Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quebec Food Independeance...More Stupidity!


It's an old joke with many variations;
"How can you tell when  politicians are talking nonsense?"
"Their lips are moving"

Nothing is more dangerous than a politician with a new and costly idea, because in a zero-sum world of finite public spending resources, the cost is likely to come out of a more deserving program or worse still an increase in the ever spiraling tax burden imposed on taxpayers.

A cynic would observe that the Marois government's latest folly, called "souveraineté alimentaire" (food independence) whereby a goal of 50%  is set  for the consumption of local Quebec food products, as a naked attempt to somehow get the words '50%' plus 'souveraineté'  into the public discussion. Link
Very Clever, huh?  Read: PQ declares Quebec’s ‘food sovereignty’ while waiting for political independence

Whatever the motive, the idea of food independence is so dangerously stupid and ruinous, heaven help consumers if ever the idea is put into effect, even minimally.

Wrap up and peddle the idea of buying 'local' however you want, it is really just plain old fashioned protectionism, something every consumer should fear like the devil.

While Madame Marois and her agriculture minister,
François Gendron, wax poetic over the lofty ideal of supporting local producers, the true cost of such indulgence is astronomical.

So let's simplify and use gasoline as an example.

In Quebec, we already pay quite a lot for gasoline at the pump, as of today, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.40 a liter.

Imagine if Quebec applied the rules of 'food independence' to the gasoline industry and asked Quebecers to buy fuel from local sources, even if it costs more.
And so right beside the Petro-Canada gas station that sells gas for $1.40, the government erected a Petro-Quebec gas station that sold gas for $2.10.

How many consumers would do the 'right' thing and shop locally and pay the extra 50% in order to protect Quebec jobs?
Would you? ...probably not.
Even the government knows that consumers aren't that generous and so in order to protect Quebec's gas industry it would have to impose a series of measures restricting trade and supply.

One way for the government to get consumers to buy the $2.10 gas is to tell Petro-Canada that they can't sell their products in Quebec.

The other option is to subsidize the price at the pump. In other words, the government would pay Petro-Quebec, a 70¢ subsidy for every liter it sold in its stations, so that its price would be the same as Petro-Canada's.

Now if you are thinking that the above examples are unrealistic, hold on to your hats, because that is exactly what is occurring right now in much of Quebec's food industry.

In order to protect Quebec's dairy industry, the government has set up a system of quotas that restrict Americans from shipping milk products into Quebec and actually fix the price of milk at the pump counter. And so Quebec consumers pay around $1.59 for a liter of milk, while American consumers pay about half price.
Still think food independence is a good deal?
"....in 2008 a family of four in this province pays an extra $300 a year for milk, eggs and poultry because of "supply management," the government-mandated price fixing that subsidizes farmers at the expense of consumers."  Link
If you think that supply management (cartel pricing) is automatically advantageous or necessary read these telling articles;
Kiwis put Canada's dairy supply scheme to shame
Time to end supply management – but it won’t go quietly 

And so, if the rules of milk supply management as practiced in Quebec were applied to gasoline, the cost of a liter wouldn't be 50% higher, it would be 100% higher or about $2.80 instead of $1.40!

Vive l'independence alimentaire!

Now don't blame the PQ or separatists for the mess, the system's been around for decades.

In Quebec there is a powerful cartel-like organization that controls government agricultural policy and wrings out hundreds of millions of dollars a year in subsidies.
That organization is the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and if you think the Marois government is original or creative with their "souveraineté alimentaire" initiative, think again, it is just parroting the wishes of the Quebec Food Cartel UPA.
Back in 2010, the then president of the cartel made the suggestion that Quebec legislate local products onto store shelves.
"UPA wants a purchasing policy integrated into future agricultural policy in Quebec wherein a certain percentage of Quebec products will be imposed on grocery store shelves. Barely a third of the products consumed by Quebecers from Quebec.
"I think that the government needs to consider regulations to ensure that our products achieve their rightful place," argues the UPA president Christian Lacasse.
 
Link
This on top of the billion dollar subsidy that the government dotes upon Quebec agricultural producers from, dairy to maple syrup to pork producers!

The UPA is so afraid of competition that it is actually complaining that a potential free trade agreement with Europe would kill the local cheese industry because it couldn't compete with the likes of countries like France. Link{fr}
I guess Quebec cheese producers cannot face the unfair competition with FRANCE because it is a notorious low wage and under-regulated country with lax safety and hygiene standard, that give it a competitive advantage!!!!!!!
IT'S UNBELIEVABLE!

If you read French, take the time to read the sad consequences of government interference and price support. Link{fr}
"A good twenty Quebec food merchants made a presentation to the board of agricultural and food markets, yesterday morning, to signify their opposition to any repeal of the minimum price of milk. A decision that would kill small retailers, they say. And that in the long term would be disadvantageous to the population, according to a consumer association.
The board had called a "pre-conference" to determine the terms of a consultation on the possible repeal of the prices of milk consumption, which provides a minimum and maximum price. In short, a session on the form rather than the substance of the debate."The person who called the board that had a brain cramp," commented President and CEO of the Retailers Association of Quebec food Florent Gravel, first to speak. "Not one person around the table has called for the repeal of regulation milk prices."Profit margins are thin for retailers, said Mr. Gravel, whose association represents owners merchants. They are only 1 or 2% in the four-liter formats. The abolition of the minimum price would lead to a price war that would put small retailers and convenience stores in a difficult position, unable to compete with large supermarkets or other Couche-Tards who would not hesitate to use milk as a loss leader.In the short term, a price war would be good for the consumer, observes Denis Falardeau, coordinator of the cooperative family economy of Quebec, following the activities of the Agricultural Marketing Board Association. "But once the competition is killed, prices would rise again," he says.Processors, represented by the Council of dairy industry in Quebec, are also for the maintenance of the settlement. Small dairies eventually foot the bill for the price war, said the CEO Council, Pierre Nadeau, on the sidelines of yesterday's session. Major retailers may require lower prices to processors.
Since nobody requested deregulation of milk prices, the mere fact that the Board evokes surprised all stakeholders. "This is a decision that comes from internal, explained the Stage Manager, France Dionne. We feel that we have no solid basis for determining the price. ".........The board is not closed to the idea of maintaining the law, but it wants to know if the formula for fixing and indexing the price holds up. "What the board wants is relevant and reliable information on how to consider a fair price for retailers and processors, as well as a fair price for consumers, where milk it's just not anything, "said Ms. Dionne.The Board invites stakeholders to present an analysis of actual costs and to propose a pricing formula that takes into account. Link{fr}
Could you imagine if  all the producers of ketchup got together with the government and openly fixed the price of their product with minimum and maximum prices?
How about fixing the price of haircuts or cars or newspapers?
I thought this behaviour is against the law.
Apparently when the government fixes prices, like the minimum price set for gasoline, set by Quebec's Regie de l'energie, it's fine.
When a group of retailers conspire to fix prices, they end up charged with a crime.  Link

Jon Stewart examines shady Canadian maple syrup cartel on ‘The Daily Show’
Watch the Clip

Buying local, especially food, is a concept embraced by granolas and lefties who view the outside world as a nasty place where foreign products are a threat to local jobs and in the case of food, a threat to quality and global warming.
There is something noble about the concept of local farmers plowing their 'Green Acres' delivering their produce in a beat up pickup truck only a few short miles from the big city. Unfortunately, t'aint really so....

I shall leave these people with their fantasies, but must take to task Quebec's agricultural minister who actually believes that the government and its dependencies should set an example by buying  locally instead of seeking the best value for their public dollars, but before I go on, let me re-produce a letter to the editor by one of these elitist self-important 'organic' farmers who argues in his own selfish self-interest, which is fine as long as we look dispassionately at the arguments meant to tug at the heart strings
"I am a local organic farmer, and this boost is exactly what we need. Truth is that we have labour laws, wage laws, safety standards etc., that make producing food more expensive in Canada than in other places such as California, where Mexican labourers get paid $2-3/hr. So without government support, it’s impossible for us to compete.
While people are primarily worried about price, there is also the gigantic issue of quality. If people knew what levels of radiation California strawberries are subject to, and what waxes are sprayed on them to prevent them from going bad over their two-three week journey, they would avoid them like a toxic spill.
If the truth about the health effects of GMO were openly discussed, there would be an uprising, and people would gladly pay extra to get nutritious food and avoid serious poisons.
Therefore, let’s give our PQ leaders credit for standing alone against food oligopolies and encouraging local healthy food, and let’s demand that all GMOs are labelled, and impartial information about food handling by our lower priced competitors is readily available to the consumers.
James Turner
Verdun
"Mexican labourers get paid $2-3/h"
I don't know if Mexican farm workers earn that little, an article that I found, written by those supporting farm workers indicates that it is really somewhere in the neighbourhood of $4-$8 dollars an hour, nothing to brag about but for a migrant worker from Mexico the alternative is, well, Mexico.
The low wage argument is a powerful guilt inducer, but if we applied it to all the other products in society that we purchase from Pakistan or China, the cost of living would skyrocket.
For those of you who believe that this is the right thing to do, let's not just give local farmers a boost, but all industries that are affected by low-waged foreign products. Local farmers deserve no more consideration than manufacturers who saw their competitiveness destroyed by low wages.

"While people are primarily worried about price, there is also the gigantic issue of quality."
Nope, not true.
People have the opportunity to shop in 'organic' stores across the country and the market share of these establishments is infinitesimal. I guess there's not as many 'concerned' citizens as portrayed!
The truth is that people shop for price...period.
It's an unhappy truth driven by necessity.

."..people would gladly pay extra to get nutritious food and avoid serious poisons."
Pure fear-mongering.
Serious poisons? c'mon...
There are also granolas that argue against pasteurization too. Should we listen to their sky-is-falling spiels meant only to frighten us into accepting their more expensive alternate products?
And by the way, if people did pay extra, they wouldn't do it gladly.

How about the safety of organic products themselves? Are the products the organic industry provide us really inherently safer?
Read these informative articles;
"Is Organic Food Really Safe?.....The Real Story!
Eating Organic may be Harmful—The Truth Behind Organic Produce

This link is from Scientific American: Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming

At any rate, "Buy Local" programs are nothing more than protectionism, arguments about food safety are just a smokescreen and a con.
Local food is always better "Buy local!" the stickers yell. The local shops in my town sport that message everywhere; your town probably does, too. The buy local movement is a strong current in the river of environmentalism, and for a good reason: It does make good sense to keep your money and shopping close to home ... but not always. Local food isn't always better. There are many things you have to consider when assessing the environmental impact of a food item. Besides just how far it traveled from field to market, consider how the food was harvested, processed, stored and transported. For example: New Zealand farmers use a lot of renewable energy and less fertilizers, so it's actually less CO2-intensive for U.K. citizens to import lamb than to buy the local variety. Local is important, but it's not everything. Do your homework. Link 
All the links below come from highly reputable sources.
The Local Food Myth 
Debunking sustainable food myths
How the myth of food miles hurts the planet
The reality of the buy local movement is that it is just about protectionism, plain and simple.

In that vein Quebec's puppet Minister of Agriculture François Gendron, tells us that the government and its related agencies must set a good example by buying local and that he will work to make it so.

All across the province, government run senior citizen homes are tasked to provide a healthy and nutritious diet for under $5 a day per resident. The creative food planners and preparers scrimp and save, buying judiciously and in bulk to deliver the most bang for the buck. Read a post
Does the minister really believe that it is reasonable for them to pay 30-50% more for local products?
Is he going to provide them the money to do so?

Buy local is a ruinous program that is attractive to societies that fail or don't want to understand the benefits of trade.
While it seems a no-brainer to keep foreign products out of our market to save local jobs, when others put up barriers to our products, the senselessness of it all is plain to see.
Does it really make sense to grow pineapples in Quebec hothouses while a pineapple bought from Costa Rica costs a fraction of the cost?
Is it reasonable for Costa Rica to demand that their consumers pay extra for products or services that can be acquired from Quebec more cheaply?

Remember the uproar in Canada when the America Congress implemented a buy-American policy" 
"In 2009, US lawmakers passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which contained a similar, sweeping Buy American provision. Although the goal was to spur growth, many US companies actually lost much-needed business, because they were unable to sell component parts to Canadian manufacturers shut out of ARRA-funded projects." Link
As we in Quebec tut-tutted the rise in American protectionism, we fail to consider or willfully ignore that we in Quebec want everyone else to trade freely while we limit access. Read another post on Quebec protectionism

As Canada seeks to enter the Asia-Pacific market, through APEC, a free-trade agreement similar to NAFTA, the problem of supply-management and Canada's protected dairy market remains the biggest impediment.
"The free-trade proposal is being negotiated by U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Canada, Mexico and Japan have indicated they want to participate in the discussion but the U.S. has voiced concerns about Canada's supply management system, which shields certain Canadian farmers from international competition."  Link
Stephen Harper has already dismantled the cartel Wheat Board over the loud protests of those in the West who are heavily invested in the system of marketing cartels.

One only has to wonder what would happen should Ottawa ever attempt to remove the dairy cartel across Canada and in particular, Quebec.
The issue would probably be seen as a slap in the face and used to boost support for sovereignty.
 
