Tuesday, June 3, 2014

UQAM's Nutty Professor

UQAM's finest
Last week, the francophone media was doing cartwheels trying to convince readers and viewers that Quebec isn't really a beggar province, a welfare bum living large on the Canadian dime.
It was all in response to Quebec billionaire depanneur king, Alain Bouchard saying exactly that in a speech before the Montreal Board of Trade.
Bouchard didn't mince words and told the audience that Quebecers should be ashamed of themselves for being so needy, something that didn't go down well with Quebec nationalists, as you can imagine.

And so certain journalists like Josée Legault were doing contortions, an editorial version of the TWISTER game, trying to find the right statistics that would counter what they believe is the myth that Quebec is indeed a beggar province. Link{fr}

I won't dissect their arguments, because it doesn't really matter,  Quebecers have come to believe that they are indeed beholding to Canada and a few commentators saying it ain't so, just doesn't matter.
Whether true or not, it is said that perception is more important than reality and even if it were true that Quebec doesn't live off Canadian largess, the notion that Quebec is a province living in part on ROC wealth is as well entrenched here in Quebec as the rest of Canada.

As I said before I'm not going to engage in a exercise of counterarguments to these articles, it's like pointing out the flaws in the arguments of the Flat Earth Society, but I am going to offer a translation of an article written by a UQAM (where else) professor, Jean Denis-Garon, one that few Anglophones would ever be aware of, because it was published in the Journal de Montreal and tucked safely behind a pay wall.

Le Québec est-il le BS fédéral ?

Is Quebec a stowaway in the great Canadian ship of prosperity? This has been recently suggested, as we receive more than $ 9 billion in equalization payments, this year. According to some, we should carry the stigma of a beneficiary province supported by the wealth created elsewhere. It is argued that an economically inert Quebec should create more wealth as quickly as possible.

Seven out of ten provinces receive equalization. Even the manufacturing heart of the country, including Ontario, now seems helpless against the provinces teeming with hydrocarbons. To free ourselves, we are generally suggested to maximize exploitation of our natural resources.

These resources are actually the heart of the problem of the Canadian imbalance. Let's take a specific example : Alberta. It has significant oil reserves, which are nothing more than a bank account filled to the brim, but buried underground. Exploiting its oil, the Alberta government gradually depletes its treasury.

Alberta creates little wealth by exploiting its oil: it extracts. To an economist, this distinction is crucial.

With this extraction, Alberta has it both ways. Its government can both deliver better public services and lower taxes ... the dream of Mr. Leitao! Left to itself, Alberta would have a vampire effect on the Canadian federation. Providing its citizens with tax benefits incommensurate with their actual productivity, it would attract the youth, families and a qualified workforce from other provinces. It would take away everything those provinces need to thrive and become richer.

A big problem put in perspective..

Fortunately, equalization helps to correct this inefficiency. Helping Quebec to provide good public services at acceptable rates of taxation while making it less attractive to move to Alberta.

Equalization has the effect of discouraging profiteers from profiteering ... It is clearly light-years away from being a social welfare program. Moreover, the provinces can spend the money transferred by Ottawa as they see fit. Some use it to reduce taxes for the rich, while others prefer to pay for public childcare.

It is also true that equalization can have the effect of a tax on our economic development, a failure in the program that can be corrected. Otherwise, it compensates us for the economic damage caused by the overheated exploitation of oil in other provinces: it is not a gift. It also encourages them to moderate their resources to better protect the environment and better accommodate future generations.

If Quebec wants to "get out of Equalization," let's hope it will create actual wealth. It should focus on education, try to attract more investment, in order to increase our productivity. It's an interesting paradox because without equalization which allows us to retain talent in Quebec, it would be more difficult to accomplish.
I'm not going to go into a big deconstruction of this piece, I'd like to point out a few facts and then let readers run with the discussion.

I guess things start off badly when the author, editor and fact-checker get the facts wrong right off the bat. Mr Garon claims that seven out of ten provinces receive equalization payments, which is wrong because it is six. Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland do not presently collect. Which provinces get equalization fluctuates over the years, but right now it is six, not seven. It's hard to take the rest of the article seriously, when such basic error is presented so early in the article.

