Mr. Yvan Loubier (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, BQ)
Madam Speaker, I would like to ask a question to the hon. member for Abitibi. He just told us that there were figures transmitted between Quebec and Ottawa officials, that everybody was getting along fine and that there was no problem. Where did he get that? The last figures laid on the table deal with a $2 billion claim from the Quebec government stating that the federal government has shown blatant unfairness to Quebec in the matter of GST harmonization.
He can quote any old figures he wants—and he did come up with just about any old figures—the fact remains that, when looking at the tax structure before and after harmonization, when taking into account the need for Quebec to increase corporation taxes because the federal government did not give it any compensation, one can see there has been a cost, and this cost has been assessed and duly, seriously, calculated by the Quebec government and by the officials, and also endorsed by a consensus arrived at by every Quebec participant in the economic summit of last year. It has been endorsed also by the Canadian premiers at the St. Andrews conference.
There comes a time when we have to stop talking nonsense here. There is a $2 billion claim on the table, there are formulas, there are cost assessments that have been made, and now we are asking that an objective panel review our figures and those of the finance minister. He should understand that. That is not hard to understand. If there is something simple for him to understand, it is that an objective, non partisan panel can make a serious analysis whereas he says just about anything. He should understand that.