The sad truth is that after independence Quebec's 40% share of the Canadian dairy market would evaporate!
You can't have it both ways, at least internationally.
In Canada Quebec has been coddled and financially indulged, by Canadians eager to pay them off to remain part of Canada.
Many of Quebec's coddled industries were protected through complicated 'grandfather' clauses negotiated in NAFTA.
The Americans have rued the day they made those concessions and are determined to never be suckered again and so are bound and determine to impose market forces on Canada's protected industries in the future.

Ask James Turner, the organic farmer and letter writer from Verdun if he is willing to pay double for fuel, clothing and other staples and he will certainly answer that he is.
That is because he is invested in the 'buy local' con.

For the rest of us who work in an office, who are retired, professional, students, blue collar or on a fixed income, low prices are essential to a better quality of life.
It isn't fair that those who benefit from protectionism are the ones calling the shots....


***************************
Let me remind you of the Equality Party meeting at the Hampton Inn in  Dorval this Sunday between 2:00 and 4:00PM
The hotel is located on the Trans Canada Highway just east of Sources Boulevard on the south side of Highway 40 in Montreal.
I'll be there and hope to meet you. I think there's an important statement to be made!

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157 comments:

  1. I'm not ashamed to be a protectionist. Foreign countries shouldn't control our economy. Food sovereignty is extremely important. It's a concern of mine on a national rather than just provincial scale, but regardless I support any steps in this direction. Urbanites these days have no concern for our farmers, and it makes me sick.

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    1. I haven't been to the States in almost five years because I refused to cave in and get a passport or Nexus card. Finally caved in because I'm sick and tired of the f--kin'-eh ridiculous prices we pay for everything from dairy products to literature. I bloody well wish all these marketing boards would just go away once and for all. They do more harm than good. If NZ can compete, so can we.

      A few times a year we go to a farmers' market in the Waterloo-St. Jacobs area about an hour from where we live. There is also a flea market there and if nothing else it's an outing. A few years ago I got into a conversation with a potato farmer who told me a potato marketing board was formed in Ontario months earlier. Right in front of him I bleeped out an expletive. I knew this was going to add up to higher prices for spuds in the stores. Sure enough, the price of spuds went up at a far greater rate than the rate of inflation.

      I'm skeptical, but I don't think Harper will have the balls to ever totally lift subsidies. Too bad. We'll just keep right on paying. Montrealers: Be smart. Do your grocery and gas shopping in Plattsburgh. One fellow I know who keeps strictly kosher goes there every week without fail, just to buy the kosher stuff. Much cheaper, even with the cost of gas to get there (where he fills his tank, too).

      Sadly, I don't think too much of the population will go to the States regularly. In Montreal, and especially South Shore dwellers, it pays. Living in Mississauga, I'm just over an hour to the Niagara border and a little farther to Buffalo. I won't go every week as it's still not as close as Plattsburgh, but I'll start going more frequently, notwithstanding how incredibly ugly Niagara Falls, NY is!

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    2. Mr Sauga,

      Dairy and many other agricultural products are a lot cheaper in the US because of direct milk subsidies. During the recent fiscal cliff debate the direct milk subsidies were exposed.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-28/first-the-fiscal-cliff-now-the-dairy-cliff.html

      Canada can't afford to get rid of farm marketing boards as we do not have the money to directly subsidize agriculture. Even China has agricultural subsidies.

      http://www.economist.com/node/21530130

      People that want to get rid of farm marketing boards don't really have any other alternative scenario. IF farm marketing boards are eliminated and no new subsidies replace them, then Canadian farming sector would be wiped out by subsidized imports.

      New Zealand is an isolated country in the middle of the ocean that has more cows and sheep then people. They are a small market and the shipping costs alone preclude bulk imports. Furthermore they have large export market for their beef and mutton. Canada is not isolated.

      Also unlike the US Canadian milk and dairy products are mostly hormone free.

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    3. No need to be ashamed of protectionism at all. Despite what the NEOCONs propaganda against it. Protectionism was the basis of all industrialized countries, including Canada. I haven't seen a decline in prices of most consumer goods but have seen a huge decline in quality and quantity in the imported products (mostly from china) that I now buy.

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    4. Point taken, Jarry, but then our prices should more closely meet American prices to compete. There are no taxes to cut to narrow the gap. Admittedly, though, there are frequent cheese sales (on Kraft and Black Diamond cheddar and mozzerella, not specialty cheeses) to keep it closer. Is there such a thing as a cheese sale in Quebec? I know there isn't on milk. Ontario has milk sales here and there (nyah nyah!), and those 4L bags are ALWAYS cheaper in Ontario vs Quebec. Not so for cartons in ON. 4L bags cost pocket change more than 2L cartons. Crazy!

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    5. I have a huge problem with low income families paying artificially higher prices for eggs, dairy, etc to subsidize farmers that, for the most part, are doing a lot better. The cartel pricing also discourages innovation and increased efficiency. If the government wants to protect the farmers they should provide a direct subsidy to them. If that can't be done because it would be prohibitively expensive, it gives you an idea how much extra the consumers are paying. What really burns me up is all the tv/radio/magazine/newspaper ads the marketing boards run using profits from their overpriced products to extol us all to buy more of their overpriced products. It always amuses me that people with a leftwing
      outlook always think that the poor should subsidize the relatively affluent farmers.

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    6. In what reality are farmers afluent? Farmers usually earn less than minimum wage because they work for free on their own property, and can't convince their children to stay on as farmers and keep the same lifestlyle after they retire. It's a huge problem all over the western world.

      Even at the "inflated" prices we are still refusing to pay the real worth of food, instead we would rather mortgage our future by buying from poor countries ready, in desperation, to cause irreparable soil damage in order to produce our food. Case in point : Massive deforestation of the amazon to make grazing land for cattle.

      Damn right the "poor" should subsidize the farmers - they are still nowhere near poor by world standards, and sustainability begins at home.

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    7. "Damn right the "poor" should subsidize the farmers"
      Wow, Ebeneezer, that's pretty harsh.
      I dunno Yannick, doesn't sound like a slogan that's likely to catch on soon. You must be in favour of doing away with progressive taxation too. Tax-wise, why shouldn't we hit the poor at the rate as the higher income earners? That way there'd be more revenue available for agricultural subsidies. Maybe part of the problem with farming is that it's prohibitively expensive for people who want to get into farming to buy production "quota". If it costs $25000 to buy the production "quota" for each cow, then 60 head would cost $1.5mm. Who, when starting out in life, has that kind of start-up capital?
      About 30 years ago, I read a report on the cost of subsidies to U.S. sugar beet farmers that concluded it would be cheaper to give each farmer a condo, a Porsche and pay him $75,000 per year (probably worth about twice that now after adjusting for inflation) than to keep forcing American consumers to keep subsidizing them.
      It's true Yannick that Canada's poor are "still nowhere near poor by world standards", but maybe with your help, they can get down to that level.

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    8. ...not to mention the increased crime that would result.

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    9. And if the farmers go out of work, then they'll go on welfare.

      Perhaps what is needed, is for us to pay the real cost of items instead of shipping all of our production problems to dirt-poor countries and then service each other, pretending we still have an economy.

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    10. You're a pretty black or white guy Yannick. For starters, not allowing farmers in developing countries access to markets in developed countries is a form of repression. I'm a believer in "a hand up, not a hand out" and access to our markets provides the hand up. As far as farmers going on welfare, I doubt if that would be the fate of very many who are coddled by marketing boards. Their quota is their retirement fund. I've heard that 'farmers are the stewards of the land' line from farmers near the GTA, but it's only plausible until some developer offers them $50,000/acre and next thing you know ole Jed's a multi-millionaire. If you try to tell them that the farmland should be protected the 'stewards of the land' start arguing that they should be able to do what they want with their land.

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    11. "For starters, not allowing farmers in developing countries access to markets in developed countries is a form of repression."
      Maybe. But so is encouraging farmers in developing countries to do irreversible damage to their lands to increase their yields because we're unwilling to pay more for crops.

      I'm saying that what we pay for food should increase, both here and abroad, and more care should be put into making sure the soils can keep on producing a hundred years from now than the next year's bottom line. An unpopular opinion I'm sure. But if we, of all people, can't afford it, then who can? Our population is going nowhere but up, if we don't watch our food production we're all screwed.

      "I've heard that 'farmers are the stewards of the land' line from farmers near the GTA, but it's only plausible until some developer offers them $50,000/acre and next thing you know ole Jed's a multi-millionaire. If you try to tell them that the farmland should be protected the 'stewards of the land' start arguing that they should be able to do what they want with their land."

      People of all stripes and colors and occupations and faiths have to deal with competing value systems and an evermore complex series of short-term and long-term considerations.

      Since they are the ones to have a good overview on a provincial/national/international stage, it is the job of government to try and emphasize the long-term over the short-term. Over-unionizing is not good for anyone, but opening the flood gates might not be either.

      The advantages of supporting our own industries are numerous - less ressources spent (oil for transportation costs), easier to regulate (dangerous pesticides/soil-destroying practices), and it maintains a few "real" job in a globalizing economy where our role is becoming increasingly that of consuming what is made by other countries rather than contributing anything.

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  2. To the editor:

    In most developed countries, there is strong regulatory control of agriculture, dairy and meat products - though food scandals abound. However, the EU is highly protectionist of its inefficient farmers, and the US pours subsidies to its farmers - its anything but a free market. I also don't find milk prices lower in Ontario or BC than in Quebec - usually the opposite. If it really were a free market Canada's prairies would be booming. The biggest sufferers are the third world countries, particularly in Africa, who find it very difficult to export their produce. Deregulating in Canada needs to be carefully handled to ensure its being done fairly.

    he biggest problem in Canada is that Quebec has a much larger share of farming licences than is equitable, and presumably this is not counted as part of the subsidies that Quebec receives, and one imagines that the biggest losers are Ontario and Maritime farmers. This is what should be corrected.

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    1. @Editor

      I have to admit I have mixed feelings about the whole...Protectionism issue. On the one hand, I see your point, one the other hand, I keep thinking about what a good friend (who happens to own a health food store), has told me. He has mentioned once or twice that anything coming from far is sprayed to high heaven. Then again, so is anything found in the 'organic' food stores when it comes to F&V, but less so...according to him. If we need how much stuff has been sprayed on the regular stuff, we wouldn't eat it.

      Delete
  3. FROM ED
    Protectionism has been good for Canada especially at certain times such as at wartime. C.D.Howe believed strongly in protectionism
    and even used it to protect the country from it's own citizens. A good example is the 'Wartime Prices and Trade Board' which controlled
    the economy so tight there was no black market in Canada compared to other countries where some capitalists made fortunes at their countries expense. He pulled Donald Gordon from the bank to be in charge of this. He set up the wheat board and built great grain elevators to stock the crops for grain farmers instead of having to sell to the U.S. for next to nothing. He advised Mackenzie King to not get involved with the 'Big Three' ( Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt) so that Canada would not get stuck with any more costly operations than it was already involved in. Donald Gordon set up our banking system specifically for Canada's needs. The wonderful job he did is the main reason we have not felt the
    shock that the Americans are going through. I personally feel that because of NAFTA we are getting ripped off by Eastern countries.
    I feel sorry for the people that need the low paying jobs but here in Canada the men walking the street have families to feed also.
    Ed.

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  4. I buy food at the Metro store on Somerled Aveune in NDG which is the closest food store to my house. Inside you hear Radio Metro playing in the backgroud. It features music (almost all French) and French only announcements. The latter consists of Achetez Québec, Fabriquez au Québec and similar Québec nationalistic-protectionist announcements.

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  5. There is a typo in the title.

    And the PQ idea is named "souveraineté alimentaire", not "indépendance alimentaire".

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    Replies
    1. Je ne suis pas sur de voir la difference, mon cher Michel.

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    2. Désolé Yannick; j'abonde dans le sens de Michel, quoique pour un motif différent (je présume). Il semble certes mettre les croix sur les 't' et les points sur les 'i'... mais je ne crois pas que ce soit tout à fait impertinent en l'occurrence.

      On parle de "souveraineté" alimentaire dans le contexte d'un gouvernement qui se dit "souverainiste", qui qualifie sa gouvernance de "souverainiste", et pour qui ce vocable forme depuis très longtemps la pierre angulaire de sa propre raison d'être, sinon de son propre lexique de marketing. Le lexique péquiste n'est rien s'il n'est pas orwellien (autres termes de prédilection: nation(al), peuple, nous, ...).

      La différence fonctionnelle entre souveraineté et indépendance alimentaire peut de prime abord paraitre minime voire inexistante. Mais là n'est pas le coup de génie -- celui-ci est bien réel mais il est d'ordre politique et sémantique. Le fait même d'introduire dans l'abécédaire péquiste (et par surcroit au langage médiatico-politique québécois) un terme qui associe (peu?) subtilement l'élément primordial du programme du PQ à l'élément de survie humain le plus essentiel, fait en sorte que l'on pourra, dans les mois sinon les années à venir, en extraire la pleine valeur psychologique.

      Il s'agira alors d'un terme "bien de chez nous" qui décrira une réalité bien québécoise et à laquelle tous les (vrais) Québécois pourront s'identifier. L'idée est prometteuse du fait qu'elle peut faire des petits: on pourra parler de souveraineté énergétique, de souveraineté économique, de souveraineté hydrique, ...