But six out of ten provinces still sounds like Quebec is in good company and so no standout, so this is the first line of attack for defenders of Quebec's good reputation

But it all boils down to these simple truths...
All Canadians contribute to the equalization fund through federal taxes and levies. But these contributions are not equal. Quebec, with 23% of the population pays in about 19%, we all know why.

But Quebec takes out $9 billion of the $16 billion dollar fund, or 56% against a contribution of about 19%.

PEI, the province that Quebec defenders love to hold up as an example as a bigger beneficiary of the fund per captia, takes out only about 2% of the fund.
Quebec defenders always talk about the per capita benefit to provinces, or how much each citizen benefits from the fund, because then Quebec doesn't seem like the biggest loser.
But like it or not, Canada sends $9 billion to Quebec and $340 million to PEI. To those who pay into the fund and receive nothing, that is all that counts.
Quebec defenders also point out that Ontario now gets equalization payments too, but never use the per capita argument here, because each Ontarian receives only about one-eighth of what each Quebecer receives. (QC- $1,130 per citizen, Ont.- $146 per citizen.) Link{fr}
Ontario takes out about 18% of the fund, while contributing over 40%.

Defenders of Quebec use both ends of the argument at different times, depending on circumstances, something Quebecers are famous for arguing, the idea that they are both a Francophone majority sometimes and a minority when it suits their purpose.

But what is most galling about this article is the nonsensical idea that pumping out oil from the ground is not real productivity, when indeed it is the very definition.
The idea that creating wealth by exploiting oil, or timber, or gold or zinc or uranium deposits or indeed creating electricity is not real productivity, is an argument that is beyond the pale for an economics professor.

The article smacks of an infantile jealousy and sour grapes and seems to desperately reach for any straw, no matter how unlikely.
I think my favourite part is when the good professor tells us that Albertans should pay higher taxes so to diminish its attractiveness.
It reminds me of the old Pantene Shampoo commercial.
"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"

The idea that a Quebec professor deems to be concerned about future generations of Albertans is just plain laughable.
Alternately, could you imagine an Albertan saying that the Montreal Canadians should be penalized and perhaps receive a lower draft pick as a penalty, because they've won too many Stanley Cups? 
It is almost as insulting as Desmond Tutu coming from that cesspool of a country of South Africa to give us life lessons. Beneath contempt!

At any rate, I can't imagine ever letting my child go to a university with such professors.
That is why so many highly qualified francophone students fight to get into McGill, because it says a lot about them.
UQAM versus McGill, the very definition of 'antithesis.'


  1. UN GARS BIEN SYMPATHIQUE DE FRANKFORTTuesday, June 3, 2014 at 10:57:00 AM EDT

    Higher eduction institutions in quebekistan are brainwash factories molding the average quebecois mind into a left-leaning, morally superior, union loving creature. No wonder the whole province reeks everything mediocre, from crumbling infrastructure, to highest taxes, to corrupt functionaries & businesses. Couillard will not accomplish anything as it is the way of the quebecois.
    I for one - as a pur laine - am deeply happy that I had to go out of province to find work but most importantly to open my eyes to the real world which made me realize that I was lied to as a quebec sheeple.
    quebec will never never be the proverbial `be all & end all`. Too bad...

    1. The City of Montreal should be declared "officially bilingual" and there should be economic zones within the city where there is the unrestrained use of English as well as other languages besides French. All signs should have to have both English and French on them (and an optional third language as well). If one language is slightly larger or smaller than the other, then it shouldt matter, as long as both languages are present and clearly visible.

      As well, francophone students everywhere in the province should have to start taking intensive ESL courses starting in grades 5 or 6; at least a third of all courses from that point should be in or about English, but no more than 50 percent, to guarantee that the students learn French properly. As well, the anglophone students should have to do a "mirror image" French programme, in which they have to learn at least basic French.

    2. "The City of Montreal should be declared "officially bilingual"


      Re: ESL courses etc....In my opinion, for best results: French only primary school, but English High School. Those who have a choice (everyone should have a choice), should consider doing it this way.

  2. Thanks very much for your interest. You may or may not like the argument, but it happens to be Ontario's finest. That equalization is designed to prevent inefficient migration across provinces is a consensual argument among economists, The originial version comes from Robin Boadway and Franck Flatters, from Queen's University. I invite you to read the paper, if you are interested. It is widely recognized to be a seminal paper.

