Mr. Ghislain Lebel (Chambly, BQ)
Madam Speaker, I would like to tell the member who just spoke and seems refuse to admit the obvious that the Atlantic provinces had chosen. Rather than having a higher income tax rates they had chosen, as a way to collect taxes, to have a higher sales tax. Of course, in the Minister of Finance's calculations, they could lose 5% of their revenue by harmonizing. But it was a political choice they had made. Rather than having a fairer tax rate they had preferred to have a higher tax rate. The fact remains that harmonization has cost and is still costing a lot of money to the Government of Quebec.
I would like to ask a question to the minister who just spoke. If there had been a sovereignist government rather than a federalist one in Quebec City when this deal was signed in 1990 might things have been the same? In fact, I put this question to Quebecers: Do you see how a federalist government in Quebec City has served us in the harmonization process with the federal government? I would like him to answer that.