Monday, November 14, 2011

Equalization & Deficits Fuel Quebec's Disconnect with Reality

One of my oldest memories is that of my mother gathering the children around the old Formica kitchen table and announcing solemnly that my father had lost his job and that money would be very tight until he found work again.
As a six year old, I really didn't understand what all this meant, but was frightened by the sight of my obviously distressed mother.
Over the next couple of weeks nothing really changed, we ate dinner each night as before and the quality and quantity of the food didn't change. My mother even continued to pay my allowance of 10¢ and the initial fear that I felt at that first family meeting faded. Eventually my dad found work and I'd like to say that everything returned to normal, but normal never really changed.

I'm reminded of this story, because watching events unfold in Quebec, there seems to be an uncanny parallel.
I can't help but feel that Quebecers remain unhealthily insulated and sadly oblivious to the coming financial meltdown because they haven't really felt the effects as of yet. Their allowance hasn't been cut and they haven't had food taken off the table.

Just as my parents used their savings to paper over the fact that there wasn't enough money coming in, the Quebec government has used deficit spending and equalization payments from the rest of Canada to maintain the fiction that the collective Quebec lifestyle can be maintained.

Last week, college and university students across Quebec left their classes to hit the streets in one of the very rare student protests.

The issue that roused them to action wasn't global warming or their position against war.
It wasn't about justice for minorities or a redistribution of wealth towards the poor, but rather sadly, a protest for redistribution of wealth towards themselves.
Two years ago over 100,000 students hit the streets to protest against the government's decision to cut bursaries.

Already enjoying the lowest tuition in Canada, students were outraged that the government was hiking fees over several years, which by the way, would still leave Quebec university students with the best deal in Canada, when all would be said and done.

But the ability to maintain such generous tuition fees in the face of a crushing and mounting deficit is of no import to students, because having been insulated from reality (like my mother did to me) they cannot fathom the government running out of money.
In interview after interview, not one student leader addressed the issue of how low tuition rates can be paid for, as if the issue was entirely beside the point.

In blithely ignoring our financial reality, students are really no different from most of Quebecers, who are deaf to talk of deficits and dwindling resources, because the government just keeps paying and paying.

In recklessly spending beyond the financial capacity of the province, both separatist and federalist Quebec governments are equally to blame, not only for the dire financial consequences but the social consequences of allowing citizens to believe that the government has an unlimited source of funds and that a gravy train will always exist.

How bad is the situation?
Let's pretend the Province of Quebec is one single family.
It spends $70,000 a year, while earning just $57,500. The mother-in-law kicks in $8,500 to help, which leaves the family to borrow $4,000 from the bank, which it already owes a whopping $242,000.
Read this story in the Financial Post. (Thank you JASON for the link)

And so students continue to demand that their fees be frozen (some demanding that the fees should even be lowered) as well as demanding that the university increase salaries to support staff in a fantasy world where money grows on trees.

Now I'm not going to review Quebec's ruinous social spending programs, you can read an excellent analysis is a book that came out this week, by Joanne Marcotte entitled 'Gouvernemaman,' a very appropriate term that describes Quebec's 'Nanny State'

In the face of criticism, especially from commentators in the rest of Canada who decry Quebec's expensive social experiment, defenders claim that Quebec, as the highest taxed people in North America are paying for their own programs and that they are proud of the society that they have built.

But Quebecers aren't really paying for their social experiment at all, rather it's Canadians through equalization payments and the children of Quebecers who will bear the burden of one of the world's highest public debt.

Those who defend the grand social experiment remain fiercely defensive and proud, the fact that Quebec marches to a different tune, a badge of honour.

But let us ignore for the moment the fact the this grand social experiment is not only unsustainable, but has seriously impacted the future financial well-being of generations yet unborn.

Has all this social spending made Quebec a better society?

The sad truth is that Quebec has evolved into an unproductive and lazy society which lags Canada and the OECD average in almost every benchmark of success.
This more than anything else is the tragedy of Quebec's social plan.

It seems that over-generous entitlements have had the effect of replacing industry with indolence. The easier it is to get free money, the harder it is to get people to work hard on their own account.

It is an accepted fact that children of long time welfare recipients are much more likely to be welfare recipients themselves, much as children of professionals are much more likely to follow in the footsteps of their successful parents.

As entitlements grow, the standard of living falls. It's a natural and insidious consequnce.
The more money the government of Quebec gives out or re-distributes, the poorer its citizens become..

Click to download PDF in French
"In 2010, the standard of living in Quebec (measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita) amounted to $ 40 174, or about US$6,000 dollars less than the average among the 20 member countries of the OECD, and only $4,742 more than the lowest standard of living of these countries recorded, namely, that of South Korea.

Québec's performance in terms of labour productivity is very similar. In 2010, labour productivity in Quebec (measured by GDP per hour worked) was $ 49.90, while the average among 20 OECD countries reached $ 59.96. "In other words, an hour worked in these countries generates an average $ 10 more than an hour worked in Quebec," the study shows."

But the attraction of easy money is hard to give up and for many Quebecers working to make a good living doesn't seem worth the effort when one can get by on government handouts doing nothing.

For those born into a society where government handouts are part of daily life, dependence is as addictive as crack.

So the question remains.
What will happen when the inevitable collapse of the nanny state occurs when the government just plain runs out of money and the ability to borrow?

