Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quebec Confidence Scam

I'm no fan of Jeffery Simpson in the Globe and Mail, but he has an interesting article of how Quebec recently screwed the federal Tories and the "have" provinces. (read)
After much caterwauling and nattering from Quebec about the “fiscal imbalance,” Mr. Harper had duly handed over billions of additional dollars for social programs – only to find that a campaigning Mr. Charest had taken the first tranche of the money and announced tax cuts to help his re-election bid. At which point, Mr. arper hit the roof.

Further betrayals arrived. Mr. Charest, having pocketed the billions for the “fiscal imbalance,” sent his Finance Minister to announce at the beginning of the federal campaign that, no, Quebec's “demands” (Quebec is always demanding) had not been met.

With every Conservative candidate campaigning on having settled the “fiscal imbalance,” it was quite a blow to their credibility to hear Mr. Charest declare the matter unfinished. Of course, Mr. Charest had many other grievances and gripes that needed attention. So much for giving Mr. Harper a break in Quebec.


And yet, here's the dilemma: Despite a staggering economy, growing unemployment and a fiscal nightmare, Ontario taxpayers, via Ottawa, are still going to ship billions of dollars to Manitoba, the four Atlantic provinces and Quebec.

Last week's Quebec budget had $8-billion in equalization payments, amounting to 12 per cent of total revenues. Notwithstanding this bonanza, and the fact that payments had almost doubled, the budget contained a chapter complaining about how unfair equalization was to Quebec. Call it Gallic gall.

It's hard for me to believe that I supported Charest for the PC Leadership Race of 1993. My dislike started for him soon after the disastrous election that year when he refused to partner with the then Reform Party. Now as the Quebecois crook-in-chief, my hatred is viseral as well as political.

Wouldn't it be nice is Quebec seperated? Why Isn't Quebec an Independent Country?

I'm glad to see that the Conservatives and Harper are looking elsewhere to pick up support.

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