Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for putting the cat in among the pigeons.
Premier McGuinty was present at the negotiations of the health care accord and the equalization arrangements last September. I believe that at the time he was actually the chair of the premiers and was quite instrumental, in our view, in helping secure the deal that was negotiated over those several days in September.
As I said in my speech, that stabilized the funding going forward for both health care and equalization because we heard a predictable refrain from all the premiers. They were having difficulties doing their budgeting, particularly in the equalization formula which went up and down according to the relative prosperity of the provinces and may leave an individual province short from time to time according to how the formula worked or did not work in that province's favour.
At that time Premier McGuinty expressed his views and was greatly concerned that there be stabilization. I recollect, in the joint communiqué issued by the premiers and in fact all three communiqués issued by the premiers, that this formula was acceptable to all of the provinces, including the province of Ontario.
I do not know whether the premier has had a change of heart since September where he heartily endorsed the program. The other comment that I may offer is that the premier is right in one respect. Ontario and Alberta, and now Saskatchewan, are the contributing provinces and one cannot continue to expect that moneys will continue to flow from those contributing provinces to the point where their own fiscal arrangements are impaired. I think that the premier in that respect expresses a concern that is shared by many.