In 2014 the Federal Equalization agreement comes up for renewal, and the $8.6 billion or 12% of the Quebec budget will be put into jeopardy.
If Quebecers believe that Prime Minister Harper will blindly sign off again on the massive transfer of wealth from the RoC to Quebec, they are deluding themselves badly.

What will happen when the Quebec government's deficit (currently at $4 billion or 7% of the budget) spending can no longer be supported?
Deficit spending and equalization payments account for almost 13 billion dollars, or 20% of the Quebec budget.

The day of reckoning is not that far off and the spending cuts, required to stave of bankruptcy, while not on a scale that we've seen in Greece, will nevertheless be massive.

If students are protesting over a couple of hundred dollars of increase a year, what will happen when they will be forced to pay thousands more.
What will happen when $7 a day childcare goes up to $40 or more and what will happen when welfare and pension benefits are cut.
What will happen when the provincial tax is increased by 50% and personal taxes raised by ten or twenty percent.

Quebecers, having been coddled their whole lives, will react much as the Greeks, bewildered and flustered, unable to fathom how the government could actually run out of money,

I daresay the collapse of the nanny state will be as traumatic for Quebec society as it is today in Greece.

Can't happen?
To believe otherwise is to ignore reality.


  1. Hopefully, Mr. Marco is being facetious, and I imagine he is; sadly, though, there are small minds whose thinking is exactly as described by Mr. Marco.

    Actually, here in good ol' Mississauga, the land that I love and will stand beside her and by her, there has been a lot of road paving going on. As I've mentioned before, the main thoroughfare I commute upon is being refinished and repaved. There isn't a day that goes by when I drive over a new segment of pavement, whether my thoroughfare to work or elsewhere (our main arteries are constantly well-kept) that I don't say to myself "this is language police money very well spent".

    On the subject of those f--khead language police, I heard yesterday on 680 News, the successful station, unlike the failed 940 News sister station in Montreal, that the OQLF is going ahead with imposing itself on large multinational companies that don't come up with a French name or description. Le Roi du Burger, Les Beignes qui Trempent, Le Magasin de l'avenir, Le Meilleur Achat? If the English names are good enough for France, they're good enough for Quebec!

    Anyway, there is a reason of being for my digression (raison d'être, really, but I'm here in Ontario and loving every minute of it).

    It has come to the point where I simply hope Quebec's equalization payments are cut to $0. That's néant for those Appuyerle9 simpletons who come onto this blog to kibbitz (yikes, an ethnic word from one of those people who will be blamed when the s--t hits the fan). Other words for equalization payments: Nil, nada, zip, bupkis (yikes, that ethnic scapegoat language again!). Need I give more?

    Of course, Harper won't cut the equalization to bupkis (can't ya tell I'm funnin' ya), but hopefully he'll give Quebec a big, fat and rude awakening because Quebec deserves it and Quebec hasn't given Harper favor to do otherwise.

    In the meantime, I'll continue to ride on smooth, fresh pavement whilst the rest of you continue your way on your kidney-punching, axle-busting roads to the black sinkhole...or another of the many collapsing overpasses.

  2. The nanny state will collapse. And this farce called Quebec will get its' rude awaking.

  3. "The nanny state will collapse. And this farce called Quebec will get its' rude awaking."

    Les É-U et l'Europe s'écroulent...Le Québec,lui, est toujours debout!


  4. Another great article, editor.

    It sounds to me like the baby boomer generation took all they could, are still taking, and will keep taking until they die. It's what they do best, while blaming future generations of being "lazy".

    As for the people protesting about university tuition fees, none of them are serious anyways. I think most of them are aiming for a union delegate job in the future.
    It's easy to understand that when you're from a small village, and your parents were both lazy unionized québécois who constantly made an effort to do the least possible, while collecting disproportionately large salary, that's all you know.
    Unfortunately the free ride was only for the baby boomers, and it's not going to work for anyone else.

    Mr.Sauga, as usual your opinion of Quebec is quite harsh. I completely agree with your views about the OQLF, I wanted to slap someone when I read the news yesterday.. But they DO NOT represent the majority of the population, I guarantee it. They are a useless racist organization created by a racist PQ government, who now has to find ways to justify their budgets, and which we can't get rid of.

    As for equalization payments, you realize that Ontario received an equalization payment last year as well, right?
    What we need to do, is make laws to be sure that no federal money goes into racist language-nazi (or religious) programs, and I sincerely mean that. There's no reason why our federal government should finance intolerance and racism.

    In an unrelated topic, I found this article on

    Seeing as how most separatists are on social assistance (BS) and don't have anything better to do, how long do you think before they suggest applying a language law to the internet?
    I have a feeling it's not too far away, the OQLF seems to be looking for things to do.

    - Quebecker of Tree Stump

  5. Quebec's finances are in the shitter, yet the gov't is ready to do this:

    "L'Office est prêt à aider financièrement les petites entreprises pour qu'elles respectent la Loi 101, souligne Émilie Dubreuil."

    Which means they they're ready to waste tax money on businesses that are willing to "francise" (i.e. stroke the bruised egos of QC nationalists in and outside the gov't).

    The MMF website says it goes in the amount of 50,000$ per business:

    "«On offre de payer jusqu'à 50 000 $ aux entreprises pour qu'elles respectent la loi 101:"

    In the meantime, provincial debt mounts.

    Long live fiscal responsibility.

  6. @Anonymous at 10:14.

    You are obviously not capable of reading English. Not surprising given the poor state of public education in Quebec. The point of the article is that the only reason Quebec is still standing is because Alberta has oil sands and they have no choice but to help you out.