      Impossible de mieux faire côté identitaire, surtout à l'heure où on arrive bon deuxième dans les intentions de vote et que l'appui au projet d'indépendance peine à se rendre aux alentours des 40%...

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    3. Apparatchik,

      Tu présumes mal. Je trouve personnellement le terme souveraineté alimentaire risible.

      Michel Patrice

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    4. Lourde présomption dont la vérité s'est avérée tout autre. Mes excuses, Michel.
      Je partage d'ailleurs ton opinion, du moins partiellement, quant au caractère risible du terme.

      Mais je crois qu'à des fins populistes et même électoralistes, l'association du libellé "souveraineté" à chaque aspect de la vie de tous les jours peut s'avérer un exercice de pensée assez payant chez plus d'une partie de l'électorat. Il s'agirait peut-être d'une réduction à l'absurde, mais l'exercice suscitera(it) une bonne part de réflexion sur les réalités d'autosuffisance sous-jacentes à tout aspect de l'indépendance à laquelle l'option séparatiste espère nous emmener. Car si on peut parler de souveraineté dans un domaine, pourquoi ne pas s'interroger sur la souveraineté dans un autre? Et un autre?

      Ensuite, on pourra se poser des questions sur pourquoi la souveraineté/auto-suffisance dans certains domaines est souhaitable et non pas dans d'autres. Ce questionnement mènera à des conclusions intéressantes, j'en suis certain.

      Delete
    5. Je serai bref, je tape sur un iPad.

      Produire soi-même ce dont on a besoin, c'est ne pas dépendre de. C'est une forme d'indépendance.

      Peu à voir avec la souveraineté. La souveraineté est le fait d'avoir tous les pouvoirs. Encore beaucoup de pouvoirs à Ottawa en agriculture. Présenter une politique d'achat/production locale comme une souveraineté n'est pas le bon terme. Et ça m'apparait comme une tentative malhabile manipulation de l'opinion. Croire que c'est la souveraineté, c'est s'en faire à croire. Je préférerait donc qu'on dise indépendance alimentaire dans le sens de produire ici et dépendre moins des autres. Plus exact, plus honnête.

      Delete
    6. Bien vu Michel, merci pour l'explication. :)

      Delete
  6. LordDorchester

    What will this hair brained scheme accomplish? Higher food prices and less selection for Quebec consumers. Thats a policy destined for failure. These people have no clue how the economics of North America or the world works. Parizeau proposed something similar in the run up to the 1995 referendum. This isn't a new brain fart emanating from the PQ brain trust, it's an old rehash from an old policy book. Must be nice muddling through life still thinking its 1977.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Let me remind you of the Equality Party meeting [...] I think there's an important statement to be made!"

    For my part, I think two statements can be made at the next Equality Party meeting: "We give up. We are not smart enough and we do not have good arguments. After all, the presence in Quebec of an anglo community has any legitimacy." or "From now, there will be free coffee and donuts in all meetings."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please stick to contributing in french. That way I won't be tempted to waste my time reading the crap that you post.

      Delete
    2. @Diogenes

      I'd prefer not to read his crap at all, in either language. lol

      Delete
    3. AnecTOTE

      I hear you pal. Being a long time removed from my high school french is a mixed blessing. On he one hand it would be nice to speak/read it but on the other hand it takes me so long to translate it that I don't waste the effort on the troglodytic scratchings of Y.L and S.R.

      Delete
    4. @Idiogènes

      Vous n'avez pas honte d'exposer ainsi vos limitations intellectuelles ?

      Err...

      Delete
    5. S.R. is like the candyman...except he appears after only saying his name once...and all he does is spew inane dribble.

      Delete
    6. [...]the presence in Quebec of an anglo community has any legitimacy[...]

      I'll break with the others and give you props on the effort trying to post in English. However I doubt any group posing as even marginally competent using the English language would use the word any as you have above. Not only is it the wrong word to use, but any attempt at interpreting it promises to be ambiguous. Also, your wobbly attempt to discredit the legitimacy of the English fact in Quebec can be turned on its head and used on the French without too much effort. Something about people in glass houses and stone throwing...

      [...]there will be free coffee and donuts in all meetings[...]
      You're telling me they don't serve refreshments at PQ conventions?!
      If no food or drink is seriously how you put la souveraineté alimentaire into practice at a party level, I'm scared shitless about how you people want to apply it to our entire province.

      Delete
    7. S(uper) R(oid) said: Vous n'avez pas honte d'exposer ainsi vos Vous n'avez pas honte d'exposer ainsi vos limitations intellectuelles ? ?

      Why should I be embarrassed? You demonstrate your "limitations intellectuelles" in almost every post. You're doing it in this one by equating the loss of my high school french proficiency through 30+ years of disuse with an inability to learn it in the first place.

      Err...

      Delete
  8. CRITIQ has posted a notice to petition Legault and company again as they are still waffling on Bill 14 - (no need to question anything further Ed): Please take action against this bill as instructed by CRITIQ. Only takes a minute of your time to get some force behind our request. Thank you.
    http://critiq.ca/en/bill14caqpetition

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FROM ED
      Diogenes , I know where you're coming from. Reading french comes from my high school learning but since I've learned to speed read English I find French very slow. I guess that's why it annoys me when gars or Evil come on teasing the trolls to show off their French and go on conversing in French. Exactly what the trolls want..

      Delete
    2. I'm with you, Ed. My lack of french reading skills is most vexing when Adski or Apparatchik put up some lengthy post in french, because I really enjoy their writing and while Google translate can fill in most of the gaps in my comprehension, a lot of the elegance is lost.

      Delete
    3. I appreciate that you enjoy my writing in English and I regret that your French skills preclude you from doing the same in French -- and cause you to be vexed as a result.

      Taking a few steps back, I'm compelled to think how the state of fact expressed by your comment applies to millions of Canadians (i.e. those having only passing fluency, if that, in the other official language), and either knowingly or unknowingly underlies much of the misunderstanding between the two solitudes. This is relevant, I think, because it paves the way for careerist politicians (both ways!) spouting hateful political recriminations in the name of "the people".

      In a country whose very unity threatens to be literally torn in half as a result of this sort of misunderstanding, your sentiments are nothing if not a scathing indictment of second official language learning and retention policies across Canada. But to blame only our various provincial education systems is unfair. The other half of the problem is a lack of ingrained individual initiative to consume or express content in that second language outside a classroom. Our half-hearted CRTC regulations (don't get me started) must be good for something after all...

      The last part of your comment says it perhaps best - machine translation gets the gist across, but a lot of the nuance is lost.

      Relying on third parties (animate or inanimate) for a day-to-day interpretation not only distances the recipient from the message itself, but also leaves a message vulnerable to noise when it would best be left unfettered. In a politically charged debate, where arguments appeal as much to reason as to emotion (much to my chagrin), I submit to you that this reliance is nothing short of toxic. Consider how "pass the salt" and "would you kindly pass the salt" can sometimes be a world away from one another and you'll begin to see what I'm getting at.

      That's more than a little frightening, considering how communication is largely non-verbal...

      Delete
    4. FROM ED
      "That's more than a little frightening, considering how communication is largely non-verbal..."
      Aparatchik, Most of the non-verbal communication we do is on the internet. Have you noticed that the web is 95% English.
      "your sentiments are nothing if not a scathing indictment of second official language learning and retention policies across Canada." For God's sake we are only a couple of guys who have a problem reading a foreign language. For me, I was raised in English at a time when French spoke French and English spoke English. I drove highway most of my life, 90% stateside or ROC. I have barely used French and am out of practice. No one is blaming the education system. We are actually crediting our High Schools for having taught us what they did. You have bad habit of misconstruing words and over thinking their meaning.
      I remember back around the time of the election, Editor mentioned that French is welcome on the blog to make a point but try to remember it is an English blog. At the same time I remember he warned about senseless one liners that waste time and space and make no point, which is what the trolls do.
      Further I remind you that groups like Equality and Critiq are saying live in English to show we are here and will be using our language whether they like it or not. Ed

      Delete
    5. @ed

      "You have bad habit of misconstruing words and over thinking their meaning."

      funny. one of your mates risks a non-bigot thought and your advice is for him to think less. haha! thanks for the laugh ed.

      Delete
    6. Aparatchik, Most of the non-verbal communication we do is on the internet. Have you noticed that the web is 95% English.
      I'll differ with you as to the percentage, but yes, I get that the web is English-dominant for now. But while I strongly support the widespread use, teaching, dissemination, and appropriation of English, I don't think that the existence of a dominant language means (nor should it mean) that all other languages just fall by the wayside. That's why living in a monolingual cocoon shouldn't be encouraged (least of all by governments!) on a go-forward basis.

      For God's sake we are only a couple of guys who have a problem reading a foreign language. [...] I have barely used French and am out of practice. No one is blaming the education system. We are actually crediting our High Schools for having taught us what they did. You have bad habit of misconstruing words and over thinking their meaning.
      Ed, my point isn't to make you guys feel bad, but to observe that what is causing you to be frustrated right this minute is just one small example of what fuels the longstanding hard feelings between certain elements in French and English Canada

      I remember back around the time of the election, Editor mentioned that French is welcome on the blog to make a point but try to remember it is an English blog. At the same time I remember he warned about senseless one liners that waste time and space and make no point, which is what the trolls do.
      I do remember it's an English blog. And when a topic, thread, or specific comment is made in English, I make it a point to respond in English. Likewise for French. Also, I don't think of Yannick and Michel (the latter of which I often disagree with very much) as trolls...

      Delete
    7. Merci Apparatchik.

      Nul besoin d'écrire en français pour être un troll. Perso, j'aimerais bien que ceux qui ne contribuent pas partent.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Jim

      Check out ALDI (grocery store) in Plattsburgh, crazy prices.

      Delete
    2. I often stop at the PRICECHOPPER in Plattsburgh on my way home from NYC.
      Is this food store really worthwhile?
      Is it new?
      I went on Google Streetview and all I saw was an old beat up building?
      Whatsup?

      Delete
    3. Jim

      ALDI, is a low cost operation. They buy realestate close to but not on main street. They have stores around the US and UK. The one in Plattsburgh is behind the beat up old building you see on Google Street view. Not many Quebecers know about it. Be sure to bring your own bags!

      Delete
  10. It might be more expensive in fiat currency to buy local products, but it is cheaper in ressources and that is what is important in the long run. It's not like we can't afford it, so why wouldn't we support our own industries? The Chinese can find someone else to buy their chicken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yannick,

      To be rather crass, WIIFM?

      Delete
    2. The knowledge that, when other countries manage sapping the last bit of fertility out of their farm soils by over-irrigating, over-fertilizing, and exposing to erosion, you and your children will still have access to a world-class sustainable agriculture.

      Or you know, fuck everyone. By the time that happens you'll be old and dead, so ruin the world today, send the bill to our children.

      Delete
    3. @yannick

      it's clear troy has no children, mate.

      Delete
    4. That's false, Troy mentioned in the past that the 7$/day daycare was a godsend when he was a recent arrival to Canada.

      Delete
    5. hum. i remember that too, actually. strange that troy didn't think of his kids when he asked about the benefits of sustainable resource management. that's selfishness pushed to its extreme, if you ask me.

      Delete
    6. student,

      If you remembered that, why did you write what you wrote? An idiotic episode?

      Delete
    7. @troy

      i had momentarily forgotten.

      and i wrote that assuming you couldn't be so selfish as to wonder what's in it for you without considering your children as part of "you". i was wrong.

      Delete
  11. I'm lucky - I can boycott quebec products at will. I don't shop here unless I have no choice and don't give a damn what anyone thinks. Cheaper in Ontario, more choice of products and I don't even have to worry about what language I speak when I talk to the cashiers. I don't have to be suspicious of any one I talk to or worry about their attitude toward me. If I see a quebec label on anything I pick up, I just put it back on the shelf. WE DON'T NEED ANY DAMN BUSINESS rings in my ears whenever I look at products.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you. I do the same...never buy any Quebec products...ever.

      Delete
    2. All of us should do the same if possible until they restore rights and freedoms for everyone that resides here. Sick of paying taxes to a government that denies my existence!

      Delete
    3. L'important est que vous payez vos taxes et vos impôts au Québec ... :)

      Delete
    4. Will be glad to support an economy that supports my rights and freedoms and doesn't exclude me from my own right to speak one of the official languages of Canada which is English. Not until!

      Delete
    5. Hawksbury is so close. Can go and get some proper priced wine, groceries and fill up the car for cheaper.

      It's win-win. You save money on gas, wine and groceries. Asshole Quebec govt gets not a single cent to use against it's own citizens.

      As the idiocy of Quebec drives the prices up, people just shop over the internet and Fedex delivers it. Consumer wins. Quebec suffers.

      You can already order pharmacy supplies, deordorant, lipstick etc over the internet to Quebec from Ontario companies.

      Anyone that needs a car repair should check the hourly rate in Ontario, Vermont or NY. You will be shocked how badly Quebecers are being ripped off by overpaid union members.

      Windshield replaced in Quebec? $600, windshield in vermont $200.

      It's getting easier and easier to opt-out of the idiocy here. It's such a huge savings that everybody is shopping outside the province as much as possible.

      It used to be that people went "outlet shopping" only in the USA. Now the pricing of regular good has become so distorted that all products are worth buying outside Quebec.

      The best part about mail order between provinces is you only pay federal tax also. No provincial!

