Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to what the hon. member opposite was saying, and I would like to comment on some aspects of her speech.
For instance, she made a big thing of this reaching out to us by people from western Canada, from Vancouver and Saskatchewan and the other western provinces. I want to tell her I do not question the feelings of love and affection these people showed Quebecers, except that it was made very easy for them. For instance, air fare from Vancouver to Montreal probably costs from $2,000 to $3,000, and these people got their tickets for $150 or $200. Now what if the situation was reversed? If Quebecers wanted to go and visit Vancouver, I am not so sure people would do us a favour and offer us tickets at $150 a piece. One starts to wonder how genuine this love and affection was. It was a great opportunity to visit Montreal on the cheap.
And I also noticed in her speech that she referred to Canada as a wonderful host country for immigrants. I agree, but what difference would it make if Quebec became sovereign? Immigrants who want to go to Vancouver or Halifax, or Saskatchewan or Quebec would still be able to go there.
In our blueprint for a Quebec society, we did not say that if Quebec became sovereign, we would stop immigration. I think the civility and warmth that are typical of Quebecers would make Quebec a very good host country for immigrants. I see no problem there. Why this claim that immigration can only work within this so-called great Canada? I do not understand.
Are you implying that a sovereign Quebec would not be a good host country for its immigrants? Is that what you mean? Is this Canadian federation the one and only panacea? Is it impossible for a sovereign Quebec and English Canada to each find their own way outside this Canadian federation instead of going on as we have done for the past thirty years and wasting time, money and effort, on all this constitutional wrangling?
In Quebec, successive provincial governments from Jean Lesage to Mr. Parizeau have tried time and time again to find ways to stay in Canada, but they never succeeded. Are we going to go on for another thirty years about Meech Lake, Charlottetown and constitutional problems? We are fed up. We want to go on to other things. We have tried everything, but nothing works.
We never managed to reach an understanding. What makes you think that by continuing the constitutional debate between English Canada and Quebec, we would manage to agree? When I consider all the attempts made during the past thirty years, I see no reason to believe that continuing this useless debate will accomplish something positive. Instead of this endless bickering under the same roof, we would be much better off as good neighbours.