    It's funny that you're proud to still be "debout" when really you're just being carried around by Canada on its shoulders like my 2 year old.

    I would love for Quebec to separate just so I can laugh at jokers like you when you realize Hydro Electricity and Maple Syrup don't cover the bills (health care, day care, unemployment, infrastructure, subsidized education, mob payouts, over payed government employees......)

    Oh right, when Quebec separates you will finally get rid of those lazy, blood sucking Anglos and Foreigners (read the only people in the province who actually work hard and pay taxes)and everything will be OK.

    1. "The only people that work hard and pay taxes". This is unreal! You sir, are a bigot!

  7. But where would the money come from?

    «Les entreprises qui violent la loi devraient payer l'amende prévue par la loi [jusqu'à 20 000 $] plutôt que de se voir récompenser d'une subvention»

    Ahhhhh...the gouvernemaman would just take from those who don't play along, and give it to those who are willing to play along, or pretend that they are...It's curious how they would define those who don't "conform" (will it be an arbitrary call by an inspector?), and those who do conform...I see a fertile ground for corruption here...a business gives a kickback to an inspector who then deems the business "in compliance" and eligible for a donation, and marks a business of a competitor as "non-compliant" and penalizes it with a 20,000$ fine...

    And while this circus goes on, real problems are shoved aside.

  8. Editor, I have a question for you.

    Here’s another report by Radio Canada:

    At 0:50 they say that in the domain of “affichage”, if the trademark name is in a language other than French, it MUST have a “descriptive” in French.

    Did the law change? I always thought that trademark names can stay as they are. I also remember the “Esso On The Run” debacle a year or so ago, and I remember an OQLF guy saying on tv something along the lines: “Esso is not in violation of 101 because On The Run is a registered legally we CANNOT do anything...although we would encourage them to change it...”

    Did anything change in the law? Or is Radio Canada lying its ass off?

  9. Well, lets put this in perspective with respect to levels of debt in another province.

    In Saskatchewan the combined provincial debt for Crown Corporations and the Government of SK is about 7 Billion. Saskatchewan has about 1 million people (population is trending upward).

    Quebec has a level of debt of about 222 Billion for the Government and entities such as Hydro Quebec. The population base is about 8 million people. So do the math!!! If you multiply the Saskatchewan debt by 8 times it is about 56 Billion which would equate to the population basis of Quebec. In reality the Quebec debt is 4 times that of Saskatchewan. The Wall government in Sk will likely retire the debt within the next 5 years.

    Note that the NDP (socialists) were soundly defeated in the last SK election. They had promised spending in excess of 3.7 billion on new social programs. The "Wall" SK party indicated they were not spending anything more than already planned for new infrastructure initiatives (about 300 million). The people didn't fall for the socialist spending initiative which would further drive up the debt. The people voted in excess of 64% for fiscal responsibility.

    Now, the question is? How long will the so called "have" provinces wish to continue supporting other provinces who are fiscally irresponsible. I suspect not much longer if you look at what is going in in AB, SK, BC. Why would they wish to support social programs for others that they don't feel they can afford for themselves (subsidized tuition, day care etc etc)

    The basis of the editors comments today are very valid. Quebec will collapse under the monstrous debt acculumulated and the people can only blame themselves for the "nanny" state that they have created for themselves.

    I will be very interesting to see what happens when equalization is renegotiated in 2014 and how benevolent the "have" provinces feel about paying for other peoples cake.

    As one commentator said...Long Live fiscal responsibility (well at least in some regions of the country)

    A view from the West.

    PS...imagine if interest rates increase by a couple of percent.

  10. "You are obviously not capable of reading English"

    Pouvez-vous écrire dans la langue de mon pays?

    Merci! :)

  11. Pouvez-vous écrire dans la langue de mon pays?

    English and french are the two official languages of our country, Canada.

    Problems with geography?

  12. Wake up people! Big government = more debt, higher taxes, and more debt...All of Canada is in deep, deep trouble and no party is addressing this.

    ““We don’t want the party to end, the “free” trips, expense accounts…perks, gold plated pensions, free this, free that…Yes indeed, see we in government, are all entitled to our entitlements folks and we can’t stop that, at least not until we retire. Our unions say so, it’s ours and we want it now...$$$”

    Scum bag parasitic unions, police, all government…all the same, bankrupting future generations…and they don’t give a damn. All you hear from government is high priced, expensive spin, lies...BS.

    We now have over 3.6 million people working for government across the country. Average salary in government is 70 thousand (including benefits, pension, bonuses...) yearly and rising. Average salary in the private sector is 45 thousand yearly and dropping. Over 10% of government employees now make over 100 thousand yearly. In the private sector the number is under 2%. Look to Greece, Ireland and Quebec (all bankrupt), this is where Canada is headed if we don’t stop equalization and get spending and government growth under control. This tax and spend, union scum, socialist, big government, social engineering that has been destroying this country has got to stop. Yes, it has left Quebec and has been spreading throughout the rest of the country since the 1960”s, that’s right over 5 decades of massive government growth, massive government hiring, higher taxes, skyrocketing government salaries, social engineering ( the expensive forced phony charter, bilingualism, multiculturalism…) and more and more debt. Thanks Trudeau, Tanks kebec (original native spelling). Don’t believe me; go check the stats for yourself.

    Ontario is heading down the exact same path as Quebec, Greece, and Ireland, all technically bankrupt. All going further and further into debt year after year after year...Where does it end?

