Just last week Jacques Noël, the prolific statistical sleight of hand artist, who skillfully turns Quebec water into wine, used his powers of selective data to skewer an article printed in La Presse, "Péréquation: plutôt 1200$ à chacun!" written by Pierre Simard, a professor at l'École nationale d'administration publique, in Quebec City. LINK
"For the fiscal year of 2010-2011, the Government of Quebec will receive $8.5 billion in transfers in federal equalization payments, or 60% of the 14.4 billion paid to all 'have not' provinces. This amount represents 13% of the 65.5 billion projected revenues of the province of Quebec. A gift, considering that Quebec taxpayers contribute about 20% federal tax revenues. In sum, 80% of that Equalization cheque is funded by our friends in the Rest of Canada (ROC)......"
For fiscal year 2010-2011, each of us receive a cheque of about $1,200 or $4,800 for a family of four." LINKI don't think that this is an earth-shattering revelation, but the impact on a family is quite eye-opening, especially to those of you in provinces paying the freight. Ahem..
But according to Mr. Noel's logic, the equalization payment to Quebec is not charity at all, it's well deserved, nothing more than make up payments for all the shortfalls Quebec is subjected to.
He provides a laundry list of federal programs where Quebec gets 'less' than its fair share, but conveniently forgets about those programs where it gets more.
Mr. Noel might well have been a contortionist in a previous life to come up with all the billions that Quebec is supposedly short-changed each year. It makes for amusing reading and is so patently absurd that only the most militant nationalists could take it seriously.
Unfortunately, disinformation, bad statistics and misinterpretation is a two way street.
It would be remiss of me not to pass judgment on those in the Anglophone community that sink to the same level.
While the number of anglophone journalists and experts that engage in such voodoo analysis pales in comparison to those on the nationalist side, it behooves me to call them out just the same.
A study to find out whether francophones make more money than anglophones, by it's very nature is suspect because it is agenda-driven. I wonder, if Mr. Jedwab's study had proved the opposite, that anglos make more than francophones, if he'd have published the results. Methinks, no.
It reminds me of the Journal de Montreal sending a reporter to downtown Montreal to see if she could get a job speaking only English.
These 'studies' are self-fulfilling and always prove what the author intends.
Interestingly both Mr. Jedwab and Mr. Castonguay both tried to prove that their own respective linguistic communities made less than the other, in order to better play the victim card.
It's these type of arguments between idiots that we should steer a wide berth around.
Last week Mr. Jebwad was at it again, touting a poll that indicated that francophone Quebeckers were much less open to Jews than English Canadians Americans, Spaniards and Germans.