Madam Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating you, personally and on behalf of my constituents from the riding of Charlevoix, the riding of the former Prime Minister, Mr. Brian Mulroney, for your appointment to the chair.
Like my colleague from Ahuntsic, who spoke about infrastructures, I would like to say that in a riding like Charlevoix, where unemployment is high, and where the income level is low, the mil rate is nevertheless quite high. If I understand correctly what was announced by the President of Treasury Board regarding infrastructures, a grant of $527 million would be paid to Quebec. For Quebec, $527 million and $700 million for Ontario. Granted, we elected a very small number of Liberals in Quebec while Ontario sent quite a few Liberal members to the House,
but I hope we will not be penalized because of the October 25 election.
Several municipalities in Quebec cannot afford to pay a third of the costs. Will the government include, in the agreements with Quebec, rules or specific clauses in order to help small municipalities, maybe through the labour market, maybe by allowing them to pay on a half-time basis since, in some cases, spill-overs from the tourist industry bring additional revenues to municipalities, but only six months a year. For the smaller municipalities, it could also mean-one third, one third-if they want to take advantage of the program, it could force them to borrow the necessary money. Already they cannot support their poverty rate. Will the government think of additional revenues that could help small municipalities? Will each municipality be the local project manager, will they be able to encourage the local economy and local workers?