    Try to digest this scum bag unions, government.... Who do think is going to pay off all this debt you are leaving your children and grandchildren? That’s what I thought you don’t care! You greedy, greedy scum bags!!!

    We are not voting for a reason and there is only one solution folks. We need a new party and a new leader. Someone with vision, a real platform, policies…common sense, someone who gets it! Things (government...) need to be cut and all of the current politicians are NOT wiling to deal with this. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

  13. "Problems with geography?"

    Je suis de Paris (France).

  14. Je suis de Paris (France).

    A-ha, mon erreur, désolé :P

  15. @Anon 11:36

    "Je suis de Paris (France)"

    Ok, so mind your own problems. You have finished resolving all of France problems and think your opinion is needed here? LOL

  16. --- think your opinion is needed here?...---

    Je crois simplement que nos frères Québécois ont besoin eux aussi d'un politique du calibre de Marine Le Pen,comme premier ministre.

    La globalisation est en train de détruire nos économies et nos identités.

  17. Anon @ 11:29: Isn't François Legault that new party with new ideas? Har har har! Tree Stump: "As for equalization payments, you realize that Ontario received an equalization payment last year as well, right?"

    Yes, Tree Stump, you're right, BUT...
    (1) Ontario is STILL the biggest NET contributor to the equalization program. Ontario last year put $20 BILLION into equalization but took back about $240 MILLION, not BILLION! Ontario is a population of 12 million vs 7.5 million in Quebec.

    Do the math, Stump:

    (2) Ontario has a population 60% bigger than Quebec's; Quebec's equalization payment was over 33 times what Ontario got, and Quebec didn't put ONE PENNY into equalization and NEVER did! If over the years Ontario hasn't put a TRILLION (i.e., a million million dollars) over the years to support Quebec's totally ungrateful largesse, Ontario hasn't put in a penny; furthermore, Quebec has programs the rest of Canada doesn't dream of, like $7-a-day daycare that welfare recipients take advantage of to dump their kids for the sake of their quiet and lack of responsibility (and I have first-hand proof of this), jurisdiction over immigration and a host of other programs.

    How about THAT, Tree Stump? Do you see how the math works?

  18. @Mr.Sauga:

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think your views are excessively negative when it comes to quebec. Perhaps the negative experiences you've had don't help, I can understand that. But I'd like to assure you that not everyone in this province thinks or acts the way you describe. I'd even dare to say that the majority doesn't fit into what you describe.

    I'm certain that Ontario provides more to the country than Quebec has in the past 30 or 40 years. In fact, I'm sure Ontario supported most of the country for a long time.
    Equalization payments are what they are, a way to balance things between the richer and poorer provinces. If you're against that entire concept, ok fine, but it's not uniquely a Quebec problem. In fact, Quebec receives the second lowest benefit per person from equalization payments, among the provinces who receive equalization.
    If you want to talk about people taking your money, shall we talk about Prince Edward Island?

    As for where the money goes, that doesn't change anything. The fact that we have 7$ daycares does not affect our equalization payments. I think it's only fair for each province to spend the money how they see fit (well within certain limits, I wouldn't want to see that federal money spent on pro-separatism causes).

    Perhaps we have programs which we can't afford (in fact I know we do), but to be honest, it's not really your problem, as you don't live in this province.

    Or would you prefer a system where the contributing provinces tell the receiving provinces where they can spend the money??
    Maybe people in Alberta aren't too happy about their money going to repave your Mississauga roads? :P

    -Quebecker of Tree Stump

  19. @ Anonymous at 11:36 AM:

    "Je suis de Paris (France)."

    Liar! You're not from Paris, France. You're the Quebecois known as Press 9. Your demented comments as easily recognizable no matter how you identify yourself.

  20. "Your demented comments 'as' easily recognizable no matter how you identify yourself."

    I meant 'are' instead of 'as'.

  21. "La globalisation est en train de détruire nos économies et nos identités. "

    This is actually true, but the question is: how do you fight for your economy and identity without going too far and without making a spectacle of yourself, like Quebec nationalists do?

    There is a line between fighting for a cause and knowing your limits. Quebec nationalists don't seem to see that line.

  22. Editor, see my question at 11:09 AM and let me know if you know the answer.


  23. @Adski, above
    Weds. post will deal with the subject of the OQLF's new initiative and your question will be addressed as best I can.
    Keep tuned...

  24. ...yet again *sigh*, to tree Stump *sigh*:

    Why don't you just quit while you're behind? Mississauga roads, city parks, arenas, community centers, libraries, etc. are all in pristine condition (many of our libraries spent most of 2010 closed for renovation and modernization) because of MISSISSAUGA taxpayer's money, NOT Ontario money, NOT federal money. Mississauga carries ZERO debt...ZERO! Mississauga doesn't owe anybody one red cent. In fact, now 90-year-old mayor Hazel McCallion, born in Port Daniel, Quebec (Gaspésie), at one point wanted to SEPARATE Mississauga from Peel Region because MISSISSAUGA was supporting Peel Region.

    In the GTA, we have regional governments to support common regional services such as fire, police and ambulance. Peel Region consists of municipalities immediately to the west of Toronto, i.e., Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, the latter two both north of Mississauga and northwest of Toronto. Hurricane Hazel wanted to take Mississauga out of Peel region because Mississauga SUPPORTS Brampton and the Caledon regional government--big time!