    Boadway, Robin and Franck Flatters."Efficiency and equalization payments in a federal system of government: A synthesis and extension of recent results" Canadian Journal of Economics, 1982


    1. It should be noted the above paper is a 32 year old theoretical paper and made many assumptions that are in no way realistic, equal per-captia benefits across provinces? Uh huh sure.

      The argument that Quebec "deserves" the equalization payments in order to prevent brain drain kind of presumes that one province starts with a massive advantage and the others need the to balance, as provinces are unable to compete without this balancing. However even with this balancing some provinces are unable to make competent provincial level decisions to increase productivity to offset these imbalances. So to say they deserve it after years of being put on equal footing yet sliding into a worse position is kind of galling. Though one has to question if people staying in job starved areas (Quebec especially) because they can subside on social programs isn't a worse form of inefficient migration, than those moving out west, which is mostly due to the existence of actual jobs not simply tax benefits.

      The current situation is pretty much like a welfare recipient saying I deserve welfare because I don't want to move closer to work. It is not the entire province saying taxes are slightly lower lets all move there, economists tend to ignore the human factor in a lot of their calculations and getting Quebecers to move out west requires a lot more than some tax breaks the lack of jobs here, even with federal balancing is what would get people to move.

      While equalization may reduce inter-province migration, that is not what it was "designed" to do, they were in effect long before the formal system was introduced in 1957 which was to stymie stagnant group and emigration out of the Atlantic provinces.

      I'm surprised "Dutch disease" isn't mentioned in the article as that's pretty much what the author is alluding to throughout. To chide Alberta for extracting and selling oil is infantile and shortsighted. It is a certain we need oil now, our civilization cannot function without it, however we cannot assume this will always be the case. That oil is an "underground bank account" now but who knows if it'll be worth anything in a few decades, at which point extracting it would be worthless and you have lost a sizeable resource, all of the sake of what? Not making more money than the rest of the country?

      Under the constitution Quebec has the right to equalization payments, though it does not "deserve" them, Canada as a whole decided to make sure all of it's citizens were as well off as each other, to say Quebec "deserves" the money while not taking advantage of the transfers to increase productivity and seek new sources of income is laughable.

    2. Ce papier ne defait en rien l'argument avancer, et date de 1982, l'aspect qui est discuter est votre imcompetence et comme economiste, et comment vous torder l'argument, learned helplessness est l'effet de la perequation et du BS, le Quebec ce qualifie amplement la dessus pour etre qualifier de BS provincial.
      Dire qu'exploiter une ressource ne produit aucun enrichissement et que l'aberta est chanceuse, le quebec l'est tout autan t mais refuse d'enrichier sa population.

    3. JD, you're a good sport.
      I never reply to comments unless compelled to do so. It's important that those 'targeted' have the 'droit de replique' unique.
      I want you to know, (if you don't already) that "Nutty Professor' is not an insulting term, but rather one of affection....

    4. Blame Jerry Lewis ...

  3. In life perspective is everything. Economical arguments can be twisted and spun to help serve a position on an argument. To understand the dire situation our second most populace province faces, you need only to spend time in other parts of the country. In an age where Newfoundlanders now hove more disposable income than Quebecers, the growing inequity gap is thrown into very sharp relief.

  4. I don't see anything completely nuts in what the Economics professor was saying. I've seen a lot worse about specific topics over the years on many sites. While I do agree to a large extent about the equalization problem that the editor wrote about; I don't think that it's fair answer to use resource exploitation as a beneficial response to solve problems. Ontario has had manufacturing problems with companies moving overseas or to Mexico for cheaper labour and have had to sink into the equalization formula a bit more. Alberta gets its money from oil. It's no different than Dubai or Saudi Arabia that are rich because of the mere circumstance that they have a gold mine living underneath their feet.

    I don't consider that as being a more productive province in terms of employee productivity or skills as compared to any other province. Many people (including myself) are quite aware of the oil sands and exploitation that are now going to cause considerable damage to the earth all for the greed of a few people who will benefit from it while everybody else keeps getting poorer. The answer the editor gives constantly on this blog is similar to Sarah Palin and the drill baby drill philosophy which we saw how that worked out so well for the people in Louisiana. I think that the main point of the article that is worth discussing is the last paragraph from the author discussing how to create wealth and help to bring investment to Quebec.

