Mr. Speaker, first of all to say it is a confederation is completely false. It is a federation. If it were a confederation, we would have an entity comprised of sovereign states, with each of these states having its own sovereignty and governing itself as it wishes, while having looser agreements with their partners.
In the present federation, where everyone is deemed equal, some are more equal than others. The Canadian government, when created, gave to the provinces powers that were the equivalent of municipal powers and retained the rest. Consequently, whatever did not exist in 1867 automatically falls under federal authority.
In provinces other than Quebec, for example, French schools and services for seniors have been done away with. In Ontario, in the 1990s, they even tried to close the Montfort hospital. The Speaker is very familiar with this situation as he comes from that area. At the time, the federal government said that it was a provincial matter and that it would not get involved, and that it thought that was too bad. All this was permitted in order to walk all over the French fact in this country called Canada.
Thus, we find ourselves with a centralist country. Social services, income—the right to a decent income—education and everything to do with health, are all provincial jurisdictions and represent the greatest costs for society. It is the provinces that assume these expenses and the federal government that has the money. Because of how power has been centralized, the money does not flow to the provinces.
In Quebec, because of our community spirit, we have built a society with models in order to ensure that we can meet the needs of our citizens, despite the federal government. Thank God that we have a distinct territory, a distinct state, a distinct language and a distinct culture. Only the Government of Canada does not recognize the distinct society of Quebec. Well, it is not complicated. We will soon have our country, my friends.
Until that time, we will ensure that every cent that is added to the federal piggy bank is returned to us, Quebeckers—that our invested share is paid back. That could be in a regional debate in which the Outaouais is entitled to 25% of jobs and federal offices, and to everything that is owed to us. Similarly, Quebec is entitled to take back what it has coming via the current tax system, since it is contributing.
Therefore, in the current debate on social services, we would like to demonstrate, once again, that in those areas where we have developed social projects that are important for our population, the money that is in Ottawa must be returned to Quebec for the projects we have implemented, in the spirit of cooperation. However, Canada has never really understood this, because cooperation means cooperation for Canada. This has never been done in terms of the needs expressed by Quebeckers. Quebec is not better than Canada, but it is certainly not worse. It wants the same.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your close attention, as I know you are a proud Franco-Ontarian. You fully understand that it is in Quebec that we will finally achieve respect for the French fact in all of North America. There will be a French-speaking country in North America.
For those who believe that Canada still has some element of the French fact, there will be two such elements: Quebec and Canada. It is in this spirit, in a debate such as this one, that we would like to share with the rest of the country our way of doing things in Quebec, to serve as a model.
Take, for example, the Quebec model for day care. The Conservatives sabotaged it, which is unfortunate. There are even Quebeckers in this government who sabotaged it because they no longer have the interest needed for this file. That is their problem. Later, they will have to answer to their constituents.
Thus, we want our fair share, no more, no less, and we will fight tooth and nail to make it happen.