    Stump, I suggest you don't make snide comments on what you DON'T know. I know Quebec--you know sweet f-all about Ontario, and especially our municipal government. If you ever make your way to Toronto, make a point of driving the extra 20 minutes to Mississauga. Come see for yourself. You'll never see city dumps...uh...parks in Montreal the way you'll see them here. Oh, yes, and of course your kidneys won't get sore the way they do driving those pathetic pothole-ridden streets in Montreal.

  25. My comment below may not directly related to the post, but there since we are talking provincial income...

    Looking at a number of separatist / French hardliner sites, I notice that there is one common opinion among them. The opinion is that Quebec pays more to the Federal money box than it gets out of it, including the Equalization Payment. Therefore - based on that logic - Quebec independence is the only answer because by being independent Quebec will be able to utilize all of its production without needing to pay the Federal's cut.

    I myself think that this is a very dangerous hypothesis to sell to the population in order to gain support for independence. Worse yet, separatists keep on convincing themselves by keep on quoting each other. Therefore, while the original author of that opinion is unknown (at least to me), separatists take it as canon. So much so that Gilles Duceppe when in reign quoted that economic contribution of Quebec is not different than Alberta.

    While I do not have the numbers to support me, I firmly believe that it is not the case. Besides EP, we can see that Federal Government invested in this province proportionally more than in any others. Example, while Quebec population is 24% of the country, it houses 1/3 of combat forces of the Canadian Army. As well, Quebec houses one of two fighter wings of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

    The dependencies between Quebec and ROC (and vice-versa) are even bigger if we look into the private sector. The economic system of Canada - and its many flaws - has been working quite well with Quebec being integrated in the economy. Taking out Quebec, including Montreal, out of the equation will have negative impact. On the other hand, once Quebec becomes a foreign country, there will be trade barriers currently does not exist between Quebec and ROC.

    One thing that I can think about is financial sector. The government can demand that banks decide where they would like their headquarters to be. Therefore, NBC and Laurentian branches in ROC will be treated as foreign banks, just as HSBC and Citibank. As well, BMO needs to decide what to do with its legal headquarters in Montreal since it will be a different legal entity with the one located on Bay Street.

    My point is that, anecdotal evidences suggest otherwise. Independent Quebec will not mean abundance caused by 'repatriation of federal tax' but instead the loss of economy of scale.

  26. Adski and Editor: I addressed that OQLF crap seven hours earlier in paragraph three. I look forward, Editor, to your commentary on Wed, and I'm sure I'll be there with a remark or two...or more!

    ...again, to Tree Stump: Perhaps I look at Quebec through rose coloured glasses, but this is who I am, and I won't change for the sake of Quebec.

    My ancestors who arrived here almost 100 years ago did so with very little and ended up contributing to Quebec's greater good by starting businesses, paying taxes, and best of all, hiring townspeople, i.e., creating jobs. My companion's grandparents did the same, yet Quebec society has found a way to villify the good they did for Quebec society's sake.

    I feel no remorse for what our grandfathers did, all good, the fact they achieved a certain level of affluence from arriving dirt poor, and especially for providing jobs for people who would have likely perished during the Great Depression if not for the jobs they created.

    The fact a government got elected and then so overtly villified my ancestors makes me VERY angry, and I offer NO apologies for my views and how Quebec SHOULD be cut off beyond what they contribute to the federal coffers.

  27. Well, perhaps one should look at the equalization formulae and the fact that hydro revenue is neatly diposed off in the equalization formulae. Essentially, hydro revenue is not included in equalization formulaes (same for Manitoba by the way). I would think this will be one of the issues that will change come 2014.

  28. Troy: Very well stated. The thing that will hurt most is economies of scale; furthermore, half of Quebec's dairy industry will be lost--DEAD! Wisconsin produces enough cheese for America, and Black Diamond, Balderson and other dairies will easily produce enough cheese for ROC. The boutique fromageries in Quebec will do well, but they're specialties. The commercial dairies (Saputo, etc.), LOOK OUT!

    If Quebec loses all that military service, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (and Monsieur Brosseau, its most famous separatist), will become a ghost town. So will Granby and its huge dairy.

  29. Anonymous said..@November 14, 2011 11:29 AM
    "Look to Greece, Ireland and Quebec (all bankrupt), this is where Canada is headed"

    We're already there:

    As you can see, we're one of the most indebted nations (we weren't when Harper was elected the first time).

    Western economies are SATURATED with debt and the debt is now collapsing.Every dollar was BORROWED into existence and the bill has become due.


  30. Anon @ 2:53PM: Yes, and with most equalization beneficiaries not voting Conservative, ringa-dinga-ding-dong, you can imagine, if Editor is right, these other revenues, including oil in NF, would and should pay their way at least partially because their fortunes have climbed while Ontario's has taken a hit. I'm not looking for Ontario to go on equalization forever, but until innovative Ontario does, AND WILL, get back on its feet.

  31. Mississauga,

    Just to continue what Tree Stump wrote. I think you made your opinion and position about Quebec and where you come abundantly clear. However, in stating your opinion you tend to use scorched-earth method. That is, all related to Quebec, all coming from Quebec, all located in Quebec are inherently bad. This may or may not be your stand but it is how I see it.

    There are some of us Quebecers, anglo, allo and franco who do not agree with what is happening in Quebec politically. See around this blog. You can see me, Editor, adski, Apparatchik, Hugo, Tree Stumps and many others. We do not like the separatists. We do not like the politicians. But we like our lives and we enjoy living our lives in Quebec.