    This is where Quebec can shine and has done a terrible job at not only bringing in investment but letting smart and skilled entrepreneurial people leave the province to help out the other provinces. In order to create wealth compared to Alberta, you would need to have the exploitation of oil stop in order to create an even balance but even then ... Quebec would still fall behind because of its bureaucracy, high taxes, large civil service and inability to recruit outside investors or retain skilled employees who leave because of all of the problems in this province.

    We don't have a business-friendly environment here in Quebec and no excellent levels of higher education are going to stop this gap from occurring. I don't think that equalization payments have anything to do with retaining key talent but is much more of a symptom of the underlying problems above. This is where the economics professor gets it wrong.

  5. Former finance minister and Premier Marois lied:


    "Ce déficit potentiel représente ce qu'il adviendrait si le gouvernement disait oui à la reconduction de tous les programmes, ce qui, évidemment, ne se produit jamais dans la réalité, explique-t-il."

    Basically, he lied to Quebeckers. No money for his promise. Tax dollars for votes in Pontiac = no money. LRT for South Shore = No money. That is the legacy of the Marois Government, just more taxes and more regulations for businesses.

    1. For the CBC version of this story : http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/auditor-general-finds-pq-deficit-prediction-more-than-3b-off-1.2663398

  6. I said exactly that a few months ago..I believe it was to student or some other Quebec nationalist. I said that Marceaus estimates are worth nothing and that the deficit will likely end up around 5 billion..well what do you know..5.5 billion..I mean what a shock.

    Who would have guessed that Marceau and Marois and company could be some incompetent with our money..ummm a lot of us. We will see what the Liberals can do but my guess is that they wont impress..we wont see a balanced budget for years..it will happen when the bond market takes away the free money. Maybe that will happen in a few years.

    There will be sooo much gnashing of teeth over the next 10-20 years in Quebec when the bills need to be paid. People will burn the place down when their welfare checks get cut..when their union job gets cut..when they have to pay 15 dollars per day for daycare..when tuition has to move to the canadian average..when the school and health care budgets get cut by 10 percent..and on and on.

    Do I feel sympathy..no..most Quebecers deserve what is coming..you cant live off of debt forever and even worse suck money from the ROC while spitting in their face.

    1. "that the deficit will likely end up around 5 billion..well what do you know..5.5 billion..I mean what a shock."

      you know you're just passing along a ridiculous liberal party line right? they know their budget won't impress, so they make sure the previous government takes the biggest share of the blame as possible by assuming the pq government would have said yes to every single wish thay came from all ministries. which is not the case. but it makes for an impressive number. liberal strategists must be laughing when they see comments like yours.

    2. student: You know you're just passing along a ridiculous PQ party line, right? The numbers are from the budget they presented to be voted on in the assembly. Why do you insist on disseminating misinformation?

      Published Thursday, February 20, 2014 5:48AM EST link
      QUEBEC -- The Parti Quebecois government tabled what it calls a "responsible" budget Thursday aimed at erasing doubts over the party's economic record and blunting opponent attacks ahead of an expected spring election.

    3. @confusedinquebec

      "You know you're just passing along a ridiculous PQ party line, right?"

      no i'm not.

      "The numbers are from the budget they presented to be voted on in the assembly."

      how can it be when that budget predicted a 1.75 billion$ deficit?!? and why would they rely on a budget that was never voted and of which credits were never finalized?!? no the truth is they blew up the biggest number they could by using meaningless raw ministry demands numbers in order for their resulting deficit to look small in comparison. so they got you to believe the pq was bad too mate?!? what a shame. try to avoid the next trap.

    4. Parce que le PQ a appeller l'election avant que le VG est une chance de réviser les donner du ministre, ils ont tenter de mettre de la poudre au yeux au électeur. Ils ont menti. comme mouton pekiste tu est typique dans ton aveuglement, et je suis loin d'être fan du PLQ. C'est que je déteste Le PQ a mourir, surtout le PQ de Marois, justement pour de tel geste et tout le mépris qu'ils ont pour les citoyens.

    5. @quelques chose de pourri

      "...je déteste Le PQ a mourir..."

      right. driven by hate. another one. thanks for coming out so honestly on your second burst mate. your rants will be easier to decrypt with this key.

    6. In 18 months, Marois and Drainville’s PQ succeeded in becoming the worst government in the history of Quebec… they even managed to hide $4 billion from Quebecers!