      Buy local will go great until all the old people in Quebec on social assistance reaslize the food items they can afford just got cut in half and the selection of different products disappears.

      Places like "Adonis" that sell "immigrant food" will just have to be shut down. Can;t have Quebecers able to buy and eat ethnic foods that are not historically Quebecois.

      Anyone that wants a good laugh of the future of Quebec grown pinapples/ cucumbers etc should have a fun read of this. Quebec can;t even learn from others mistakes. That's a sign of maturity Quebec lacks. Greenies are blinded by dogma. Blocks out logic.

      http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/s prung_greenhouse.html

      Newfies are laughing at Quebec these days, not the other way around anymore! NL has the jobs and the $ and Quebec has welfare cases and PQ logic.

      google +1

      Delete
    6. "Places like "Adonis" that sell "immigrant food" will just have to be shut down. Can;t have Quebecers able to buy and eat ethnic foods that are not historically Quebecois."

      +10 Cebeuq

      Delete
    7. "L'important est que vous payez vos taxes et vos impôts au Québec ... :)"

      So why do you keep telling us to leave? (moron)

      Delete
    8. "Good for you. I do the same...never buy any Quebec products...ever"

      There are people who really have turned it into a Lifestyle. They buy absolutely nothing here in Quebec. My sister's neighbour went to Vermont to buy her toilet and bathtub, she re-did her bathroom.

      Someone else I know buys NOTHING locally, not even a pack of chewing gum. She travel south every week practically, fills up, gets her groceries, clothes, electronics, pharmas....I mean...you name it. She said the last time she bought anything local was 2009. I was astonished, but somehow, she manages. Her beef: It's highway robbery what they make us pay for things here. She's right!

      Delete
    9. "Now the pricing of regular good has become so distorted that all products are worth buying outside Quebec."

      There might be some exceptions. Maple syrup and poutine are probably still cheaper in Quebec.

      All of this talk about agricultural protectionism reminds me of the idiotic decades-long provision where margarine in Quebec had to be colored differently than butter in order to protect dairy farmers.

      Delete
    10. cebeuq,

      The best part about mail order between provinces is you only pay federal tax also. No provincial!

      There are two caveats in this statement.

      1. The seller can not have any presence in Quebec. Once it does, it has to charge QST.

      2. The seller must not be located in a province with HST. If it sells from a province with HST (notably Ontario), it will charge HST instead of GST as HST is GST and PST blended into one.

      Delete
    11. All of us should do the same if possible until they restore rights and freedoms for everyone that resides here. Sick of paying taxes to a government that denies my existence!

      Sorry Cutie, but as a staunch federalist and anglo/franco/allo, I've got to take issue with this on two notable levels.

      One, the interconnectedness of our economies and governments is such that the dollars you spend across the Ottawa River will likely come flowing back, regardless of your own intentions. Transfer payments and the free flow of money, goods, people, and business make it hard for you to guarantee that the dollar you spend in English Canada necessarily stays (entirely) in English Canada. It might feel good to spend your "anglo" money in "English Canada", but overall I think your strategy doesn't quite have the effect you think it does.

      Two, if the provincial government has gotten away with instituting what you think are repressive language policies, you should at least give some thought to how successive federal governments and indeed "federal" courts over the past several decades have been complicit in the legislated repression of what you consider to be "your people" in this province. Maybe "your" interests might be better served by an initiative of your taking whereby establishing rapports with some local francophone merchants and then sharing with them your concerns would bring about grassroots change rather than imposed directives from distant ivory towers staffed with overpaid partisan lawmakers.

      Just a thought.

      Delete
    12. Doing as much as I can when I can and that includes shopping outside quebec. Perhaps it does end up back here but I have no control over that so there isn't much I can do about it. Does make me feel better and lots of friends and families I know do the same. As to the federal government and federal courts, again there is nothing much I can do except object which is what I do constantly via e-mails and joining as many groups as I can to fight these bigots. As I'm not a francophone I doubt the francophone merchants here care what I think about anything but would be more than willing to listen to groups that are objecting to these measures used to eradicate the english language from everything in sight. That is the reason I join groups that are taking action. Hopefully some of it will do some good but one has to wonder.

      Delete
    13. FROM ED
      Apparatchik says, "Maybe "your" interests might be better served by an initiative of your taking whereby establishing rapports with some local francophone merchants and then sharing with them your concerns would bring about grassroots change rather than imposed directives from distant ivory towers staffed with overpaid partisan lawmakers."
      The above is an excellent idea. I've been trying to think of ways to reach the Francophones. You have given us all food for thought. I learn a lot from the brilliant writers here like you and Adski and the sage, Yannick. Others like EDM and Diogenes and Tree Stump think clear and express ideas well. I don't always agree with you but I do respect your right to see things your way and yjink about what you print. Ed

      Delete
    14. Perhaps it does end up back here but I have no control over that so there isn't much I can do about it.
      So then why bother? By your own admission, isn't what you're describing the very equivalent of tilting at windmills?

      I can't help but feel that the powerlessness you're describing feeling is equal and opposite to the powerlessness felt and expressed by the vocal and disgruntled aging baby boomers over at the SSJB and related groups. Because of shifting demographics and political currents, their hopes of living in a country called Quebec, "free" from what they have convinced themselves is far-reaching "Canadian" (deliberately using the English word when writing French) tyranny is becoming ever more dashed, and they're retreating ever more into an ethnically and politically reclusive world of perpetually hurt pride and paranoia. A world where they lobby Quebecor and Metro to put an 'é' in their names, and where the lily brings comfort and the maple reviled as a metaphor of their "dispossession". A bizarro world where the French boxer is at least twice the size of the English one for it to be called a fair fight, and where still others just wish for the English boxer to be altogether absent so the French boxer can just win by acclamation -- you know, because it's humiliating to have to actually prove he deserves it after all our people have been through.

      As I'm not a francophone I doubt the francophone merchants here care what I think about anything but would be more than willing to listen to groups that are objecting to these measures used to eradicate the english language from everything in sight.
      This disturbs me because it suggests subordinating the cultivation of genuine relationships with your local francophones and then engaging with them on this important issue to be a fruitless endeavor to doing it collectively. As a merchant, I'd rather hear what my regular customer wants than have torch-wielding mobs to demonstrate outside my business.

      Do what you want, but I think you shouldn't discount the one-on-one engagement if only to try a slightly less confrontational approach.

      Hopefully some of it will do some good but one has to wonder.
      Not to criticize your obvious desire to improve linguistic civil liberties through your own engagement, but can you objectively say it has done some good or are you still wondering?

      Delete
    15. Well as I posted later on, I do what I can do when out in restaurants, stores, etc. without causing a scene and have written to the same establishments declaring my issue to them. I do not confront any of them; merely ask why there is no English menu or whatever I looking for. I have no desire to be confrontational with any of them - I'm sure they've been visited many times by IF and their bunch so that's the last impression I want to leave as an anglophone. I have to think it has done some good as I get good feedback from readers of the local paper and phone calls also telling me they've read and agree with what I say plus it has encouraged others to also write and complain. How much it is changing anything? I will always wonder about that I guess.

      Delete
  12. "L'important est que vous payez vos taxes et vos impôts au Québec"

    Yes, likely true...30% of people in Quebec pay no income tax at all.. Tu payer vos impots SR?

    Of course they also collect taxes in the West for Quebec via "le prequatione". About 8 Billion or 13 to 15% of the entire Quebec provincial budget.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @westerner

      "About 8 Billion or 13 to 15% of the entire Quebec provincial budget."

      false. 3 billions out of the 8 come from quebec. so that's 5 over a 70 billions budget, or 7%.

      somebody tricked you, mate. but now you know better.

      Delete
    2. Lets not even begin that argument. Simply put Quebec receives over 8 - 10 billion more from the Feds than they contribute in taxes
      Insinuating, that Quebec puts any money towards equalization is false logic. You have been reading too much JFL.

      Delete
    3. @westerner

      check this table out, it's from statistics canada: http://tinyurl.com/ncrr73t .

      in all three categories of transfer payments, quebec is on the canadian average, on a per capita basis.

      now tell me why it is relevant to insinuate, like you did up here, that quebec gets more than its fair share out of canada?

      Delete
    4. Simple fact, Quebec gets more money back from Ottawa than it sends. That's all, that's it.

      Delete
    5. Yep - they can deny it all they want, which they do continuously, but without the help from the ROC they would soon see their $7.00 daycare program, all the bums and students that don't want to work, all the seasonal workers, etc. streaming into the streets when they realize there is no where near enough money to spend on these socialist programs. Plus what happens to the money we get now for old age pension, QPP and EI - programs that are subsidized by all Canadians - these crazy separatists keep lying to their followers that they will have loads more more money if they leave Canada. What happens if there is a world crisis and a world war breaks out once again? As a separate country inside a country, they would expect Canada to protect them but they don't want to contribute one cent to National Defence - who's going to pay for their national defence? We taxpayers? We are already swamped with taxes and can afford to give no more. Stupid people

      Delete
    6. @cutie003

      "all the bums and students that don't want to work..."

      shouldn't students study, mate?!?

      "they would expect Canada to protect them..."

      who will attack quebec cutie003?!? up to now the only threat i see is you. it doesn't need a big army to contain it.

      "who's going to pay for their national defence? We taxpayers?"

      of course, who else could it be? quebec already pays for a fifth of canadian national defense. this should be enough money for a startup army.

      Delete
    7. @westernr

      "Quebec gets more money back from Ottawa than it sends."

      yes, just lik any other province that doesn't extract oil. so what's your point?

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    9. @ student;
      "yes, just lik any other province that doesn't extract oil. so what's your point?"

      Canada's biggest province, Ontario doesn't have any significant oil production and is a net contributor to Ottawa. I don't know how you can make the above statement

      Delete
    10. Ontario receives 3.5 billions a year in equalization, and more than 20 billions in total federal transfers. It's hard to say that it is a net contributor to ottawa.

      Delete
    11. @ Yannick
      "Ontario receives 3.5 billions a year in equalization

      Ontario may receive $3.5 billion in equalization, but pays in about $5 billion.
      Quebec receives $8 billion in equalization, but pays in about $3 billion.
      Same for the $20 billion it receives from Ottawa. It always pays more than it receives while Quebec always pays less.
      Think about it. If Ontario was a net receiver, it would mean that just only around 25% of Canada were net contributors, something that would be unsustainable.

      Delete
    12. @editor

      ontario's deficit is 10 billions. how do you factor this in your comparison?

      "it would mean that just only around 25% of Canada were net contributors, something that would be unsustainable"

      why not, if that 25% is richer?!?

      Delete
    13. Editor - I still do not like these half-calculations half-gut feelings, I'm not entirely convinced. But I agree that with the second highest average income in Canada, Ontarians probably aren't net beneficiaries of Ottawa.

      Of net dependants, almost half of Canada is worse than Quebec - Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, in that order. BC comes about even, Alberta pays in a lot more than it gets out, and Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, who used to be net beneficiaries, are now net contributors due to recent oil industry investments.

      Of course, those other net beneficiaries do not criticize the other provinces nearly as much as Quebec.

      Delete
  13. FROM ED
    Francois Legault has no interest in anything CRITIQ says. He will make his decision on how it will affect the next election. Don't waste your time.
    This business of boycott is ridiculous. Yannick is absolutely right. The economy you wish to hurt is our economy, your economy. It's like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Let's at least protect what we can. Does anyone actually believe that hurting our innocent business people and farmers will hurt the Parti Quebecois in any way? There is no tax on food so only the producers will pay. WTF Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You two may think so but nothing speaks louder than protest and one of my ways of protesting is to boycott anything produced in or by quebec. If things go on the same way then it looks as if everything is just fine which, for God's sake is far from it, and getting worse each and every day. Now they're going after religion and the federal government to get what they want. Are we supposed to sit back again and do nothing? What do you suggest we do Ed and Yannick to show our dissatisfaction? And Ed the e-mails aren't from CRITIQ they are from we, as voters, protesting Bill 14 - again what do you suggest we do? When you guys come up with some other ideas, please inform the rest of us, meanwhile I will do what I can do and when I can do it which is more than a lot of people. If we don't do anything we can expect nothing but nothing to get any better.

      Delete
    2. Quebec farmers vote PQ by a large majority.

      The hinterland of PQ faithful pervert our democracy with riding sizes. West Island ridings are over the legal limit of number of voters in the riding. Hinterland ridings are below the legal allowed limit of voters. Quebec refuses to adhere to it's own laws (no surprises there) to change and redraw the boundaries and re-allocate. Obviously PQ/Francophone voters will drop in influence.

      There is nothing innocent about it.

      Montreal already has a problem with the PQ hinterland sucking the life force out of us.

      Delete
    3. I just want to say that I think the idea that one of the richest countries on earth can't "afford" to buy its own food is a foolishness of epic proportions. Canada is a good producer of food, and we aren't putting our forests to death to do it. There is little to be accomplished, in the long term, by ruining our farmers, even if we don't like the PQ.

      By the way cebeuq, you will find pretty much everywhere that rural ridings are over-represented in the legislature. This is partly to do with the fact that cities grow much faster than rural ridings and so riding maps are always playing catch-up, but it also has to do with catering to special interests. You are correct that it is not always fair, but it is not limited to Quebec.

