March 20, 2007

Does Ottawa Expect to tell Quebec How to Spend the Money We Fought For?

Seriously this mock outrage over the Charest tax cut is absolutely ridiculous. In the late 1990s, the Quebec government decided not to cut services like other provinces were doing. They also modestly cut taxes. Faced with the choice, Quebecers (or their government) decided to keep their generous welfare state.

Charest did what anybody would expect him to do. Quebecers have been overtaxed because we chose to wait out the federal transfers to solve the fiscal imbalance. Now that we have them, Quebecers can celebrate and Charest can return some of the money to the citizens.

Hopefully other provinces will take the money they are receiving and create programs like child care in their provinces. Quebecers have been patient. Yesterday we were rewarded.

27 Commentaires:

Blogger s.b. a dit...

That's funny. I thought it was money that Ontarions and Albertans earned. lmao So does the rest of Canada and anyone that doesn't buy into seperatist rhetoric in Quebec. Cut spending and stop whinining for god's sake.

3/20/2007 7:05 p.m.  
Blogger Steve V a dit...

"Faced with the choice, Quebecers (or their government) decided to keep their generous welfare state."

And that is a fair choice, just don't complain that you've been short-changed because of that choice.

"Charest did what anybody would expect him to do." an election campaign.

Actually, the PQ may have it right, in using the money to pay off debt.

3/20/2007 7:31 p.m.  
Blogger Ed King a dit...

Faced with the choice, Quebecers (or their government) decided to keep their generous welfare state.

That's not accurate. The government of Quebec decided to expand its generous welfare state. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the government of Quebec insisted that the federal governement transfer responsibility for manpower training and later parental leave and enriched the benefits of these programs. This created unnecessary duplication and increased the government of Quebec's financial burden. The unsustainable $5-a-day child care program was also introduced around that time. These were all legitimate policy choices made by the government of Quebec. At a time when other governments in Canada were making major cuts, including cuts by the federal government to provincial transfers, the government of Quebec chose to create new and expensive programs. The government of Quebec must take responsiblity for these choices.

The purpose of equalization is "to ensure that provincial governments have sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation." This is not what Jean Charest has in mind. Charest wants Quebec to have a greater level of public services while maintaining a comparable level of taxation, and he wants Canadians to pay for it.

Quebeckers are not overtaxed because they "chose to wait out the federal transfers to solve the fiscal imbalance". They pay more taxes because they have more generous social programs, and because they have allowed their debt to grow rapidly. Canadians should not be expected to foot the bill for these policy choices.

3/20/2007 8:22 p.m.  
Blogger Robertl a dit...

I don"t understand why you"re crying so much when quebecers have to vote for separation. Your blog is showing so much hate about Quebec.
Merde! I just understand. You like very much Quebec, but the problem is Quebecers.
Yes it"s a problem. Those dumb...

3/20/2007 8:48 p.m.  
Blogger UWHabs a dit...

There's nothing wrong with tax cuts, but it is a bit of a problem with mentioning a tax cut the day after taking billions from the other provinces.

It's probably fair to do, since as you mention on the hotstove that Quebec is still highly taxed, it still isn't good optics to have it the day after getting the money from the rest of the country.

Looks great to Quebeckers, but not as good to the rest of us outside the province.

3/20/2007 9:14 p.m.  
Blogger Mark a dit...

Let's see.

Quebec has lower taxes than my province.

Spends more on health and education per capita than my province.

Receives countless more federal subsidies for manufacturing, a seaway, airplanes, airports, and skidoos than my province.

Gets more immigrants than my province.

Gets a special deal to help pay for those immigrants that my province does not have.

Has cheaper tuition than my province.

Has a lower debt than my province.

When will we fix these imbalances?


3/20/2007 10:17 p.m.  
Blogger Mark a dit...

I just drove across the bridge from Dartmouth. It cost me 75 cents.

Because in Nova Scoti, bridges aren't paid for by the feds.

Every time I drive across the bridge from the Island of Montreal, it's covered by a crown corp. Damn that federal government for being so damn intrusive.

Vive la nation!

3/20/2007 10:19 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

what do you want me to say marc...

elect different politicians...

3/20/2007 10:27 p.m.  
Blogger Mark a dit...

But HCarest never said this was a fiscal imabalnce that only existed for Quebec. He said it existed everywhere.

Sorry to say, but I'm waiting for someone --anyone-- to convince me why, as a federalist, I shouldn't be cheering for Boisclair and Dumont this week.

3/20/2007 10:34 p.m.  
Blogger SteelCityGrit a dit...

If what you are demanding is the most expansive welfare state in Canada but comparable levels of taxation, then what you are demanding is plainly an imbalance.

Maybe Quebec deserves an imbalance tipped in its direction. Make that case. But don't hide behind an illogical and dishonest argument.

