Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. Indeed, under the democratic choice made in the January 23 election no member of the Conservative Party was elected in the greater Montreal area. Accordingly, the people of greater Montreal, including the areas to the north and south of the city, chose other candidates. It so happened that most of the candidates chosen were from the Bloc Québécois, and I am proud to work as a team with them, especially our ten new colleagues.
The appointment of Senator Fortier as the Minister of Public Works and Government Services confirms what the Bloc often said during the election campaign, which is that the Liberals and the Conservatives were essentially the same. Do as I say, not as I do.
When they are in opposition, they criticize the government. When they are in government, they forget what they said in the past. Hundreds and thousands of pages of speeches would have to be produced to see what the Conservative members and the current Prime Minister, while he was the Leader of the Opposition, said at the time. They criticized the practice of appointing people to the Senate as a way of compensating friends. At the first opportunity, on February 6, as the members of his cabinet were being sworn in, the Conservative Prime Minister appointed an unelected person to the position of Minister of Public Works and Government Services. This department has a budget of several billion dollars.
How can we in opposition put questions to him? I heard the parliamentary secretary say that questions could be put to Senator Fortier in the Senate. Does that mean that the Bloc Québécois will seek the unanimous consent of the House to go and put questions to Senator Fortier in the Senate? That is crazy. The Conservatives behaved exactly like the Liberal government they criticized.
The Prime Minister appointed a Senator, someone who had not been elected, as the minister responsible for the Montreal area. The department is a very important one, which generates billions of dollars in contracts, which have been put out of reach of questions in the House of Commons.