    If you are happy and content living in Mississauga, good for you. I wish you everlasting happiness and prosperity. However, your life may not be the life that we want. I for one, if it is up to me, will not want to live in Toronto. I do not like sharing the roads with the trams and I feel that the downtown core (Bloor, Yonge, Bay, Dundas) are too visually loud. As for Mississauga, I basically avoid living in the suburbs, wherever I have lived.

    For us, Montreal is a mix of whatever we like in a city. Otherwise, we could have just left, could we not? IIRC, the Editor wrote quite a lengthy post why Montreal is better than Toronto. Oh, and one last thing, your equating those Quebecers that you do not like with Pepsi, Mae West and poutine is rather uncalled for. I happen to like those. :-)

  32. DD: Yes, you're right, we're not in wonderful position debtwise, but we did reduce our debt for years in the 90s and early 2000s, but mostly on the backs of the provinces. Three levels of taxation, only one taxpayer. Fortunately, we had a growing economy from the late 90s into the early years of the new millennium, something we don't have now; furthermore, we're older now and this is going to continue to plague us for decades.

    Inevitably we will have to take deeper measures to avoid what Greece, Italy and soon others will have to endure. One of the big, big drawbacks of minority governments is overspending, and Italy had one minority government after another for YEARS back in the 80s and 90s hence the problems of today.

    All of the naysayers re a common currency in the early 90s are now stating "I TOLD YOU SO! I TOLD YOU SO!", and they're right. Every issue the naysayers said is coming back to bite the Euro countries in the ass. To think there were supporters in Canada of dollarizing with the U.S. THANK GOD WE DIDN'T! America is now fast falling into worse fiscal position than WE are! Whoda thunk it?

  33. MGuy: "OQLF is going ahead with imposing itself on large multinational companies that don't come up with a French name or description. Le Roi du Burger, Les Beignes qui Trempent, Le Magasin de l'avenir, Le Meilleur Achat?"

    If that's true, then think they're picking on someone from a higher weight division. Large multinationals are not your local depanneurs. A chain like McDonald's or Burger King (I don't like either of the two or junk food in general, but when it's them vs. the OQLF I'm totally on their side) can easily give up on the Quebec market and still remain very profitable. So can chains like Future Shop, Best Buy, etc...

    Also, in order to go after these, 101 would also have to be modified, unless it already has been (I'll wait for Editor's post on Wednesday to find out).

    My guess is that there will never be a Roi du Burger or a Boutique du Futur, etc... My guess is that despite all the posturing, the gouvernemaman will lose this one. I can be wrong, but I would be VERY surprised if one day, walking down a Montreal street, I'd stumble upon a Cafe Deuxieme Tasse, or Le Meuilleur Achat. I'd be really surprised.

  34. Troy: "The opinion is that Quebec pays more to the Federal money box than it gets out of it, including the Equalization Payment. Therefore - based on that logic - Quebec independence is the only answer because by being independent Quebec will be able to utilize all of its production without needing to pay the Federal's cut."

    Troy, if that were the case (i.e. Quebec actually losing money on being in Canada), then Quebec would have been gone a long time ago. It's as simple as that.

  35. Editor,

    I posted a question for you on last Friday's piece ("In Quebec, Counting Anglophones is an Art Form"). Would you please answer that question? It is about house keeping. Thank you in advance.

  36. ...To Troy @ 3:04PM: My brother, several members of my family, a number of friends and fellow graduates from high school have stayed, and that's fine.

    If you feel the positives of living in Montreal exceed the negatives AS YOU SEE THEM, then you made your choices, and may you too live long and prosper. If you're OK with contributing heavy tax dollars to a place that serves its majority better than you, if you're OK with paying a heavy tax burden for all Quebec governments being THEIR (Francophones')government and not YOUR government, then by all means continue your lives this way. I can't, so I left.

    It's my point of view that you're all fools for living a second class life and paying heavily for substandard roads and other inferior goods and services as provided by government. Quebec doesn't deserve you. Again, if you have added the positives and subtracted the negatives and the former exceed the latter, then you must stay where you are. God bless you all and continued good luck. I mean that with the utmost of sincerity. I only ask you don't feel sorry for me. I doubt you do.

    Had the politics and corruption not gone as awry as they have over the last several decades, I likely would have stayed in Montreal. Maybe I remember the "old" Montreal too well and I don't like how things transformed since those earlier times, and I was a little boy when I saw the end of the good ol' days. I remember the "old" Montreal being a congenial place to live, but not the post-1960s Montreal, and I can't successfully dispute it's the 1970s that rapidly changed my point of view. This happened to Parasite when he took a train trip from Montreal to Saskatoon or Regina. He boarded that train a federalist and left it a separatist.

    In comparison, in June 1974, my parents came to my high school to pick me up shortly after writing my last matric in grade ten and we drove straight to Toronto for a bar mitzvah we had the next morning. After our five-day mini vacation in Toronto and Niagara Falls, we were on the drive home, and for some reason not fully understood at that time, when we came to the Quebec border, I saw the two border signs on either side of the 401 where it met the 20 and I was booing to be home.

    English transit workers, English employees at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Ontario Science Centre, Niagara Falls and other places convinced me my place was not in Quebec.

    About a month later, I got my first summer job. The Metro workers went on a wildcat strike a week after I started my job. The legal transit strike that started in Toronto that very day lasted about 3 days. The wildcat strike lasted 44 days if I recall this correctly.