      To think that there are some people who are in such strong grip by PQ propaganda and who are even attempting to deny this reality… it boggles the mind.

    7. Hahha, student doesn't know the difference between the Liberal party and the auditor general, sorry no secret Liberal conspiracy here, just PQ incompetence. You'd think Student would be more savvy about how terrible the PQ is at, well everything, but specifically finance here when they completely blew their "balanced budget" promise, and now they were 3 times under the deficit? Wow, that takes some doing, like not understanding basic math doing. At least we now know why the PQ broke their own election law, they were desperately trying to have the election before all of this came to light, good thing it didn't fool Quebecers save for some of the slower individuals, and only the slowest defend them even after it has come to light.

    8. They put out a flyer...a FLYER for their budget...like Walmart.

    9. Here more details of the mess http://www.lesaffaires.com/blogues/francois-pouliot/rapport-du-verificateur-le-nono-et-le-cachottier/569479
      Driven by hate, i dont think so, their actions made them earn my hate. Not the other way around, nice try though.
      And like whowazdat you clearly are a Pekiste kool aid drinker.

    10. student - This is the auditor general not the PLQ talking. Marceau is just another clueless academic who has no idea how the real world works and had us rapidly heading towards bankruptcy.
      Will the Libs do a better job..I suspect they will be better than the total disaster of Marois and Marceau but not good enough for my liking.
      The only party that ever had a chance to elimiate the deficit was the CAQ and once again Quebecers chose the easy route. As I have said over and over and over the biggst problem facing Quebec is the debt..it will be the defining issue which will bring down this province..language will become irrelevant when you need to cut billions per year from the budget.

      Its time for daycare fees to double..its time for daycare to be limited to low and lower middle income families..its time to bring tuition fees to the canadian average..its time to cut thousands of government jobs that we dont need..its time to limit health care spending and introduce new user fees..its time to add tolls to bridges and highways..and on and on.

      Do I like proposing allt hese cuts..no..but all Quebecers have been living way way way beyond their means for decades and largely thanks to the generosity of the rest of Canada. Even with 9 billion dollars per year Quebec is still incapable of balacning its budget..there are no excuses for this mismanagement and enfants gatee entitlement mentality. The bond market will take away the cookie jar one way or another and it will be very very painful whether or not the students burn the place down..

    11. @student
      C'mon. The budget presented by Marceau was half-assed at best. It didn't include any meaningful information, and was drafted explicitly as a campaign promise.

      Even before that budget came out in February the AG said that Marceau's projections for revenue were completely imaginary.

      Defending Marceau's budget just makes you and your side look stupid.

    12. This maybe over kill, but what you say we go for broke in Quebec. Cut off their equalization now and call in the IMF. They will sort out Quebec's debt real quick. Day care gone, cheap school tuition gone, unions gone, welfare gone, healthcare basic no frills, etc,etc. Why travel to Europe to see Greece when you can see the same thing in Quebec. They can go through the pain now or all of us a little later on. Do you think they may be a bit upset?

  7. L'UPAC perquisitionne au PLQ


    1. Of course they did. Corruption is endemic in the native Quebecois.

      The surprise is that anyone would think Quebec politicians or civil servants at any level are not corrupt or easily corruptible.

      As we hear at Charbonneau.

      Either "They didn;t understand what a conflict of interest is" or "That's the way Quebec business is done" are the two answers given.

      Both are consistent with Libs/PQ, the entire political and union members of Quebec.

    2. Raid au PQ, PQ PLQ aussi corrompu, en fait le PQ est encore pire, c'est peu dire.

    3. @cebeuq

      err no. it's a liberal party problem. it's easy to understand as they don't have anything grand to offer to the quebec population. nobody's enthusiastic about the lpq. so who is it that supports them, finance them, run for them? people who want to make a buck. the pq has something else to draw support. that's why lpq has the upac on its back now. pq doesn't if you noticed.

    4. Errr no, it is as much a PQ problem, check Marois and her husbands deal. You are blind, the FTP worked both parties, just check the process fir bids on the palais des congrès a Montreal, ca date de loin. Enlève tes oeillere.

    5. @quelque chose de pourri

      "it is as much a PQ problem, check Marois and her husbands deal (...) just check the process fir bids on the palais des congrès"

      it's funny to see you try to even out a trend of upac raids with two blurry anecdotes. do you do this because of your hate disease again?

