December 19, 2006

Charest in Election Mode Already

Yesterday Jean Charest was boasting about the way he managed Quebec’s finances and how it had garnered him a rating of Aa2 by Moody’s. You would expect him to be crying over the fact he is so short on money that he cannot pay for the services Quebecers need like, I don’t know, say, a properly funded health care system.

People will say that there cannot be a fiscal imbalance because the Quebec government is in such good financial shape. If the province really needs money, all it has to do is raise taxes. They have the power to do it, but not the political will I guess…

Along comes the super rich federal government, with 9 consecutive monster surpluses. Is it up to the federal government to give their surpluses to the provinces? Nope. But, how did the federal government get rich? On the backs of the provinces, with the CHST.

That is why there is a fiscal imbalance. Because money was cut and not restored. Now, how can the provinces be in such good shape? It is not normal of a province to go about in chronic deficits whining that they cannot possibly function. Who suffers? People who need medical service, students who are seeing the quality of their universities go down or outside Quebec, their tuition rising, people at the lowest income level in society, who have seen welfare cut and EI restrictions made more strict. They suffer. So while arguments can be made against the existence of the so-called fiscal imbalance, the repercussions of the so-called problem are being felt day after day. What people need to do is stop boasting and start working.

10 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

How come it seems to be only Quebec that is having problems funding its programs? Other provinces adapted to the cuts, why not Quebec? (Ontario is another story, they cut taxes and became unable to pay for their stuff)

Taxes are high enough in Quebec, but not Hydro prices...

The federal government has vacated lots of tax room since 1999, maybe it is time for Quebec to take some of it?

12/19/2006 12:23 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I dont think vacating tax room is really the solution Kyle.

We are also vacating the role of the federal government which used to have national minimum standards in health care post-secondary education and welfare. Now we are only left with the Canada Health Act that nobody respects...

12/19/2006 12:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

If Quebec had 3 to 4 thousand more per student, maybe the national standards would be met (didn't you argue against national education standards mere months ago?)

Of course, that money could be made up by charging student tuition at the Canadian average.

So a solution to the fiscal imbalance is money with strings attached?

It is surprising that Bouchard himself asked for tuition to be raised, along with Hydro, yet no one listened. Once Boisclaire nose dives maybe he will come back?

12/19/2006 1:07 p.m.  
Blogger Ed King a dit...

Once Boisclaire nose dives maybe he will come back?

Unlikely. Bouchard was premier for 5 years. He had ample opportunity to do these things himself. Clearly Mr. Bouchard enjoys complaining from the sidelines far more than actually making tough decisions! :)

12/19/2006 1:35 p.m.  
Blogger Loraine Lamontagne a dit...

I wonder, having now lived outside of Quebec for two decades, would a politician like the new Premier from New Brunswick stand a chance of being elected in Quebec? Can you imagine a Quebec politician speaking of a desire to stop the provinces depency on federal transfers? If NB can desire to stop its dependency on Ottawa, could Quebec ever do likewise?

12/19/2006 2:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I tought Andre Pratte already said that there is no fiscal imbalance anymore, since transfers are for their most part back to the level of the early 90s.

12/19/2006 2:56 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

Harper has blown a lot of the surplus, FYI, with stupid stuff like the GST cut and throwing billions at QC to ensure a majority in the next election.
Are you voting for the PQ next time around?

12/19/2006 3:11 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

i argued against Ottawa dictating education standards to the provinces. There is a very big difference there?

anybody but iggy, now you are accusing me of being a separatist.

seriously, fuck off.

I am disallowing all comments from that handle. Don't like it? Fuck Off!

12/19/2006 7:07 p.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...


don't allow comments from anybody but iggy

seriously, freedom of speach is paramount, but this is your site and if someone is always personaly attcking you, disallow their comments.

anybody but iggy, get a life and do liberals a favor and joing the ndp

12/19/2006 8:29 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

Interesting column bailey, i took it for granted that the "fiscal imbalance" still existed to the degree that antonio seems to be suggesting.

Ah well, even with no fiscal imbalance
id be willing to trade cash for national standards. I just think we shouldnt be throwing money at provinces for made up reasons.

12/20/2006 2:02 p.m.  

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