Mr. Speaker, before beginning, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Champlain. What we heard from him is just common sense.
That is what Bloc Quebecois members are all about. They have common sense and they understand the reality that voters in their ridings have to face every day. They are the ones who defend the interests of all Quebeckers and Canadians.
I am pleased to speak to this motion brought forward by the Bloc Quebecois. Finally, one political party in this Parliament has decided to expose what has been going on behind closed doors within this government and within the Liberal Party.
The situation that currently exists in the Parliament of Canada is very troubling. It is almost like total paralysis. Nothing is happening. What do we see when we ask questions during question period? Ministers contradict one another, as we saw again today. The Minister of Transport was contradicted by the Minister of the Environment.
That is what we witness every day. Canadians and Quebeckers have the right, through opposition members, to obtain answers regarding issues of real concern to them.
I was listening earlier to what several government members were saying. I realized that they were totally out of touch with reality. Is it normal that the Liberal majority, which runs the country, has two leaders? There is a democratically elected Prime Minister. In August 2002, he decided that he was going to leave office in February 2004. And behind the curtain stands the man whom I call the Phantom of the Opera.
Is it normal that behind the curtain stands a man who has not yet been elected leader of his party but who is already exercising the powers that his colleagues in the Liberal Party have decided to confer upon him? And most of the time, in exercizing these powers, he is going against the broad objectives set by the Prime Minister. The Kyoto protocol is one thing that comes to mind.
I will talk about highway 175 in my region. In August 2002, the Prime Minister of Canada came to my region. You know how many times I talked about this issue during oral question period. I asked many questions about this highway, which is called the route du parc des Laurentides. It had become an urban legend. After nearly a year, the Prime Minister came to our region to announce that his government would pay 50% of the cost of this highway.
No one can convince me that it is because of the former Parti Quebecois government that no agreement was reached. This is sad. All the ministers I was able to talk to never said that the PQ government had done something to delay the agreement. Nearly a year later, there is still no agreement on this issue. Is it bad faith?
Who is making the real decisions? The current Prime Minister, whom I trusted, made a commitment on this. However, does the member for LaSalle—Émard really want to reach an agreement that was signed in Quebec when Bernard Landry was the premier? This highway is very important for the development of my region.
People in my region are asking this question. They tell me that I should hurry up and ask the Liberals to sign the agreement, because they fear that, with the member of LaSalle—Émard, there will be no agreement.
This is a source of considerable concern. The hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord was just talking about EI benefits and saying that they are being improved. Ours is an industrial region that was a model for the aluminum and pulp and paper industries, but there are no longer any jobs being created. We know that it is not good for one's self-esteem to have to go on EI, particularly when one gets 55% of what one used to earn, not good at all. So let us not exaggerate here. People do not want to be on benefits, people in our regions want to work.
What did the government do about the softwood lumber crisis? Three million workers in my region have lost jobs because of it. Two years later, the Minister for International Trade is standing up to pat himself on the back and announce that we are going to win out. In the meantime, most workers in my region are no longer even on EI. This is being unrealistic.
When we see the way this government is deteriorating, I think that all Liberal members ought to be congratulating the Bloc Quebecois and ought to be voting as a block themselves in favour of this motion. Not because it is against the present PM, but because it will get this Parliament back up to speed, get things settled and force the future PM to come out from behind the curtain and provide some answers to the real questions we are asking democratically.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are elected by people who wanted us to be sitting here in this Parliament to play the watchdog role they wanted over this government, and wanted the opposition to ask the real questions. Ordinary citizens cannot come to this House and question ministers and the rest of the government themselves. We have to speak for them.
I sometimes wonder whether those members actually go to see their constituents from time to time. If they do, do they listen to them or is it just a matter of popping in, delivering a fancy speech, and popping out again?
As the hon. member for Champlain has said, our constituents are constantly asking us when the situation in Ottawa is going to be settled. We do not know any more than they do, we are not able to solve our own problems. We are well aware of what is going on. Only the hon. members across the way do not realize that everyone knows. People are not blind. The press is constantly reporting on what is going on with this government, particularly the arm twisting and backstabbing that is going on.
With this motion we merely want to get out of this mess. The present situation is really quite detrimental to democracy.
The government House leader argues that this is a non-confidence motion that would bring the government down if it is carried. The government House leader is using that argument because he is scared; he does not know if the future PM will let him keep the keys to his limousine. That is what he and his colleagues on the front benches are afraid of.
Several of the partisans of the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard are getting ready to take their places. They want to keep enjoying their perks for a few more months. We are not here to enjoy perks but to ask real questions and get real answers. We pay taxes.
The finance minister has been bragging now for two days about the budget surplus he just announced. The Bloc Quebecois had predicted an even greater surplus. The minister is bragging when he knows full well that he had to take $3 billion out of the EI account to get this surplus.
We are entitled to put real questions to the real PM, that is the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard. We are told it is not a done deal. Come on. We know it was settled a long time ago. Do you take us for fools, do you take the people for fools? Do you think they believe that this might not happen on November 15?
We are entitled to get answers to our questions and to address our questions to the real PM. This motion would ensure that, as is done in any great democracy, the real PM, who is hiding behind the curtain, will answer real questions.
When you have someone who owns boats and does not pay taxes in his own country, you have a serious situation on your hands. If you did not pay your taxes, Mr. Speaker, you would be prosecuted. The member has not paid his taxes, so we want to ask him some tough questions.
I hope that members will all vote in favour of the motion brought forward by the Bloc Quebecois.