For over 20 years, the federal and provincial governments have made enormous efforts employing a variety of approaches in an attempt to stimulate Montreal's economy.
For people on social assistance, the loss of free dental care, prescription drugs and subsidized housing can greatly outweigh additional income from working. We've all heard the stories.
On the same day I was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada, I announced the most sweeping reform ever undertaken in the structure of our federal government.
To suggest that Quebecers willingly give up the chance to exercise fully their influence within the federal government would be to betray the historical role Quebec has always played in Confederation, and to undermine the legitimacy of their pride and ambitions.
Governments allocate enormous resources for social programs. And it is true that for many years we have had one of the best social service systems in the world. Yet we are still incapable of meeting the needs of tens of thousands of Canadian families.
In all modesty, we must admit that governments are not always the best doctors when it comes to diagnosing economic ailments and prescribing the right treatment.
I have always believed governments must adapt to the needs of the people, not the other way around.
I believe it is time for new leadership that is able to leave the '70s behind.