Quebecers have made it clear in past referendums and elections that they wish to remain within the Canadian federation, Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather told a Bloc Québécois MP in the Commons last week.
The exchange with Xavier Barsalou-Duval took place during a debate on the government’s tax bill, which Barsalou-Duval supports.
Housefather thanked the Bloc MP for supporting Bill C-2.
“I understand that his political party believes that Quebec should be an independent country,” the Mount Royal MP said. “In his speech, he said that Quebec did not need the federal government and that his people were trapped in a federation. Twice, in two referendums, our people voted to remain in Canada.
“After two referendums and a number of provincial and federal elections in which our people decided to stay in Canada, why does he still believe that the desire and will of the people of Quebec are not respected?”
Barsalou-Duval countered that no Quebec premier has signed the Canadian constitution “since it was forced on Quebeckers in 1982.
“No one has accepted the situation that Quebec is in. We are in a kind of no man’s land. Ottawa continues to impose things on us that we never agreed to. The best example is the [Energy East] pipeline.
“A number of studies, which were swept under the rug, have shown that the federal government went well beyond its allowed spending for the 1980 and 1995 referendums,” the Bloc MP charged. “It cheated and did not follow the rules.”