    About two years earlier, there was a transit strike in Laval, and the drivers were incredibly rude, especially to those who spoke English to them, and this was a big problem because my school that year scrapped school buses in favour of using Laval Transit for our bussing, and during the strike they could not hire a school bus company to fill in due to some supposed clause in the contract. Thankfully my father was still in the insurance business and was able to drive me to and pick me up from school, but what an annoyance.

    There was goonery, sabotage and other larceny committed during strikes in Quebec that didn't happen elsewhere, or certainly a lot less. I guess I noticed all this ugliness and it shaped my views of Quebec, not to mention the way people started to treat me once this language legislation started to come about.

    We once took a trip to Quebec City for a day, I think during Expo year. My father stopped people on the street to ask for directions, in English, and the street people chuckled, turned their heads, and walked away. I'm off work today, but I'll be back on the phones tomorrow and you can be sure some rude dog Québécoise will give me a hard time on the phone--if I don't get them twice a week, I don't get them, period. There you go.

  37. @Troy
    That Anonymous wrote "Crétin và" to me. Just to clarify, is name calling allowed in this blog? I am not bothered by what s/he wrote since I can take it as much as s/he can dish it out. However, I need to know the ground rules of your blog."

    Yes, name calling is allowed(non-racist) as long as the comment has some redeeming value.

  38. adski,

    If the true-blood separatists have their way, not only will there be Roi de burger, Cloche Canada and Financiere soleil-vie, but also names like James, Jennifer and William would be outlawed and become Jacques, Genevieve and Gillaume.

  39. Editor,

    Thank you. It is an open season, then.

  40. I think invectives like "crétin" should be weeded out...after all, one can say: "you're wrong because of this and that"...instead of "you're an idiot thinking this and that..."

    Also, allowing charged language gives an edge to people who have nothing substantial to add other than emotion....

    It's just my two cents on this issue...but if you leave it the way it is, I won't go on a hunger strike in protest either...

  41. Troy: "If the true-blood separatists have their way, "

    But the beautiful thing is that they won't. Their powers are very limited, geographically (to one Canadian province), and in terms of feasibility (compare that with a power that any crazed Texan can wield while in the White House - it doesn't even compare, although it's obvious that people like Parizeau would love to get their hands on that kind of power). Note that these people (Quebec ruling class) are fighting against a language that poses a threat to their status and power. But language is an elusive foe. How can you control what people speak? You can, for example, control measurable offenses like speeding (police speed traps, radars, etc...) but fighting a language is like tilting at windmills, or chasing a ghost...Best proof? 34 years of language laws in Quebec, and the issue still persists.

    Also, I don't think Charest really cares about the language or culture. All he cares about is political power, and he's unleashing his OQLF dogs because it's a good diversion from real problems. In antiquity, Roman emperors organized games in times of crisis to divert people's attention from real issue. Today, our leaders look for distractions as well.

  42. Maybe could use some equalization. Frappier had an article on the website about Vigile only being at 66% of their budgeted funding with only seven weeks left to the end of the year. Something about some lawsuit...non descript as to who is sueing them....Maybe someone on this blog knows or suspects.

  43. Mr. Sauga said..

    "To think there were supporters in Canada of dollarizing with the U.S. THANK GOD WE DIDN'T!"

    Unfortunately, they just did it behind our back. The
    Canadian dollar will never be allowed to deviate very
    far from its' American counterpart as the "solution"
    western countries have agreed upon is to print (ie. a
    race to debase ALL paper currency). Have a look:

    The BOC has nothing but paper (Euros, American
    dollar,etc.) backing the Canadian dollar. Harper has
    us "all in".


  44. @ Anon.

    "Something about some lawsuit...non descript as to who is sueing them....Maybe someone on this blog knows or suspects."

    There is a Jewish group (not sure of the name) suing for making anti-Semitic remarks.

  45. @ Anon 5:46 is being sued by a lawyer over statements linking him to the mob. His name escapes me and I can no longer find any reference anywhere on which has sanitized the site of any mention of the affair.
    There were at least a dozens articles written online about the affair, but I guess lawyers have told him to back off. It's getting grim for M. Frappier et cie.
    Legal fees are piling up and there doesn't seem to be an outpouring of $$$ support.
    You'd think that some separatist lawyer would take the case pro bono, but.....

  46. "Legal fees are piling up and there doesn't seem to be an outpouring of $$$ support."

    Well, one would think with the conviction of the separatistes that support would be outpouring towards the coffers of I guess another example of "let someone else pay for it". Weak is the cause when the seppies won't open their pocketbooks to save such a "valuable" resource as :)

  47. should apply to Canadian Heritage for a grant to further the arts under the comedy banner.

  48. You'd think that some separatist lawyer would take the case pro bono, but.....

    Typically, if they want results, separatists will use english services over their french equivalents.
    One just has to consider Jacques Parizeau, who hates everything ethnic or with money, and yet heads directly to the Montreal Jewish General Hospital as soon as he has a little cough.

    I guess another example of "let someone else pay for it".
    Indeed. I don't understand, what happened to the Pierre Falardeau foundation? Loco Locass can't help? Parizeau certainly has a few extra thousand lying around from all the lobbyist groups he served while he was in power.

    Oh but that's right, they're probably waiting for the rest of the country to pay for them.

  49. Editor, for your tomorrow's piece, here's an interview with Beaulieu on TVA.

    Again, no clarification as to what constitutes a "violation" of 101.