      Cutie, if you want to express your dissatisfaction you can do it anyway you want, but I suggest you do it at the polls. Vote for the equality party if you don't think it will facilitate a PQ victory. Maybe no equality MLA will get elected, but a rise in popular vote can have an effect on future elections - see how quebec solidaire has been steadily rising for an example.

      Delete
    4. We're not cutting down our forests to do it BECAUSE we import most of our food, if we switched to all food being locally grown over night we'd have to find a lot more farm land toute suite.

      Delete
    5. Actually Thatguy we import about as much food as we export. Depends on the type of crop of course. We don't export many oranges, for obvious reasons, but export a whole lotta pig.

      Check it out here.

      Point is, there is no reason why we can't keep the food production we have going on, which more or less feeds us, and continue trading for the things we can't make with other nations. That, I believe, is the ideal situation.

      Delete
    6. In trade balance, Canada is a net exporter of food.

      Check it out!

      But agriculture, specifically, is vulnerable to competition because many farmers do it out of a lifestyle choice nowadays, and won't be replaced by their children when they retire, because at the end of the day they earn the equivalent of less than minimum wage. That's why we can't just open all the gates and trust to the gods of the free market - we have to be careful with our industry and try and figure out how to help it survive and thrive.

      Delete
    7. Montreal already has a problem with the PQ hinterland sucking the life force out of us.

      Try reforming our provincial riding boundaries amid the howls of protests and special interests. Charest tried -- and in my opinion, failed.

      Delete
  14. First things first: Quebec, You are not Special!! (had to get that out of the way) lol

    So a couple of interesting reads today, one specifically caught my eye, and I thought would be well worth mentioning.

    The opinion piece published today in The Gazette from Gary Shapiro and Richard Yufe really deserves to be read!!

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/Opinion+olive+branch+doublespeak+from+Bill+CRITIQ+says/8425549/story.html

    I particulary liked the way they ended it:

    "If the Quebec government really cared, it would set aside Bill 14 and re-evaluate the entirety of the Charter of French Language in the context of globalization and modern communication. We ask Lisée to put the question to Montreal residents, to let them decide their future — whether they want to succeed as a thriving bilingual metropolis that competes on the world stage, or to be a sacrificial burnt offering on the altar of sovereignty. We ask that this government show due respect to Montreal, the economic engine of Quebec, and a distinct society within it. A good way to do that would be to grant bilingual, multicultural Montreal the special status it requires to thrive economically. Let Montreal fulfill its destiny as a secure, cosmopolitan beacon to people and investment from around the world. For as Montreal prospers, so will Quebec."

    Well said !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, the only way this will come to be is by partition - the PQ will never let any area out from under their umbrella of hate especially Montreal which should be one of the leading money makers in this province but the PQ will not let it happen. If they let Montreal out, they will have to let other areas out and they know this will lead to the partition of the province which is what a lot of us desire so why should they? They want us to all sink in their stupid ship without a second thought to the harm they are doing. Our economy in the Outaouais would also be devastated by the independence of quebec but do you think that they care? They just don't give a damn about anything but their agenda, and I repeat, they will be out of here at the first sign of trouble on the money they are currently making from the taxpayers of this province leaving us to fix the mess.

      Delete
    2. @cutie003

      "...Montreal which should be one of the leading money makers in this province..."

      ...and it is.

      "...which is what a lot of us desire..."

      how many? and who is "us"?

      "They want us to all sink in their stupid ship..."

      nobody wants to sink, cutie003. i understand your fantasy is based on this assumption, but on day you'll have to build another one on firmer foundations. the sooner the better, mate.

      "I repeat, they will be out of here at the first sign of trouble..."

      what trouble? you?

      Delete
    3. These people are really stupid enough to think there will not be trouble in trying to break up a country. Idiots. Lot less when we partition democratically.

      Delete
    4. @cutie003

      i never wrote there would not be trouble. i asked what trouble you envision. can you appreciate the nuance cutie003? if you do please don't morph my words ever again.

      Delete
  15. I do not know how much are Mexicans being paid in California but Philippinos and South-American workers on temporary work visas laboring the fields here in Quebec are being paid to the tune of $2-3/hour. Then billed for food, shelter and medical insurance they cannot get. So yes, slavery is here, courtesy of the UPA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be fair, temporary work visas are a federal program, and unfortunately it is being used all over Canada.

      Delete
    2. Don't get me wrong; I appreciate the whole keeping-it-local thing. But the same granolas who tell me to love the earth are usually the same as those telling me to treat people fairly.

      There is something very much amiss in this talk about ensuring even part of our food independence/"sovereignty" on the backs of low wage and temporarily imported laborers... and then recycling the whole idea under the banner of some righteous and moralistic policy.

      Themes of exploitation, supply management, capitalism, anti-capitalism, and convenient sloganeering are swirling about in my mind about this. And disturbing all around.

      Delete
  16. FROM ED
    The Quebec farmer's Association is housed in Longeuil and basically an English oriented organization.
    "Welcome to the Quebec Farmers’ Association home page!
    We are a not-for-profit, member-based organization that defends the rights and advocates on behalf of the English-Speaking agricultural community across Quebec.

    Our head office is in Longueuil, Quebec. We keep our finger on the pulse of Quebec farming by communicating with our local branches, through our newspaper, local meetings, and correspondence. Volunteers serve on our provincial Board of Directors and are also links to local issues and challenges.

    QFA has close ties with many provincial and national farming organizations including the Union des producteurs agricoles, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and Quebec 4-H, as well as education and research institutions such as Macdonald and Kemptville Colleges.
    Federal files show that Quebec farms earned 8 billion and cost 61/2 billion to operate. One and a half billion divided by thirty thousand farms is less than 50n thousand per unit. When divided by four family members their salaries are below poverty levels.
    The op/ed piece in the Gazette by Shapiro and Yufe is nothing we don't already know but at least they are saying it where it helps inform instead of just saying it here to each other. Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FROM ED
      Yannick, During the war years ('39 to '47)my father and 4 friends created a garden out of the forests of Verdun that was in area from Buerling street to Champlain and Osborne to Brown boulevard. None of those streets were there then. I can't remember the details but my father having been raised on a farm in New Brunswick talked to a the Head gardener for the City of Verdun to find out about crop rotation.
      Personally , I could be considered low income. With my pension of $1400.00 per month trying to educate my grandson is not easy. After six years he managed to get bursaries this year. Yet, we have never been hungry. I simply go to Maxi and pick up what's on sale. We live good and we eat well. Dave goes through a liter of milk a day. he's 23 and constantly active, basketball,
      karate and college sports. He eats like a horse and I pay a girl to cook for us twice per week. I can pay my rent and hydro
      and have a beautiful home. I'm proud of my Quebec and I do not consider this province or it's farmers and vendors as my enemy. I'm sorry for those that do. These people are our family. It is not their fault that the government is hurting you any more than it was the fault of farmers of France that Hitler walked all over them. Hurting them will put nothing in your mouth or purse. Ed

      Delete
    2. FROM ED
      In the above post I said, "These people are our family. It is not their fault that the government is hurting you any more than it was the fault of farmers of France that Hitler walked all over them. Hurting them will put nothing in your mouth or purse. Ed
      Yannick I meant hurting the boycotters not you personally. My bad. Ed

      Delete
    3. I'm glad to hear your grandson is finally getting a break, Ed. I can't imagine having to provide for two people on a pension.

      Delete
    4. Sorry Ed but we have to do something and the government has to get the message that we will not sit back and let them run over us all the time. I will boycott quebec and anything it produces until they understand that we will use any means possible. As I said earlier, we are short on ways to punish them so think of other ways to get the point across and we will look at them. In the meantime, sign petitions, send e-mails from CRITIQ (at least they are trying to do something) so let's support them in their efforts instead of sitting on our usual duffs. Doing anything is better than doing nothing for heaven's sake! Maybe it will make the farmers think twice about supporting the PQ relentlessly if their sales fall.

      Delete
    5. FROM ED
      Cutie, Please read again what Yannick said to you, "Maybe "your" interests might be better served by an initiative of your taking whereby establishing rapports with some local francophone merchants and then sharing with them your concerns would bring about grassroots change rather than imposed directives from distant ivory towers staffed with overpaid partisan lawmakers." This is a wonderful idea. If all those that take the trouble to drive to Plattsburgh to buy gum would put this into effect. That could bring about change. In my area I have gone out of my way to make friends with the Francs and it has paid off.
      QA couple of separatist families here have boys on baseball teams. They pile into their car and send the boys to get me because they know I like to watch the kids play ball. I haven't converted them to Liberals yet but they're softening.
      The farmer's do not support the PQ. Don't go by what Cebeq said, it's not true. the Quebec farmers Association is organized by English.
      I posted above a message from them saying they support English rights but you choose to accept the lie from some one who doesn't know. If you don't want to see the truth we have nothing more to talk about. Ed

      Delete
    6. FROM ED
      Apparatchik, I am so sorry I misquoted above. I meant to credit you but mentioned Yannick instead. Guess I was stunned by the simplicity of your excellent suggestion and the realization that i have been practicing this myself without realizing it. Ed

      Delete
    7. I was about to correct you Ed - if it sounds wise, it's probably from Apparatchik. :)

      Delete
    8. Ed - why don't you read what I said above - I said I join groups for the connection to the business community as to do this by myself would be silly and I would be laughed out the door - when in a restaurant I can tell them I want the menu in English but if they don't have one, what then? The only option is to leave and say that I will not come back until they have a menu in English - Am I supposed to embarrass people and ask for the manager to make my point while in the restaurant? I can see doing this if you're with a group that feel as you do but most people are not interested in making a fuss in public and would be totally put off - wouldn't take long for me to be by myself at the restaurant would it? - I can only do so much and I do all I can do by having letters published in my local newspaper for instance fighting for the rights of all the anglophones to be served in our language in this area. Until the separatists governments in quebec feel the impact of economic decline they will continue on their way to destroy us. Until they change, I will not change and will boycott and support every boycott I can of this province. To hell with them. So far I have seen no other option but to do what I'm doing.

      Delete
    9. @ Ed & Yannick; har har and many thanks ;-)

      when in a restaurant I can tell them I want the menu in English but if they don't have one, what then? The only option is to leave and say that I will not come back until they have a menu in English - Am I supposed to embarrass people and ask for the manager to make my point while in the restaurant? I can see doing this if you're with a group that feel as you do but most people are not interested in making a fuss in public and would be totally put off - wouldn't take long for me to be by myself at the restaurant would it?

      Actually Cutie, what I'm suggesting is that you try adjusting your aim just a little bit. When you show up at a restaurant that hasn't got an English menu, take the French one and read it. Don't leave. If you don't get what it says, tell the wait staff you have trouble and ask for their help. Oftentimes, menus in any language aren't all that descriptive and I often find myself bantering with waiters and waitresses about whether I really ought to go with this or that dish -- and that's without a language barrier either way. The ones who don't hate their jobs are usually glad to provide suggestions, no matter the language (it is their job, after all!).

      And no, I wouldn't make a fuss. At the end of the meal, I'd thank the wait staff for being so cordial and discreetly ask to speak to their manager about the experience. Tell the manager how you enjoyed the visit, and ask if they'd consider having an English menu. Or a bilingual one. Or this or that brand of Scotch. The idea isn't to whine about it but to impress upon the decision-making manager that not only would you consider coming back, but that it isn't too outlandish to consider an idea that their potential returning clientele might appreciate.

      The most democratic right that you have in a fair market is to vote with your feet (I assume the Outaouais restaurant industry meets whatever admittedly subjective criteria I'm imagining when I speak of a "fair market"). Don't you think that as a consumer and a stakeholder in that same market, you owe it to yourself -- and to others -- to effectively communicate what you want? As I mentioned to Diogenes earlier, messages have a way of getting muddied when large special interest groups get involved. And most people have a funny way of responding better when they aren't threatened by a mob of angry villagers. Just sayin'...

      Until they change, I will not change and will boycott and support every boycott I can of this province. To hell with them. So far I have seen no other option but to do what I'm doing.
      I get your frustration, but I can't condone your conclusion. I do see an alternative -- one that doesn't turn our otherwise enviable language geography into a zero-sum game. And I think we'd all fare better looking at it that way too.

      Delete
    10. @cutie003

      "I will not change and will boycott and support every boycott I can of this province. To hell with them."

      it could make sense if you didn't live there.

      is this yours? http://tinyurl.com/3efy5bu

      Delete
    11. You're right Apparatchik - I am frustrated - frustrated having to fight for something so logical that it boggles the mind. As I stated above, I do e-mail the establishments that I go to that don't provide either a bilingual or English menu and I am polite when I do so. As long as this battle continues, I will have no choice but to try to fight back against their bigotry and their deliberate attempt to freeze us out of our own province, businesses and homes. To give in would simply not be part of my personality - I respect their right to speak and live in their language and feel that I have just as much right to live and speak in my language - mutual respect and consideration would go a long way in this province but when dealing with the separatists and IF group, logic and reason bear no weight. Frustration and anger are very real now in many areas of the province and grows each time they introduce more and more stupid restrictions, bills and threats.