    6. Blurry like the guy's memory that Claude Blanchet paid off so that they could build the obscene Pauline Manoir on farm and government land? lol Essentially every witness at Charbonneau has pointed to both the PLQ and the PQ, in using strawmen, and giving construction deals, to deny that the Quebec political scene hasn't been steeped in corruption for decades on all sides is ridiculous at this point.

    7. Blurry lol, lol only to a pekiste kool aid drinker, how about la Gaspesia :) god there is many of these, and liberals are just behind. But the PQ is king.

    8. Both the Liberals and the PQ have been corrupt when in power.
      Ideally Quebecers would like to bury both parties, we just acknowledge that as long as the PQ exist, the Liberals have to exist as well.

    9. @quelques chose de pourri

      haha. so you're lacking elementary school math skills too.

      add the hate issue that you confessed earlier, mix a little, and we get this trend of garbage comments.

      or are there other ingredients to your recipe?

    10. Ouf, even your come backs are lacking these days student, you and all the out of work PQ candidates should go on vacation and rethink your lives, on the upside you'll have plenty of company with that group!

    11. @whowhatzit

      should i interpret your comment as support for hate and elementary math limitations?

  8. It's interesting that this is all internal Quebec politics. This wasn't raised by someone in a Alberta or BC or even Newfoundland.

    And all of Student's comments are just partisan party politics, Libs or PQ.

    What this looks like is that the discussion has changed, it's just party politics, it's not about big ideas like independence.

    And it does look like there will be some serious questioning about how Quebec went from number one in Canada in just about everything to where it is now. It may become hard to convince young people that it was all someone else's fault, especially when there isn't even anyone else in the discussion.

    1. Great point Jay, you are right it changed to partisan politics in pushing their point. And for the rest, well nationalism combined with socialism always ends up this way.

  9. Jay,

    What would one expect. Regressive language laws. A former government with racist and bigoted plans. Quebec not only shoots itself in the foot. It shoots itself in both feet at the same time.

    I really doubt it the new Liberal government can turn around the death spiral of the Province. In order to do so they would have to turn around the Unions, turn around the public service and for the most part turn around the attitude of the majority of people in Quebec. Doubt it will happen.

    On equalization. It is a shame and should be ended as soon as possible. Welfare is the worst form of taking away a persons reason to work and prosper. If Quebec did not receive the abundant 8 Billion or whatever the largesse is now, they would be forced to curtail expensive social programs that the province simply cannot afford.

    Question is..why is Quebec such an economic disaster. I guess that might go back to :
    "Regressive language laws. A former government with racist and bigoted plans. "

    1. There's nothing wrong with a social safety net so long as A. abuse of the system is prevented and B. Participants need to show they are taking steps to become productive and gain employment if they are able to. Quebec unfortunately hasn't seemed to want to do anything with the leg up money they have been given other than bicker over what language people should speak or what they should wear.

    2. @whowhatzit

      Re: your comment. Accountability goes to Ottawa for this province being broke-ass and lazy, too bad, that's the truth. No one ever put their "pants on" when it came to this province. Naturally, most of the past PM's were from here so I am sure that, their federalist tendencies notwithstanding, they still had to deal with conflicting feeling of being from here and acting in the best interests of Canada, not to mention, they still had to face Family when they came back home (let's not underscore this). Quebec was pampered, spoiled and indulged in its ways so why would it ever consider getting up and making something of itself? And now it is practically on the street.

      Ottawa failed quebec...it should have cut quebec lose back in the '70 when it started rebelling and kept rebelling after it was appeased. Canada should have come at it with its own ultimatum and Referendum. Today the conversation would be about quebec's struggle to rejoin Confederation instead quebec sovereignty.

      "Teach your children well"

    3. Cutting Quebec loose would have been an extreme action, too much when at least half the population of Quebec didn't want it.

      I'm reminded of Jimmy Carter's quote about the hostages held in Iran for so long, that at the end of each day they felt they had done everything they could that day but things look different in retrospect.

      Montreal will never be what it was, a cultural and financial centre that hosted things like Expo and the Olympics, but it will still be a good place.

