Mr. Speaker, I would note, before beginning, that I am sharing the time available to me with the member for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel.
I would like to congratulate the member for Papineau on the motion she has introduced for public debate today. I would also congratulate my colleagues in the Bloc. Listening to them since this morning, we might well conclude that the case is almost closed and the masks keep falling away. I will therefore avoid lapsing into condescension and redundancy.
However, I would like to recognize the decision by the Conservative government and the two other opposition parties to participate in this debate in spite of the difficulties it apparently causes them in terms of Quebec. I say difficulties, because they must be aware of the unanimous opinion of the National Assembly of Quebec on the subject we are discussing here today.
By their positions, in fact by their past and present posturing, as confirmed by their votes right here in this House, they crystallize a tried and true tradition in federal politics. They could not care less about the unanimous opinions of the National Assembly of Quebec. The most unfortunate thing is that they have among them sons and daughters of Quebec who claim to speak for Quebec.
While they may be the elected representatives of the Quebec people, they do not dare to explain to their party, in government or in opposition, that it is unwise, to say the least, to scorn the National Assembly of Quebec. Yesterday, today, and time after time, the Quebec nation is cheated by its federalist members, who are intoxicated by the simple fact that they help to provide alibis for the government team.
They sacrifice the interests of the Quebec nation to those of the Canadian nation. What words can we use for that kind of behaviour? We must recognize that Quebeckers place enormous trust in representatives who are totally loyal to them, who demand respect for their rights in a parliament where a majority represents another nation. They are worthy, and they speak the truth. We are those people. That is why I am proud to be one of those representatives.
For more than a half-century, the National Assembly of Quebec has been disputing the existence of the federal spending power. Regardless of political allegiance, all Quebec governments, without exception, have stated their intention of defending the integrity of Quebec’s legislative jurisdiction and its ability to decide its own policies, policies that suit its own needs, that are made to fit it, policies that reflect its uniqueness and its difference, policies that reflect its own unique talent, its own unique identity.
The federal government has repeatedly interfered in matters under Quebec’s jurisdiction, and every time it had not even been invited. In the recent throne speech, the government said that it was open to fair compensation, provided that the programs of both levels of government are compatible. The Conservative government has to understand that Quebec’s historic demand calls for full and unconditional compensation. Any interference, any conditions placed on Quebec, will always be rejected by the worthy representatives of the Quebec nation.
Given the present conflicted relationship between Quebec and Canada, and particularly in relation to the issue before us today, given the repeated deadlocks in which we have often found ourselves, sovereignty is the only viable insurance policy. Day after day, this is what the people of Quebec are preparing for.
When our home is threatened, it is our duty and our responsibility to defend it. All the same, let us not be narrow-minded about it, as some might say. The adoption of the Bloc Québécois motion in this House would be the most sincere signal that the Conservative government could send to Quebeckers, assuming that the famous speech by the Prime Minister on December 19, 2005 to the Quebec City chamber of commerce was not just sounds coming from his mouth for the sole purpose of seduction, of getting Quebeckers to swallow the noxious mixture of his party’s values.
Voting in favour of this motion would also restore to politics its letters patent of nobility, which have been much damaged in the Canadian Parliament with its many breaches of promises made, its misrepresentations and its shams of all kinds. It would be an act respectful of the truth and of democracy.