3/20/2007 10:51 p.m.  
Blogger Mark a dit...

Aside from seeing it as a revnue stream, does Jean Charest have anything in his platform that he likes about the rest of Canada?

I want to like the guy. I used to want him to win, I think, but after today's stunt I really need convincing.

The beautiful thing about Parizeau was that you always knew the feds wouldn't try to buy him off.

3/20/2007 11:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Can Quebec as a valuable member of Confederation be a standard bearer as what the Canadian welfare state should be?

Note to Greg Sorbara. There is money for you to spend on Thursday's budget. We are waiting for you to deliver.

3/20/2007 11:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio - this is bullsh*t and you know it.
Charest's tax cut is proof positive that the so called fiscal imbalance does not exist.
Harper will pay the price when the ROC wakes up to the the reality that they have yet again subsidized a well oiled welfare state.
At least this time we didn't have to threaten to seperate to get the payoff.

3/20/2007 11:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...


I find nothing wrong with living a delusion that Quebeckers can enjoy their social welfare programs, cut taxes, and live the livelihood they entitle to.

It is called social democracy. Citizens in most Western European nations do so with Quebec being the most prominent one in North America!!!!!

3/20/2007 11:38 p.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...


Your blog is being spammed by detractors. Pretty funny.

The comments here have been strangely one-sided. NO COMMENT.

Good post Antonio, keep it up.

3/20/2007 11:45 p.m.  
Blogger wilson61 a dit...

Alberta got over $300M, and no one is complaining. Very odd.
Even more odd, Quebec choosing tax cuts. About time.
Yip, even Dion is crying about not enough tax cuts!
Conservatism is on the rise in Canada.
Great budget,eh.

3/20/2007 11:53 p.m.  
Blogger Mark a dit...

" the livelihood they entitle (sic) to"

Sure. When will the rest of us be entitled to it?

3/20/2007 11:54 p.m.  
Blogger audacious a dit...

good for Quebec ... at least someone benefited from the budget! lol ....

3/21/2007 12:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...


When we lobby hard for the provincial governments to implement programs that are needed to enhance our quality of life. In Ontario, that may be the 10 dollar minimum wage and the restoration of labour practices that had been scrapped by the Harris government.

3/21/2007 2:21 a.m.  
Blogger Robert_S a dit...

Hopefully other provinces will take the money they are receiving and create programs like child care in their provinces.

Money we're receiving?!? Quebec gets $919 million... Nova Scotia will lose $5 million unless they give up the offshore accord.

Did you actually take a look at how much the other provinces are receiving?

3/21/2007 12:23 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

"Hopefully other provinces will take the money they are receiving and create programs like child care in their provinces."

great idea! with the loss of 1 million dollars this year, BC should have a real easy time setting up a childcare program. poor quebec, only 2.3 billion from the ROC this on earth will they make due???

3/21/2007 7:13 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

budget 2007:
-BC loses 1 million
-Nova Scotia loses 5 million
-PEI...who cares

_Quebec...2.3 billion
-ontario...1.1 billion
-MB...900 million

way to go prime minister harper, as our "expert" on the fiscal imbalance over at fuddle duddle has made clear: you have solved the fiscal imbalance!

3/21/2007 7:17 p.m.  
Blogger Robert_S a dit...

In today... if Nova Scotia doesn't give up the offshore accord it could lose up to 157 million.

2.3 billion vs -157 million... seems fair and balanced to me... no?

3/22/2007 7:13 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

the formula chang was one recommended to Harper by a committee set up by Goodale...

its purpose was to remove politics from the decision process in equalization...looks like some provinces were getting short-changed before...

3/22/2007 8:46 a.m.  
Blogger Robert_S a dit...

Harper sure is lucky the committee recommended a change in the formula that would benefit only the provinces where he needs votes. Strange coincidence I guess.

3/22/2007 8:54 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

sometimes politics works out that way

3/22/2007 11:40 a.m.  
Blogger Down & Out in L A a dit...

Quebec has the highest per capita debt in North America.

Abundant resources and access to cheap electricity.

It should be an economic powerhouse and a net contributor.

Recognizing and legitimizing the fiscal imbalance is a political tactical blunder that may have short term benefits for Mr. Harper but will be a long term problem for future federal governments.

As an Alberta resident, who has lived in six of Canada's ten provinces, I don't mind helping provinces with smaller populations and limited resources.

Pouring even more money into Quebec isn't going to solve the problems they have in governing themselves in a responsible and accountable manner.

We need a more courageous federal government that is prepared to break the mold, scrap existing equalization arrangements and resort to a more simple economic arrangement where the provinces that truly need help, actually receive it.

3/23/2007 6:44 a.m.  

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