Mr. Speaker, we will start with the last question on partisan appointments by the Quebec government. If the statement made by my colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord were true, knowing the Quebec press and how hard it is on the government, and how closely it follows the debates, I think the government would end up getting hassled about every one of its appointments. As far as I know, there are guidelines, there are mechanisms which lead to the recommendation of certain candidates for this or that position and the executive makes the decision on the appointment, because that is its responsibility.
As for the municipal amalgamations, the example I have in mind when I hear about this is Mont-Tremblant. On the one hand, we have all the development of the mountain with astronomical investments, and on the other the nearby villages which benefit less.
In its wisdom, the government said that it would form a new entity and that everyone would benefit from the riches. It is too easy to say “No, the mountain belongs to me and I am keeping it for myself,” as some people wanted to do in certain areas of the Montreal region, particularly in the west island. The idea of municipal mergers is a new way to redistribute wealth, and I think that it will bear fruit. Those who were opposed to the mergers are now beginning to realize that people are generally very satisfied one year later. Imagine what it will be like once the mergers gain full steam and they really start to pay off. They will benefit all of Quebec's economy and true democracy.
Finally, I would like to give today's example. In philosophy, there is comprehension and there is extension. It is possible to get to the same place using different approaches.
The sensitive issue of sponsorships is a good example of bogus democracy. There are new elements in this affair. We know that there may have been fraud involved. There was certainly propaganda. We saw big “Canada” signs on the ice at the Forum, costing $500,000 a piece.
Then, there are the contributions to the Liberal Party of Canada. When we ask questions of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, we get the impression that there are government agreements. The government answers in its own way without being accountable to the public. A minister answers that he does not really understand the question for whatever reason. He gives whatever answer he wants, and as the opposition, we are forced to live with that. This demonstrates my little thesis that Canada is a democracy that is in very bad shape.