PQ’s politics of distraction mask province’s growing debt and sagging economy
By Kevin Woodhouse
At the start of last year, The Suburban spoke to Jacques Cartier MNA Geoffrey Kelley as the Parti québécois was starting its consultation for the eventual adoption of Bill 14, a law designed to tighten language laws in the province.
Kelley noted that “It is very disappointing to see the government moving ahead on things that could hurt the economy. Pushing the language debate and sovereignty is not acting in the best interest of Quebecers when there are proposed cutbacks in infrastructure spending when there are lots of pending issues for West Island residents.”
“Bill 14 is opening up questions that we had hoped had been solved already,” Kelley said. “The province needs to generate wealth to get out of debt and get the economy on track, not have more language police and debates.”
And while public protest and uproar eventually squashed the noxious bill, days and weeks were taken up on the sole issue, while the province’s debt continues to mount, the unemployment rate is higher in the province than the rest of the country and our growth is slower as well.
And instead of getting our resource-rich province out of the have-not category, relying less on transfer payments from other resource rich provinces like Alberta, 2014 will start with public hearings on Bill 60, an invent-a-crisis proposed law that will only serve to divide Quebecers event further, which seems to be the government’s plan in the even the second referendum, many now believe the Marois government is doing whatever they can to prepare the field for a third referendum Aside from the PQ’s usual obsessions about language and culture, the Marois administration has also made every effort to cut expenses as it struggled to keep the province’s balance sheet from slipping into a billion dollar deficit.
As of the week before Christmas, the Institut de la Statistique du Québec released its annual report which indicates that only Prince Edward Island (population 138,000) has less disposable income per family than Quebec. As Quebec is already known as the most taxed province in the nation, the institute’s figures indicate that the province’s tax policies $26,347 worth of disposable income per family lags far behind the Canadian average which was pegged at $29,907 per family.
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