Mr. Speaker, that is truly what has happened. The formula itself is very complicated. If there were three economists in the same room they would come out with at least five or six different points of view because they would disagree with themselves after examining the documents. What they sometimes agree to in a meeting with first ministers or finance ministers is not always the fact after the case has been examined. That has been obvious in some of these negotiations.
Manitoba, New Brunswick and all others provinces are getting less than what they thought they would be getting. They are being penalized for some economic revival within their respective provinces and that is wrong. We have to build on success, not discourage success, which is exactly what the formula does.
In my opening remarks a couple of weeks ago I talked about the difference between Canada and other nations. Canada is a very generous country. It is recognized as the best country by the United Nations. We developed that strength or recognition because of the generosity we have exhibited or have created over the years, a recognition that when areas of the country need help we help them. We have always done that.
We do not discount the government in that regard. Over the years the record was not too bad on equalization, but the fact is that they were falling far short of the mark as of 1993. Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau would be ashamed of what the Liberals are doing to the poorer provinces in this fiscal arrangement they have designed themselves.
We do not want to go back to the old days prior to equalization because it has always been sensitive. This is what we do and it has been the right thing to do. An example of a country gone off the rails in terms of a person either doing it himself or it does not get done would be the United States. They have poor states by definition, such as Maine, Mississippi and New Hampshire. Mississippi has problems with its educational and hospital standards.
Any country could benefit from a system like ours. We have to build on the strengths of that system. We cannot be meanspirited, as the federal government presently is, in terms of equalization. We have to build on our strengths and the generosity we have exhibited in Canada for generations. We can only build on that. We do not want to see it destroyed.