I do not mind that someone disagrees with the bill. In fact I understand the Bloc members disagreeing with it. It is their raison d'être to separate.
I found some of the statements of Bloc members really interesting. Let me share one with the House. One Bloc member said “You cannot judge clarity because there are language differences”. Is that not an interesting situation.
I wrote out what I consider to be, and what I think my constituents would consider to be, a clear question. It is fairly simple and fairly straightforward. It states “Do you wish to separate from Canada and become a sovereign nation, yes or no?”
Here is the question in French: voulez-vous vous séparer du Canada et devenir un pays souverain, oui ou non?
Where is the language difference? Where is the problem?
Members opposite do not like that question. Maybe they want a question that says “Do you want to maybe separate? We will cut a deal. We will see if we can get more money out of them. We will see what we can do better for you because you voted for us. Maybe we will get you some HRD grants, or maybe we will not. What do you think of that, yes or no?”
If they want to play games because they know they cannot win when it is a clear question, I understand that tactic, but I do not think the rest of Canada appreciates that tactic.
Then I heard the same Bloc member say, and I found this to be astounding, that his constituents do not want clarity, they want money. That is what he said. They want money for economic development and jobs. These are the same opposition members who would stand to castigate the Minister of Human Resources Development for investing in the province of Quebec, in the various ridings of members opposite, and ridings right across this country.
Those investments are investments in people, the people of Quebec. The reason the members do not like them of course is because they are afraid those investments might make, God forbid, the country's government look good. That is not the reason it is done. Our policies are very clear. We go into economically depressed communities and we try to help them, because we understand as a government that is part of our obligation.
I do not care what party sits on this side of the House, that will always be, and should always be, part of the obligation of a government which tries to run a nation with the disparities and the geographical differences that exist in this country. Members ought to travel this land, go to places in Quebec and Labrador. Anywhere in this country they will see the need for government assistance.
Finally, I heard a member stand to say that Quebecers were not consulted when other people were allowed to join this country. Presumably the member was referring to Newfoundland. I do not understand that. I say to the member, what about the rest of Canada when it comes to the province of Quebec voting on a referendum question that would indeed destroy this country? Does the ROC, the rest of Canada, not have something to say?