      Delete
    12. FROM ED
      Cutie, I don't know what to tell you. You could just stop fighting life. Accept it as it is and live it. Fight when the time comes that it will do some good. Go on living your life in English. Yes, ask for an English menu if you feel like it. I would take the French menu but I would order in English. Until then I will lay back and wait for the only solution, an election.
      In the meantime if we want to continue making advances, let's try getting the message across to soft separatists any way we can. We won't do it by spouting partition, boycotts or anger. There are many opportunities to reach out.
      I once had a dog that could do amazing tricks with a smile on his face. People asked how I trained him. I told them, we simply learned to love each other. After that he seemed to know my thoughts and wanted to please me. it worries me that you let yourself get so upset over rights. Try to live with the ones we've got and obtain the rest when advantageous. You don't have to fight this alone, we're all on the same side. Ed

      Delete
  17. FROM ED
    Editor,
    You and many others don't seem to understand that we all benefit from being protected. before the day of Mulroney and the other opportunists like Reagan, Canada dealt independently with different countries. We lived well and above all HAD JOBS. These jobs paid taxes and debts were low.
    Before the marketing board brought egg producers together, they were going out of business. I remember a giant business at Deer Head Lake near Buffalo telling me that they were ready to sell because the supermarkets were using eggs as a loss leader until the board put an end to it.
    The last thing we need is free trade and even more free trade with the east. They are ripping us off now and I would gladly forego having Walmart to see more real jobs with people earning salaries and able to pay taxes. Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FROM ED
      Ya know Editor. Out of my income of 14 hundred per month, I pay 600 rent 211 Hydro and $!70.00 to bell. leaving me 450 for a month. Dave drinks a bag of milk per day and with my peptic ulcer ( from my meds) I too drink milk. I buy three bags for $6.22 three times per week. My milk bill is $75.00 per month. We live well, two cell phones plus land line, internet for 2 computers and channels on two TVs. On top of this, we eat well with take out twice per week.
      I don't need lower prices but when Dave leaves to start a new life, I'll feel rich but I hope his travels keep him in Canada. Ed

      Delete
    2. Well Ed if you owned a home you would feel more strongly about all this because this is where things like major repairs cost a lot of money - like a leak in the basement wall which you're looking at about $15,000 to fix. I have to wonder whether it's worth fixing because our houses are taking such a wallop in the real estate market you doubt you will ever get enough back by the sale (if you can sell that is) to even pay for any repairs that are necessary. Frustrated is a nice word for what I feel. If I paid rent rather than owning a home here, I would probably be less upset with the way things are going. So it's nice to be patient but when it doesn't look like things will get better, it's pretty hard to remain optimistic. You would obviously still be staying where you are because your son is close by but you can leave without losing your shirt - most of us aren't that lucky.

      Delete
  18. Read it and weep you seppies - comes from one of your hero's AGAIN - when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.
    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2013/05/20130525-123555.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what do you mean AGAIN?

      anyways the dude says he moved to andorra but it has nothing to do with taxes?!?

      he's a clown, mate. not worth your noble consideration cutie003.

      Delete
    2. Son père était un champion et pas seulement pour les Québécois mais pour les Italiens aussi.

      Delete
    3. Jacques Villeneuve says: “Everything bad about France was transferred to Quebec. The social ills, the student protests...”

      “He blamed government regulations for scaring off investors, and said he didn’t want his three children to live in the “morose ambiance” in Quebec that “blocks its future.”

      “He said it’s up to parents to teach their children how to speak French.”

      Glad to see someone who’s not afraid to tell it like it is AGAIN, just like he did last year at the red squares. Not even the trolls dispute what he said. LOL

      Can’t wait to see whether he’ll flip the bird to the inevitable seppie protesters at the Grand Prix in two weeks.

      Delete
    4. You know it always amazes me RS that these people never believe anyone that they once believed were of their ilk but have moved on. Bouchard, another one of their great ones, has also turned on the movement but they don't believe anything he says either. They've all been assimilated, I guess, as soon as they no longer believe in the "cause". So pig headed that they can be used as head cheese.

      Delete
    5. @r.s

      "Not even the trolls dispute what he said."

      i totally dispute pretty much everything jacques villeneuve said, apart from car driving things. but i'm not a troll, so there is still a chance you are right with this statement. let's see what ed or un gars bs de calgary say.

      @cutie003

      "it always amazes me RS that these people never believe anyone that they once believed were of their ilk but have moved on."

      really? ah. well for my part i think french canadians do good in not following a leader blindly. don't you think it's bettr to remain critical, whatver a leader said or accomplished in the past cutie003? and for jacques villeneuve, he maybe was a powerful role model ten years ago, like a speed skater or a ultimate fighter, but he never was any kind of intellectual reference.

      "Bouchard, another one of their great ones, has also turned on the movement..."

      bouchard recently reconfirmed he was still a separatist. so i wonder what "movement" you made up that he has "turned on".

      Delete
    6. Quite right, Cutie. You can see that going on right in this thread. I think “morose ambiance” is going to become my new favourite phrase regarding Quebec seppies. I suppose that you were referring to Bouchard’s comments last fall, where he rips into the PQ:

      “Lucien Bouchard tells Parti Québécois to move on from sovereignty”
      Graeme Hamilton | 12/09/12 | National Post

      No leader since has managed to ignite such passion for Quebec sovereignty, so Lucien Bouchard’s thoughts on the state of the movement are of obvious interest following last week’s Parti Québécois victory. With a new book by the former PQ premier hitting bookstores Wednesday, sovereigntists can be grateful it did not come out during the campaign, because he rips into the party he once led.

      In Lettres à un jeune politicien (Letters to a Young Politician), Mr. Bouchard offers advice to a young person considering a career in politics, but he also directs a few swipes at the older set that has succeeded him in the PQ. Mr. Bouchard describes a Quebec that has lost its bearings and is seeking new ideals. “What remains when the dream of sovereignty fades, when it cannot rally people like before?” he asks. “You can no doubt see that my generation is lacking a collective myth.”

      The decades-old debate over independence is at an “impasse,” he writes, and young Quebecers need something else to inspire them. Instead, the PQ promised during the recent election campaign to allow citizen-initiated referendums, under which a petition signed by 15% of the population could trigger a vote on sovereignty.

      “I cannot believe that anyone could consider putting in the hands of such a weak minority the power of sending us to the slaughterhouse at any time,” he writes. He adds that it would be “irresponsible to expose Quebec to another defeat.” The separatists’ previous referendum losses left Quebec vulnerable, he argues, leading to the “forced repatriation” of the Constitution after the 1980 defeat and the Clarity Act after 1995. “How many more defeats must be inflicted on Quebec?” he writes.

      In an interview about the book with L’Actualité magazine, Mr. Bouchard called the PQ’s Sept 4 minority election victory a “poisoned chalice” for Premier-elect Pauline Marois. “It’s a repudiation of the PQ program and a sign that the sovereignty project is not in good shape,” he said. “The more the PQ spoke of sovereignty in the campaign, the more its support dropped.”

      In the book, Mr. Bouchard is critical of another key element of the PQ campaign, the opposition to Liberal tuition hikes. He favours having university students pay more and warns of the dangers of surrendering to street protests. When he was premier, he writes, he respected the views of protesters but kept in mind all the citizens “who cannot make their voices heard, do not block traffic, do not turn over cars. The government has to know how to say ‘no’ to the street.”

      Delete
    7. Mr. Bouchard does not directly address the PQ’s proposal to tighten language laws, but he makes it clear that the party is mistaken if it thinks French will be protected by further limiting access to English education. “The protection of French begins with concern for the quality of one’s spoken French,” he writes. He adds that “to communicate in the 21st century, in North America, also means being able to do it in English, and if possible a third language.”

      Concern about the protection of Quebec’s cultural identity from outside influences — a major theme of the PQ campaign — fails to resonate with a generation that has grown up among people of different races and religions, Mr. Bouchard writes: “Tolerance and openness to others comes naturally to you.”

      The book says Quebec urgently needs to be set back in motion. He recalls one of his sons telling him he was “hard on Quebecers” for saying that they did not work as long hours as their neighbours in Ontario and the United States. “Loving someone does not mean sugar-coating the pill,” he writes. “I deeply love Quebecers.” But they need to be aware of pressing problems that demand action: debt, high taxes, under-financing of education and health systems and the reconciliation of environmental concerns with natural resource development.

      “What we have to ask is where will the vital forces able to break this suffocating stagnation come from,” he writes. He says he is convinced it will come from the youth to whom his book is addressed.

      L’actualité asked Mr. Bouchard whether he is still a sovereigntist. “One can be sovereigntist and observe that it is no longer what keeps Quebec ticking,” he replied.

      No English edition of the book is planned.

      National Post • Email: ghamilton@nationalpost.com

      Delete
    8. That's awesome.

      Jacques Villeneuve +1

      Seppies debate "again" vs the backwardness of their entire project.

      JV has always been well travelled tho. He's not representative of SR and student.

      JV as unable to related to PQ idiots as any other person without metal illness.

      People need to look at other examples of long term destructive nationalist freaks that destroyed other countries.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarajevo

      I don't know about anybody else, but it was an education when Sarajevo went from hosting the olympics in 1984 to splitting the country in half, destroying the city, and kill tens of thousands of the citizens ten years later.

      This is the same destructive element active in the PQ today.

      Appealing to race/religion as a political party is a known phenomenon in society. The outcome is always violence and the destruction of a civil society.

      PQ supporters see their pure blood goals as above the need to maintain a civil society. Once they have their own country they can change the laws to avoid breaking any pesky laws! That's the great part about owning your own home.

      Delete
    9. @r.s

      ah dude! thanks for providing support for my arguments: he's still a separatist. i remembered correctly.

      but the last quote you provide is incomplete. he added "Il y a quelque chose qui doit reprendre, se cristalliser de nouveau. Ça viendra des jeunes."

      @cutie003

      so what is this movement lucien bouchard "turned on" cutie003?

      Delete
    10. If you believe that was some sort of ringing endorsement of his still being a separatist, I’ve got some swampland in Florida to sell to you.

      Delete
    11. As usual, they only acknowledge what they want to - rose coloured glasses on everything that they agree with - the rest is discounted.

      Delete
    12. @r.s

      "If you believe that was some sort of ringing endorsement of his still being a separatist..."

      here's the quote:

      "On peut être souverainiste et constater que ce n’est plus ça qui fait battre le Québec. (...) Il y a quelque chose qui doit reprendre, se cristalliser de nouveau. Ça viendra des jeunes."

      let's see how you can spin this and have it mean that bouchard is a no vote.

      @cutie003

      don't you also discount false and meaningless numbers cutie003?

      and by the way, what is this movement that lucien bouchard "turned on" in your humble opinion?

      Delete
    13. Unfortunately Cebeuq the separatists do not see the problems that are obvious from all over the world when people try taking over a country instead of working towards the same goals. Sarajevo is just another in many, many parts of the world that are torn with civil war. They absolve themselves of any responsibility for creating what is probably going to be a civil war here in Canada and anyone that thinks that they will separate without civil strife is dreaming in technicolour. There have been a few on this blog alone that think that there will not be huge problems with quebec leaving Canada because we are "more civilized" - what a pile of BS. We, as the Editor has pointed out in this post, are not "special" in any way and when push comes to shove, there will definitely be times we will all wish had never happened. Even Ed, at 76, seems to think there will not be bloodshed as we are not "animals" but even the gentlest of animals will attack when cornered and/or are hungry or protecting their homes, and for many other reasons. They've got to let this whole project go as long as there are at least 70% of the population that have no interest at all in starting a new country in the middle of Canada. If the 70% were in favour we might have less trouble but, and I again repeat, there are many areas in quebec that will not go willingly into the "black hole" as Charest called it, and will fight for their "cause" just as the separatists are willing to fight for their "cause". I see a pale moon arising and I see trouble on the way, as the song goes.

      Delete
  19. And to make things even more depressing, the Eastern Townships and the Laurentians are calling for up to 15 cm of snow overnight. Yuck - bring on the summer and out with the separatists - maybe then we'll all feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comes from the blog of CBC Montreal’s Senior Quebec political analyst, Bernard St-Laurent, which I heartily recommend. I notice Lord Dorchester is already familiar with it as he appears to have the top comment. :)
    http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/features/bernies-blog/

    PQ polling woes continue
    Pollster says PQ needs big change to alter attitudes

    CBC News Posted: May 23, 2013

    Citizenship Minister Bernard Drainville wants Quebecers to look at a poll his department commissioned to justify a Charter of Quebec values to be tabled in the fall. But the poll most Quebecers will notice is the latest CROP survey in Thursday's La Presse.

    On the provincial side, it places support for Phillippe Couillard's Liberals at 38 per cent. That's 14 points ahead of the Parti Québécois which is down to 24 per cent, only two points ahead of the Coalition Avenir Québec which is polling at 22 per cent. Quebec Solidaire is at 10 per cent and Option Nationale up from three per cent to five per cent.

    Francophone Quebecers are now almost evenly split between the PQ (29 per cent), the Liberals (27 per cent) and the CAQ (26 per cent).

    The Liberals are way ahead on the island of Montreal: PLQ (53 per cent), PQ (17 per cent), CAQ (10 per cent). The Liberals are also eight points ahead in the suburbs north and south of Montreal: PLQ (36 per cent), PQ (28 per cent), CAQ (26 per cent). In the Quebec City area, the PQ is polling in third place (27 per cent) behind the CAQ (28 per cent) and the Liberals (30 per cent).