    4. I'm optimistic Jay. If Montreal can manage to wring itself free and become a city state, I'm convinced it can rediscover its past glory. But it must do so with a municipal administration gutsy enough to initiate immediate and necessary changes of a legislative nature. It has to set itself apart from the roq and campaign and promote itself accordingly. This means that whoever takes on the role of mayor, cannot have nationalistic tendencies, it must be loyal first and foremost to Montreal. That is our vision of a city-state. If we are ever going to rescue this city, we best start thinking about it. 40yrs is long enough to be enslaved by provincial governments that don't know their asses from their elbows. You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to predict we'd be in the hole 4 decades later with such rampant unleashed fanaticism about a language and identity. So now the time has passed...their time has passed...it's time for the rest of us...to take back our city.

    5. Quebec's problems are deeper than that. A lot of Quebecers are financial Canadians only. As long as the money keeps coming from Ottawa, and Quebec finances are in the toilet, they will continue to vote no on a referendum. If Quebec was suddenly rich, they would be gone in a flash.

    6. Bob is correct. Quebecois feel with their joual they are actually a better class of people than those in the ROC. The Quebecois feel that the ROC owes them a living due to their "special status" Well the special status to my mind is one of welfare bums who deserves no special status other than to be looked at as a pathetic group of people whom survive only on the hard work ethic of others. True definition of "back sliders". Sorry, but it is what it is. BS in Quebec is the way to prosperity for many. Even the president of the convenience stores has intimated these facts. Quebecois in general are as their hockey team. Losers.

    7. @westerner

      why do you think quebec bashing is a good way to contribute to the editor's blog?

    8. No Quebec bashing, just interpreting the facts and stating the obvious. :)

  10. When people say that Quebec has racist law, have a look to what Canadian province did to french. They eradicated it. Quebec should do the same with English....

    Btw, canada should surrender to the us, there is no culture specific to canada. I wouldn't disagree to become an americain.

    1. Troll logic: Revenge is a good way of determining public policy.

    2. Canadian culture IS the same as American culture - because we share the same roots - it's called North American culture if it's called anything - and by the way Quebec is included in that " same " culture.
      What the hell does Quebec culture mean anyway - a different language - that's it - that's all!
      You eat the same - you produce the same shows ( in French ) you drink the same wines - c'mon now - let's get real here.

    3. Canada never eradicated French. Canada has protected French.

      You should be thanking Canada because it is the only reason why French still exists in North America. And it exists in every province and territory, not only in Quebec. Had you ever travelled to French communities outside of Quebec, you would already have known that.

      If it weren’t for Canada, we would all be American (a word that you apparently can’t even spell). So thank your lucky stars instead of shitting all over the people who saved your existence.

      The only people who are trying to eradicate anything is the PQ that is dedicated to eradicating English-Quebecers, while they completely ignore franco-Canadians. That is the reason why the PQ wants you locked into a vengeful, tiny Quebec-only bubble of perpetual victimhood.

      What you are saying is that you wish for ethnic cleansing to happen, and it never will.

    4. @Anonymous
      Simple bigotry will get you nowhere.
      There are dozens of cultures in Canada, more in the US, and several cultures in Quebec.

      Language is not the same as culture.

      Until you understand that, go away.

    5. Absolutely correct Kevin, PQ = PLQ - separation

  11. Outaouais separatist will be angry:


    Sens fondation will be investing 1 Million dollars in new 5 rinks for Gatineau, including 1 close by my home, Parc Fontaine :) Can just imagine Jean Paul Perrault, how dare those anglophones come in my neighbourhood and spread their language. Will Imperatif Francais be supporting the rinks? Yeah don't think so since all you do is leach off taxpayers.

  12. Someone stands up for common sense in the separatist-leaning “Le Devoir”… and so, of course, is rebuffed by some nationalists who still talk of “war” and what have you (in 2014!), others who still blather that independence is somehow the only means for survival and yet others who are clearly mixed up about how much Quebec receives in equalization payments from Canada. Feel free to “like” the comment if you wish.

    Sol Wandelmaier:
    After 40 years of trying...
    Were there a population to convince, it would have been convinced already in the past 40 years. Conclusion: the benefits of separation are far from obvious for a large majority.

    Time has not lacked for separatists to advance their arguments... and yet they have failed. Polls show much worse results than in 1980.

