Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst puts into words exactly what I was thinking. He does so better than I could. We will feed him another question and let him try it again.
When the CHST was first introduced, the National Council on Welfare called it the most devastating social policy initiative since the great depression. Let us imagine going forward with a policy that experts in the field cited as devastating.
I ask that we hearken back to a time when we had established program funding, when social programs were funded at 50:50. Did the federal government not have a better opportunity to maintain national standards when the funding level was 50:50? Under that system, if a province failed to meet national standards it could be punished by having its funding reduced. Was there not more capability to have true national standards under that funding mechanism than under the CHST?