    The PQ is also in third place in the rest of the province: PLQ stands at 31 per cent, the CAQ at 26 per cent and the PQ at 25 per cent.

    Youri Rivest, the vice-president of CROP, says the situation is very worrisome for the PQ and Premier Pauline Marois. Attitudes towards the PQ are setting in and will be very difficult to change. "Madame Marois will need to adopt a new tone, a new discourse, shuffle her cabinet. The situation calls for a big break with what has been done so far," Rivest told La Presse.

    Identity Politics
    But instead of taking Rivest's advice, the PQ seems determined to continue down the path of identity politics. The poll Citizenship Minister Bernard Drainville released yesterday will allow PQ MNAs to push for a Charter of Quebec values during the summer months.

    The goal seems to be to rekindle the same passion sparked by the now defunct Action Démocratique du Québec which mounted an attack on reasonable accommodations, back in 2007. Those attacks allowed the ADQ under then Leader Mario Dumont to overtake the PQ in that election and become the official opposition. Since then, the PQ has vowed never to be outflanked on issues related to identity.

    But Le Devoir columnist Michel David warns the PQ about the danger of over-estimating the willingness of Quebecers to focus on identity issues. For example, he points out that the poll commissioned by Drainville's ministry suggests that 48 per cent of francophones agree that all religious symbols should be banned in the public service. On the other hand, a majority of francophone Quebecers also agree that wearing a religious symbol does not compromise the neutrality of the state and does not challenge their own religious beliefs.

    David says the PQ mishandled Bill 14 and the language debate and now it can’t afford another setback over identity issues.

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    Replies
    1. Mike Finnerty and Bernie St-Laurent often get good political discussions going on the “Daybreak Montreal” morning show on CBC Radio One. Since it’s not always possible to always catch it on-air, you can always listen to it at this link. If you prefer, however, I tried to transcribe their recent discussion about the latest polls, both federally and provincially. I’ve highlighted the bits I find most interesting, particularly the part where they discuss how the PQ used leading questions in their poll in order to favour the results they want (much as they did with the referendum questions).

      [@22:00] Good morning, Bernie! Can we start with a new poll out in La Presse done by CROP? It has some worrying results for both the Quebec government and the government in Ottawa. Should we start in Ottawa?

      Absolutely. So in Ottawa, the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau is at 39%, the New Democrats at 29% (trailing by 10 points), the Bloc Quebecois at 18% (which is stable). Now the Conservatives have dropped to 9% (these are Quebec results), that’s half of what they got in the last election, and the Greens are at 5%. So the Conservatives are only 4 points ahead of the Green Party in Quebec. The disapproval rating for the Conservatives is huge; what it also shows is that the APPROVAL level is only at 21% (down 7%); DISSATISFIED (competing with Pauline Marois) is 72% (and VERY DISSATISFIED is at 40%).

      That’s the one that La Presse is really jumping on. It has gone from 6% to 40%. Why? Well, look at what’s been happening. Even though Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin are not as well-recognized names in Quebec as they are in the rest of the country, the images of what’s been happening there are resonating with people and I think it was L. Ian MacDonald who wrote in a column that the Conservative brand lies on two pillars: the economy and integrity. And they’re taking such huge hits on integrity, Michael, that this is the result of it. And what’s even more important in terms of the numbers is that this is also hitting them hard in the Quebec City area and usually, well as we know, this is where they have their seats, in Lévis and the area around the Beauce, Lotbinière and Quebec… so the projection here is that they would be wiped out. Maybe Max Bernier in Beauce could save his seat.

      While we’re talking about PM Harper and his troubles in the Quebec poll, what’s your view on how yesterday played out with Harper finally facing questions from reporters but doing it in Peru? Once an impression starts to stick, and I think the PM realized it, which is why yesterday he was much more sorrowful and regretting, it might be too little too late. They still haven’t fully dealt with it. How will the Senate deal with the re-examination? Probably… it’s another attempt at damage control but it does show at what point the Conservatives are in big trouble not only in Quebec but across Canada.

      Among non-francophones, in Quebec the Trudeau Liberals are at 72%, and that means that they would regain all of their seats in the West Island, Montreal, the South Shore that they lost to the NDP. But among francophones in the rest of the province, the NDP has 34% and the Liberals have 32%.

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    2. And for the Quebec government, for Pauline Marois, what is she to take out of this poll? “Oh my god, I’m only 2 points ahead of the CAQ!” Her government has steadily dropped since January. The Liberals are now at 38% and with a divided PQ/CAQ vote (24% for PQ and 22% for CAQ), the Liberals are in comfortable majority territory. QS has taken 15% of the PQ vote away. ON continues to grow; they have a serious problem and again... if we look at francophone voters, the PQ is 29% and the Liberals are at 27% (the Liberals believe they can win a majority with 25% amongst francophones) and the CAQ is at 26%. So basically, francophone Quebecers right now are divided between the PQ, the Liberals, and the CAQ almost evenly and that is bad news for the PQ.

      And another point that CROP is making is that opposition to the PQ is becoming crystallized. In several polls now, they’ve been doing badly but this is almost in 3rd place. What’s gone wrong? Well, the economy and the focus on issues that don’t necessarily resonate with Quebecers right now. And the flip-flopping, the problem on the mining rights, the ministers disagreeing with each other, everything that we’ve seen over the last 6 months. How many people have you heard say, man, I don’t know what’s going on? what’s going on?

      Bernie, is it possible that what the PQ used to call the “Secular Charter” but now they want to call the “Charter of Quebec Values” could ride to their rescue in the opinion polls? Well, there is certainly an attempt to do that. You know, yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Bouchard-Taylor and by some bizarre coincidence, that was the day on which they released the Léger Marketing poll suggesting that’s what Quebecers want.

      The poll is online at Drainville’s ministry but if you look at the first questions, and I think it’s important because they set the tone for the other ones: Reasonable Accommodations – is it still an issue today? So now we’re talking about ISSUES. Then the next question: is the question still pertinent today? Then we go to: Is it an important problem? And here’s the kicker: so after having dealt with it this way, using these words, then they say: putting an end to Unreasonable Accommodations would favour social cohesion and integration? So they’re kind of leading the people who take the survey to the answers. Right. So now you’re in the mind frame of Unreasonable Accommodations and that sets the tone for the rest of the questions in the poll. So essentially, what they’re doing is, they couldn’t kind of create, I mean, they could jump on a couple of events to try to promote that, but by having this poll, Drainville can go out and the MNAs can go out to the corn roasts and the parties and the picnics this summer and say “Look! Look! See? See? This is what you wanted us to do!”

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    3. But what struck me, and everything you say of course is true, but when you get to the end of the poll, despite any kind of leading on to certain conclusions, when you ask people do they think that action should be taken, the No’s slightly have the day over the Yes’s. And that’s why Michel David, a sovereignist columnist in Le Devoir, this morning is arguing “You know what? You blew it with Bill 14. You have to be careful with this charter because that may end up backfiring on you as well.”

      Because the PQ had thought that, I think Pauline Marois said “We need to raise the Quebec flag up high”. Yes, yes, that was in 2009, that was when they decided that identity issues were going to be the main thrust of their action. And a winner but Bill 14 for, I don’t know, you tell me, for whatever reason, we get this feeling it’s not really resonating with the francophones in this province and that’s why we get Michel David saying it just hasn’t worked.

      You know, people might remember the days when there were 100,000 out in the streets in Montreal, on cold winter days, denouncing the Bourassa government and pushing them not to move on Bill 101. There’s been absolutely none of that and David argues that if anything, this makes the PQ look even more intolerant. And, for your own supporters, if you can dilute the bill, as they suggest they will, then does that mean that French is really NOT in danger? And if it is a real danger, then these compromises are irresponsible. So they’re caught in a real bind here. And it’s become sort of a trial, I think he says, on whether the PQ is intolerant or not, which is not the ground they want to be on.

      TAKEN FROM: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Quebec/Daybreak+Montreal/ID/2387014495/ (starting at 22:00)

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    4. Thank you again RS for all the work and translation. Always interesting and from the above I can't be the only one thinking they are going to implode soon and better for all of us. Bill 14 has not been the boost they thought it would be with the francophone community. I don't think the federalist francophones appreciate all this disruption to the peace and quiet of the province nor are they impressed with the PQ on any of the important decisions they were supposed to be able to make to improve the province and the economy. Keep going Miss Piggy - the more decisions you make the worse you look. Perhaps you should give some thought to the intelligence of the people you are trying to lead down the garden path with you. Go Piggy!

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    5. @cutie003

      why do you call pauline marois piggy?

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. Indeed, Cutie, Bill 14 has been a bust. Despite all of our problems that need urgent attention from the government of Quebec, the PQ’s priority is to regulate world’s already most regulated language (and therefore the most regulated language in the history of mankind) even more!

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  21. Don Macpherson made an interesting observation on his blog about Thursday’s poll results in La Presse. He called it:

    Jean-François Lisée’s performance review

    Results of a CROP poll published in La Presse on Thursday show, in provincial politics, a solid, near-record level of dissatisfaction with the Marois government, and a three-way race among French-speaking voters.

    As for how the Parti Québécois minister for anglophones is doing at gaining their confidence, one possible indication is the level of support for the PQ among non-francophones, in the third column on page 8 of the poll report.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.


    Please do have a look for yourselves at the third column on page 8 of the poll report.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The bits that I especially liked from the Graeme Hamilton article “PQ declares Quebec’s ‘food sovereignty’ while waiting for political independence” that the Editor linked to above are:

    It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and Parti Québécois Premier Pauline Marois is hoping the same holds true for a nation. Her minority status and the polls have relegated her party’s dream of independence to the distant future, but that did not stop Ms. Marois from making a unilateral declaration of “food sovereignty” Thursday.

    Fulfilling a promise from last summer’s election campaign, she announced a government policy aimed at achieving a 50% increase in the amount of locally produced food Quebecers eat. “Whether it is at the grocery store, at the restaurant or in Quebec homes, Quebec foods will be raised to the level of jewels of our economy and emblems of our identity,” she said in her rural riding of Charlevoix-Côte-de-Beaupré.

    Governments regularly encourage people to buy local, but for the PQ the campaign has a deeper meaning. To Ms. Marois, duck pâté is not just a tasty spread; it’s a piece of Quebec identity, and she peppered her message by invoking early French-Canadian settlers. “For a people, the capacity to feed itself from its own soil is the most fundamental of liberties [ED: Huh? Says who? Last year, it was freedom of expression that was the most fundamental liberty; how did this “most fundamental” suddenly change this year? And who in the world is not free to grow their own food? Could it be that the PQ is just trying to fool people by inventing imaginary problems to pick with its “sovereignty governance”?] — this soil that our ancestors cleared, worked, enriched,” she said. “They drew their sustenance and developed, over the centuries, unparalleled know-how.”

    Both Ms. Marois and François Gendron, her agriculture minister, were vague on how Quebec’s food sovereignty would take shape or what it would cost. Although international trade agreements and the rules of the free market make it impossible to impose Quebec-grown quotas in supermarkets and restaurants, Mr. Gendron said public institutions including daycares, schools and hospitals, will be ordered to buy local. “There will be rules, norms and numbers,” he said. So in daycares, Quebec produce will be favoured over produce grown in neighbouring Ontario, even if it has to travel farther to reach the table.

    The PQ is promoting the policy with the slogan “Let’s be proud to eat québécois.” But if it’s the middle of winter and you’re being served carrots and cabbage for the third night in a row in your hospital room, pride might not be the first emotion to surface.

    Ms. Marois is unhappy the proportion of Quebec-produced food consumed in the province had fallen to 33% in 2009, from 78% 25 years earlier. She plans to push it back up to 50%. The PQ wants Quebec consumers and distributors to show pride by buying and selling local food. But the main reason Quebecers are not getting three-quarters of their food from local sources any more is that they have vastly greater selection. The higher proportion of imported food is a sign of an improved standard of living, which is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Quebec produces some excellent food and drink that deserve greater renown, but that is the job of the people growing, producing and marketing it. Ms. Marois proposes to involve every department in her government in the effort. It seems like overkill, but for the PQ, even the food on people’s plates holds symbolic importance, as Mr. Gendron explained in March. “Food, which is an essential need, has to be recognized for its economic function, but it must also be considered as a way of expressing our values, our culture and our Quebec identity,” he said.

    Something to remember the next time you sit down to a plate of poutine.

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  23. The Editor has linked to his post from 4 years ago regarding protectionism in Quebec:
    Quebec is Protectionist Too
    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    While newspapers and politicians decry protectionist measures in the US, we should perhaps look at our own buy-local program. While Raymond Bachand, Quebec Minister of Finance complains that American protectionism may cost Quebec 70,000 jobs, our province is not exactly the best of free-traders.

    Both Canada and the United States are both signatories to the AGREEMENT ON GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT (GPA), which means that they cannot discriminate against suppliers based on country of origin or organize buy-local programs on their own behalf.

    Canadian provinces and American states are not bound by this agreement unless they specifically announce that they will voluntarily abide by it's provisions. Thirty-seven American states have agreed to do so, but no Canadian province has made the commitment.

    While Mr. Bachand complains about American protectionism, his government is right in the middle of a $14 million advertising campaign urging Quebecers to buy local agricultural and food products. Local radio stations in Montreal are also running public service announcements encouraging their listeners to buy-local.

