Mr. Speaker, in 2010, Vancouver will host the Olympic Games and Toronto will host the NATO summit. Quebec, meanwhile, has been left behind. Quebec City could have hosted a major convention, but the Conservatives sabotaged the city's efforts. By refusing to allow parliamentarians from certain countries to come to Canada, the Conservatives denied Quebec's capital city the opportunity to host next spring's Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly. Instead, the 2010 IPU assembly will be held in Bangkok.
Recently, the member for Lévis—Bellechasse complained about the cancellation of the re-enactment of the battle of the Plains of Abraham, arguing that cancelling the event would deprive Quebec of significant economic spin-offs. Yet a convention attended by 1,500 delegates from 150 countries around the world would have had an even greater economic impact. His government prevented that from happening.
Quebec might be a contender to host the IPU in 2011, but for that to happen, the Conservatives will have to set aside their ideological stubbornness.