  50. "Je crois simplement que nos frères Québécois ont besoin eux aussi d'un politique du calibre de Marine Le Pen,comme premier ministre."

    lol the last thing the world needs is another statist-socialist retard. Been there done that in quebec for the last 40 years.

  51. Some quotes I found interesting from a article:

    "Charron qui sautait comme un kangourou, Lise Payette qui versait des larmes de crocodile. Le zoo, l’euphorie, la victoire. Le soir où on a vraiment fait peur aux Anglais."

    At least he's not shy about admitting that their main goal was to get the "méchants anglais". Most separatists will pretend that's not true, this one comes right out and admits it.

    "On m’aurait dit que, 35 ans plus tard, le Québec serait toujours dirigé par le Parti Libéral du Québec, élu grâce au vote anglo-ethnique [...]"

    I wonder how people would react in the US if someone claimed that obama was elected because of the black vote?
    The anglos and ethnics he speaks of are Quebec citizens.

    "On m’aurait dit que le père fondateur trahirait pour se tirer dans les bras du p’tit avocat anglophone de la Commission Cliche, je ne l’aurais jamais cru ."

    Of course, every ex-separatist is now an enemy of the state, unless they're willing to promote ignorant racism (read: Parizeau). Lucien Bouchard used to be their hero!

    "On m’aurait dit qu’il y aurait deux référendums sur l’indépendance et qu’on perdrait les deux, je ne l’aurais jamais cru ."

    Logical people would have gotten the point. Separatists claim they were "robbed", twice.

    "On m’aurait dit que les soldats québécois seraient envoyés au combat dans un pays qui nous a fait aucun mal et qu’une trentaine en mouraient, déchiquetés sur les bombes (5 fois plus que toutes les bombes du FLQ des années 60), je ne l’aurais jamais cru ."

    Comparing canadian soldiers to FLQistes?? What a lack of respect... And defending the FLQ?

    And finally, here's the best one:

    "On m’aurait dit que le Canadien de Montréal passerait 18 ans sans gagner la Coupe, que l’équipe aurait un capitaine qui ne parle pas un mot de français, qu’elle ne compterait que deux plombiers québécois et que les trois seules mini-vedettes seraient un Russe, un Noir et un Indien, je ne l’aurais jamais cru."

    Yes, because politics is related to a privately owned hockey team. The PQ would have corrected the Gomez injustice!!!
    And his last sentence.. says it all on how these people think.

  52. Bloc Québécois new leader:

  53. Ok, they say this:

    0:23 - "Les enterprises comme Dairy Queen ont le droit d'utiliser leur marque de commerce pour afficher MAIS ils devraient avoir une description generique en francais"

    Editor, when did the law change? Did it change at all? During the "Esso on the Run" fiasco a year or two ago the OQLF did come out and say that there is nothing in the law against trademark names. That's what I always thought too. I don't believe anything changed since then. So what's going on here with these media reports backing of the militants and spreading disinformation?

  54. adski,

    My understanding is that what OLF asks places of business to do is based on "OLF directives", thus not something on the law itself. This is the same case as the myth that French fonts need to be at least twice as big as any other language. It is an OLF directive and I read in number of places that that can be challenged in the court.

    Of course, now we need to see if businesses will stand up or bend down just like PFK, Pharmaprix or Bureau en gros.

    On a side note, what OLF requests is actually less than what the hardliners want, and therefore they are not content with this call. The hardliners are not satisfied with just Les cafes Second Cup. They really want Les cafes deuxieme tasse.

  55. My apologies to AppleIIGS & Sandy McTire

    Your comment were stuck in the SPAM box which I forgot to check.
    You comments appear in the timeline when they were written.

  56. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Quebec's debt is $129B. Roughly the value of Hydro Quebec (100% government owned and under the same logic:SAQ, how much is that worth?)

    I know it is not that simple but this reflection uses the same "one step" logic as many have displayed here.

    Look at all the numbers, not just one series of figures thrown at you. You might realize that while it's far from perfect, Quebec is, economicaly, leagues away from Greece's situation.

    And finaly; it is not a welfare province (actual unemployment figures at Canadian average, Quebec City lowest unemployment in Canada (4.6%) after... Regina at 3.8!)

  57. In QC most of people wok for the provincial government...that's all

  58. I won't be going to Burger King until it is called Le Roi du Boef Haché

  59. Here is the next 20 years in Quebec. Hold on to your hat!

    2012 -2024

    Quebec financial meltdown begins as the access to cheap money dries up

    Quebec provincial government seeks bailout in vain.

    Federal government transfers are reduced by 30%

    Quebec Pension funds collapse as they have been totally undercapitalized

    Property prices in Quebec collapse resulting in negative equity

    Quebec labor unions begin major industrial action

    Parti Quebecois forms coalition to form new provincial government

    50 medium and large sized municipalities are forced into bankruptcy.


    Collapse of Caisse Desjardins as Toxic loans and undercapitalisation creates havoc

    Privitisation of Hydro Quebec,SAQ, Caisse de depot,Lotto Quebec,

    Sale of Quebec forestry,mining,petrolium and natural gas right,Quebec Ports and Airports

    Mass migration from regional town and regions in eastern Quebec

    Population of Quebec 5 million

  60. After nearly 20 years of doing business and living in Quebec. I can sum it up as follows:

    Quebecors do all the right things in life, but for all the wrong reasons!

    Bonne Chance Quebec! You had it all but you blew it!

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