Mr. Speaker, no one is questioning the member’s right to believe what he wants, how he wants, to express his ideas, to debate here in Parliament, to question me, to react, to comment, to make statements or to go back to earlier remarks. No one is stopping him doing that.
Does declaring that Quebeckers form a nation prevent the member from making statements, holding forth, arguing his points of view and defending an option?
It is a matter of fact, and the members of Quebec’s National Assembly, federalists and sovereigntists alike, unanimously admitted that Quebeckers constitute a nation. Is the member telling us that this simple statement prevents him from living, flourishing or expressing his points of view?
On the contrary, the member should rejoice at seeing Canada’s House of Commons follow the lead of Quebec’s National Assembly and recognize a fact that is in any case almost universally recognized, that Quebeckers form a nation. I fail to see how that in any way impinges on his political opinions. On the contrary, we should debate this matter without trying to dismiss one option or insert another, as his leader, the Prime Minster, is trying to do.
The debate on Quebec’s sovereignty or Canada’s unity will take place when Quebeckers decide to put this question back on the table. However, we are not putting a motion before the House today that discusses that.
We are asking the members of this House to tell us simply, frankly, honestly, sincerely, based on their own feelings and cultural background, if, yes or no, Quebeckers form a nation. It is simple to understand and I do not understand why the member feels so uncomfortable about debating the question.