Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the speech by the hon. member for Richmond-Wolfe. I know he listened with interest himself to the words of the Minister of Human Resources Development earlier, when he spoke about the overtures made to the provinces to work out a new framework for the social security system, as described in part in the budget, and in other government initiatives to involve the provinces and work with them in a spirit of partnership, so that together they might develop a new social security system that will meet the needs of all Canadians.
Given these initiatives and the position the hon. member has just expressed on Quebec sovereignty, I would like to know whether he thinks there is a happy medium. Would it be possible to work in partnership with the government of Quebec in developing a new generation of social and other programs, which might, in his view, enable the people of Quebec or the government of Quebec to really participate with the rest of Canada in these programs?
Given that the referendum, if the government of Quebec ever sets it in motion, is not a foregone conclusion and that there is a good chance, if not a strong possibility, that Quebecers will say "yes" to Canada, as they have always done, and "no" to separation as proposed by their provincial government, is there any way, in his opinion, consistent with his option, to work together with the government of Canada, other provincial governments and in the other partnerships involved, to improve and renew Canada's social security system?