    As protectionist sentiment rises, companies are jumping on the bandwagon. 'Oasis' brand orange juice is already running a television ad urging Quebecers to save local jobs by buying their juice (although I can't understand how orange juice qualifies as a 'local' product).

    The real problem is sentiment, not law. Most of the protectionism is a result of misguided patriotism.
    The fever to "Buy American' is a result of the deep crisis in the US economy. These sentiments crop during every depression and Canada is not exempt. How many times does our Quebec government give local businesses the edge with a wink and a nod?

    Canadians are always quick to accuse the Americans of trading unfairly. When the US imposed duties on softwood lumber, the politicians and the industry screamed blue murder and slung all sorts of accusations of unfair trade across the border. This year, without much fanfare, those countervailing duties were upheld by the WTO. The American assertion that we unfairly subsidize softwood lumber was accepted by the tribunal as true. Somehow, that uncomfortable turn of events didn't make front page headlines.

    Before we call for boycotts, let us not claim that we are guiltless. Trade restrictions between our provinces themselves are so severe that it is practically impossible to get a provincial government contract if you are not a local company.

    There are signs that cooler heads are prevailing south of the border. The American Chamber of Commerce has already gone on record as opposed to "Buy American" programs. Let's not fan the flames of protectionism; it's a war that we cannot win. Instead of advocating for more buy-local programs, we should destroy those programs that we have.

    Ottawa has the legislative authority to ban interprovincial trade barriers and should act to ban all buy-local programs by provincial governments. Only then, will we have the moral authority to demand the same of the Americans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Provinces are not obligated to abide by NAFTA or any Federal negotiated Free Trade agreement. Neither is any particular US state. The Buy American proposals are mostly state and local govt. mandates and can't be stopped. I agree with getting rid of inter provincial trade barriers but don't think anything wrong with the buy Canada initiative. The US has been accusing Canada of subsiding softwood lumber because the provinces are supposedly not charging the lumber producers "enough" for forest rights.

      Worldwide free trade does not work. In fact before the World Trade Agreement. The poorest countries in the world had better economies due to access to developed countries by way of the quota system. The disappearance of the quota system has meant that a few countries namely China has absorbed the market for importing goods to the developed countries. There is no incentive for international companies to setup shop in for example Burkina Faso to take advantage of a quota allotted to them.

      I think we will see the end of globalization in our lifetimes. Tariffs are being raised(recently Canada has raised them for a variety of goods to take effect by 2015.) There is more awareness about the need for returning manufacturing and other jobs back to the US. Hopefully the awareness spreads to Canada.

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  24. I realize that probably no one here is a professional economist (nor am I) but the Protectionism vs. Free Trade argument has been going on for decades, even though most mainstream economists agree that protectionism is harmful, in that its costs outweigh its benefits and that it impedes economic growth, based on the economic theory of Comparative Advantage.

    From the Protectionism article on Wikipedia:
    “Since the end of World War II, it has been the stated policy of most First World countries to eliminate protectionism through free trade policies enforced by international treaties and organizations such as the World Trade Organization. Certain policies of First World governments have been criticized as protectionist, however, such as the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Union, longstanding agricultural subsidies and proposed "Buy American" provisions in economic recovery packages in the United States.[…] Heads of the G20 meeting in London on 2 April 2009 pledged "We will not repeat the historic mistakes of protectionism of previous eras.”

    The pathetic bit is that Pauline is trying to spin “buy local” into “food sovereignty” with the conveniently-stated target of 50%, as the Editor has pointed out, no matter whether food from nearby Ontario may be more local and not have to travel as far as food from more distant regions of Quebec. She’s really slathering on the identity politics that the PQ is pinning its hopes on and which are turning out are turning off many Quebecers, according to the latest Léger poll.

    As if they are somehow different from everybody else in Canada… or the world, for that matter. Last year, it was freedom of expression that was the most fundamental liberty; how did this “most fundamental” liberty suddenly change this year? And who in the world is not free to grow their own food? Could it possibly be that the PQ is just trying to invent imaginary problems?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem with the comparative theory is that labor costs in poor countries are so low that they have a comparative advantage in everything compared to us - which puts us in the ridiculous position of being the world's richest nations while not being able to produce anything of worth except oil.

      It's a non-sustainable situation, and I think it comes from mainstream economists' propensity to think in terms of fiat currency rather than resources. Lowering prices for consumers is only a net gain for consumers if they have jobs with which to buy the lower-priced things.

      I really want to learn more about economy and finances, though, because to me it just doesn't all add up and I want to understand more.

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  25. I know that many of you keep up to date with the local news via The Gazette but some, especially out-of-towners, do not so here is today’s column by Don Macpherson:

    PQ banks on swaying voters with charter of Quebec values
    BY DON MACPHERSON, THE GAZETTE, MAY 24, 2013

    MONTREAL - As we say in the language of Justin Bieber: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

    The Parti Québécois received more votes than any other party in last September’s election. And a postelection poll suggested that the most popular planks in the PQ platform were the xenophobic “identity” promises to defend Quebec against its own linguistic and religious majorities.

    The Marois government, however, has failed to capitalize on its anti-English Bill 14. More poll results published on Thursday suggest that in its short time in office, the government has achieved a near-record level of voter dissatisfaction.

    But a party that hasn’t taken No for an answer in two referendums on “independence,” as it has taken to calling it again (if at first you don’t secede …), is not giving up easily on the vote-getting potential of “identity” politics.

    This week, the government announced that in the fall, once Bill 14 has been disposed of, it will open a new front against the hijab-wearing Muslim hordes and other religious minorities. Ironically, many of these minorities are French-speaking immigrants who were recruited as reinforcements against the anglo peril.

    The government will propose what the minister for democratic institutions, Bernard Drainville, called a “charter of Quebec values.” Presumably, this latest charter, like Bill 14, would amend another charter, the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, to weaken its protection for minorities. The values charter, Drainville said, would replace the “charter of secularism” promised in the PQ election platform. He said the name change reflects that the charter to be proposed in the fall will be “broader” than the one the PQ promised. He said it will “protect and reinforce Quebec values,” including the principles of equality before the law and women’s equality with men. Both of those are already protected in the rights charter — no fewer than three times, in the case of the equality of women with men.

    The new name is at least more honest, however, since it does not pretend to describe a law based on such a widely recognized principle as secularism, or the separation of religion and government. Premier Pauline Marois had already made a sham of that pretence. During the election campaign, the PQ leader said the “secularism” charter would not affect “our heritage.” This included the crucifix in the National Assembly — placed there in 1936 to symbolize an alliance between the government and the Catholic Church.

    Instead, the government will codify in law whatever “values” are currently popular with the majority, and attempt to impose them on the minorities. In fact, a poll to determine what these might be has already been commissioned from the Léger firm by the government. The results, which Drainville released, confirm that a majority of Quebecers don’t want secularism, at least not for themselves. Majorities of Quebecers would keep the crucifix in the Assembly, but otherwise forbid “religious signs,” not only in public services but in public in general, on the grounds that religion is a private matter — for others, anyway.

    It’s what former Liberal premier Jean Charest, with tongue in cheek, called “Catholic secularism.” And yet, while they would exclude and isolate minorities who wear religious symbols, it’s the accommodation of those minorities that they see as a threat to “social cohesion and integration.”

    As Drainville noted, a majority consider religious accommodations (or at least the accommodation of religions other than their own) a threat to “Quebec values.”

    That’s just the answer the PQ government was looking for when it commissioned the poll, at public expense.

    Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

    ReplyDelete
  26. On a totally (un)related topic, this caught my eye:

    La langue officielle corse en question

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    Replies
    1. Autre preuve que la France est l'un des pire ennemis des langues minoritaires, en ayant fait disparaitre un bon nombre depuis la Révolution, et tentant d'en achever le reste aujourd'hui.

      C'est vrai ce que dit Villeneuve - tout ce qui est moche en France se fait mimer au Québec aujourd'hui.

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    2. Don't these people have other things to worry about? My God, France is in terrible financial trouble just like quebec and they make themselves even more problems, just like quebec. It all seems so damn stupid.

      Delete
    3. Villeneuve junior,jadis pilote émérite,virtuose à l'oreille absolue et maintenant génie des sciences politiques et sociales...Certains ont vraiment tous les talents.

      @Yannick

      L'anglais n'est pas une langue minoritaire et les Français,si ça peut te consoler,essaient aussi de faire disparaître le français.

      Delete
  27. FROM ED
     
     


    ToSubject: Loyal to a fault
     
    The new version Canadian, I am Canadian
     
    I AM  CANADIAN, I am in the minority in Quebec and every casino in this country..

    I was born in the Thirties,forties, fifties or sixties, yet I am somehow responsible for some First Nations people
    being screwed out of their land in the 1700 's!

    I pay import tax on cars made in Ontario I am allowed to skydive and smoke, but not allowed to drive,

    All the money I make until mid July must go to paying taxes..

    I live and work among people who believe Canadians are Ignorant....

    These same people cannot name their own country 's new territory.

    Although I am sometimes forced to live on hamburgers and don 't have a pot to piss in, I sleep
    well knowing that my taxes helped purchase a nice six figure home in Vancouver for some unskilled refugee.

    Although they are unpatriotic and constantly try to separate... Quebec still provides most of my nation 's prime ministers.

    I 'm supposed to call black people African Canadians, although I 'm sure none of them have ever been to Africa for that matter.

    I am being told that paying a 200% tax on alcohol is fair.

    I am also being told that the same tax on gasoline is also fair.

    I am being told that spending $15 billion to promote the French language in the rest of Canada is fair when the province of
    Quebec doesn 't support or even recognize the ENGLISH language. 

    I am being told that paying $1million for 3 Stripes ( 'The Voice of Fire ' painting in Ottawa)
    by the National Art Gallery was a good purchase, even though 99% of this country didn't want it or will ever see it.

    When I look at my pension and realize that I take home a third of what I actually make, I say 'Oh well, at least we have better health care than the U.S.A.. '

    I must bail out big corporations who drive their business into the ground and say, 'yeah that 's ok. '
    And When they move all their manufacturing plants and jobs to a third world country and say,'no problem. '

    My National Anthem has versions in both official languages.

    Canada is the highest taxed nation in North America, the biggest Military buffer for the United States, and the number one destination for poverty stricken souls.
     
    The Lord 's prayer is not allowed in our schools anymore because of other religions who chose to move here.

    I am one pissed off taxpayer, who is broke

    I am Canadian!!!

     
    --

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  28. I personally think we should all be buying a lot more locally grown food..first of all its fresher and the impact on the environment is way less given the much lower transportation costs. I prefer organic..I pick up vegatables from a local organic farm once per week..yes its more pricey but there are way less or no pesticides used, I am supporting local farmers and helping the environment and eating much better fresher healthier food.

    I find most North Americans have no food culture..I will say that most francophones in Quebec are much more knowledgeable in this category and understand the difference between high and poor quality food than the typical anglophone. Just look at how much more obese people are in the rest of Canada and even more so in the USA than here in Quebec. Much of it is because of poor diet..eating processed food..jink food and so on.

    Unfortunately too many people just look at the price..I will not buy milk in the usa as they allow bovine growth hormones in it which is banned in Canada and Europe for good reason. So maybe milk is cheaper but its an inferior product. The meat production in the USA scares me too..they essentially have 4 companies that control 80 percent of meat production..often in huge meat factory plants. I suggest you watch the move Food Inc for a depressing idea of the horrible state of the food industry in the USA. Food is absolutely essential for our health and well being and I am more than willing to pay more for better quality pesticide and drug free food. It depresses me to read and hear about people going on and on about how cheap food is in the usa without understanding that in many cases the food they are buying there is of much lower quality and quite possible eventually dangerous to your health. Just look at the size of people in the USA..its unbelievable how obese some people are down there..to the point where they cant even walk. Is that what you want here so you can all save a few bucks??

    And all those cheap products in the USA..well people make a hell of a lot less money down there..so if you want cheaper prices here than our salaries have to go down. North Americans in my opinion are the most selfish arrogant and cheap people in the world. I look at clothing prices..clothes now are cheaper than in the 1970s and 80s..why..because we have slave labour in Asia who are making them..in countries with no environmental standards..so everytine we buy our cheap clothes we are contributing to pollution there and supporting slave labour. How about all the Canadians who fly south every winter because its so cheap? Again slave labour in the caribbean makes it possible for people to spend a week in cuba with unlimited food alcohol airfare and hotel for 700 dollars. Then we have the Canadians who try to justify it to make themseleves feel better..oh well these poor people who be even worse off if they didnt have tourism..but lets call a spade a spade..you are only going down there because its cheap and you can pay these people next to nothing. I will never go on a trip like this..its just too exploitive for me. Its very easy for many Canadians to justify themselves..they come up with all sorts of excuses like..well Canada had sweatshops 50-60 years ago and thats how we progressed. People come on here whining all the time but in the end most of us live like kings compared to the rest of the world. Even by European standards we have it great..even in Quebec.






    http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone

    ReplyDelete
  29. Very interesting document by Stephan Dion:
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/26052013-secession-and-democracy-a-canadian-perspective-oped/

    ReplyDelete
  30. You might qualify for a new solar rebate program.
    Find out if you're eligble now!

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  31. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Plan to Help Dieters Lose 15 Pounds in Only 21 Days!

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