Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the Bloc's anniversary.
We all remember the coalition's beginnings. The Bloc leader said that the Bloc's role was to close files. Given the number of files our government has closed, it would appear the Bloc has failed.
The Bloc believed it had power. Eighteen years on, the Bloc has succeeded in changing the names of two ridings.
The Bloc wanted to achieve sovereignty via Ottawa. Now, however, many members of the Bloc fear that they have instead improved federalism.
The Bloc was supposed to build momentum for the sovereignist cause. Now, however, the referendum has been put off indefinitely.
The Bloc was supposed to be very, very temporary. Now, however, Bloc members tell themselves that the longer they stay here, the better their pensions.
Despite its record of failure, the members of the Bloc seem to be quite content to still be in Ottawa. After all, they are contributing to their pension funds, collecting their salaries and taking advantage of their benefits, all without having to make one single decision.
Now that it is 18 years old, I would invite the leader of the Bloc to acknowledge that his party is powerless and utterly empty-handed.