    For citizens to cooperate in a project, two-thirds of them must be sure that it's the right way to go. The best that the separatists can hope for is to accidentally have a small majority that is momentarily achieved because they played well strategically… But we must nevertheless face the aftermath…

  13. Oh Troy! You’ll like this one. After her success at the French Open (Roland Garros), Eugenie Bouchard’s name is finally acknowledged in the French Canadian press to be spelled as it should be (without an accent), but now some are incensed because, in very proper French, she said she doesn’t have a Quebec accent “at least”. Many people are quite happy for her.



    1. Quebecers signing up for accent modification classes:


    2. Quebec accent = Not knowing how to speak French properly (if at all).

      Fortunately for her she doesn't have that accent.

    3. I am totally elated with Eugie...just love her..she is a great ambassador for Canada, and yes, for this province as well! She's become a kick-ass Tennis player, she has great instinct, sees the game and fab reaction time for important strategic shots. I say she gives Sharapova a run for her money and may even win. Her star is rising and I see a grand slam win in her future.

      Go Eugie!

    4. R.S,

      I am glad that some francophone commentators realize the folly in trying to adjust somebody's name to fit their own belief. However, I think that comment is not suppose to be directed to me. Some posters in this blog - one in particular - insists that Miss Bouchard is in the wrong not to put an accent on her first name and to pronounce her last name with hard 'd', never mind that her name is hers and hers alone.

      For me, the zinger from Miss Bouchard is, "Je pense que j’ai un accent un peu plus comme anglais, je ne parle pas si souvent français..."

    5. "For me, the zinger from Miss Bouchard is, "Je pense que j’ai un accent un peu plus comme anglais, je ne parle pas si souvent français...""

      Well let's face it, she doesn't need French to play Tennis or even get by in the world, ...not trying to be harsh, just stating the obvious and being honest.

    6. Even the ball girls/boys at French Open wear English signage on shirts. If that would happen at a match here, they'd be calling the OQLF from their seats.

    7. What! No accent on Miss Bouchard's name? Quebec has once again been totally humiliated in front of the world. Our embarrassment can only be calmed with an increase in equalization payments along with some one to blame. How about the anglo community? Nope, they look pretty beat up already. Any volunteers? Ah, come on. You don't expect us to blame ourselves do you? No, I'm not being silly. Quebecois are never silly. Maybe a little nutty at times.

    8. "Well let's face it, she doesn't need French to play Tennis or even get by in the world, ...not trying to be harsh, just stating the obvious and being honest."

      It's so useless that the greatest tennis players like Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have learn to speak it...

    9. Dave, gimmeeeeee a breakkkkk..what the hellllllll r you talking about? I don't consider they speak French, they barely mutter audible words to indulge the crowd, AND that's the only reason. They probably practice those few token words a million times...AND outside of the French open, no matter whichTennis event they are at, their Language of preference is English. Serena should just STOP trying to speak it altogether...it's bloody painful to listen to her. Novak speaks it..so so, just like he does Italian, he speaks several languages, which come easy to him. But their interviews for the most part are always in English.

      French outside of quebec is a nice to have, ....certainly not a MUST have.

    10. Oh and Rafa will say two words in French and the rest in Spanish which he tries to pass as French...the end.

    11. My advise to anyone outside of quebec, after English, learn Mandarin.

  14. Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” monologue regarding the Habs bet, having Youppi! moping around town after the Rangers win, includes a funny video at Chez Serge that I hadn’t seen before:


  15. I think what he is trying to say, is that the extraction process of Albertan oil costs more then the payoff. So the cost/profit doesn't make economic sense.. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but at least I think that what he's tring to say.

  16. Why Mr. Sauga still says Quebec should be thrown out of CanadaWednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:37:00 AM EDT

    "Quebec, with 23% of the population pays in about 19% [of the Equalization funding]."

    "...each Ontarian receives only about one-eighth of what each Quebecer receives. (QC- $1,130 per citizen, Ont.- $146 per citizen.)]."

    "Ontario takes out about 18% of the fund, while contributing over 40%."

    With those statistics provided by our reliable Editor, need I add more?

  17. The Liberals were voted in to put an end to the PQ's stupid policies, but they've continued to support
    * the language police's case against Walmart, BestBuy, etc.
    * a values charter of some sort
    * half a billion in investment and loan guarantees to build an unneeded cement factory
    * wind farms that are inefficient compared to hydroelectric
    Anyone know why these weren't shut down immediately after the election?

  18. The Liberals were elected to put an end to the PQ's stupid policies, but they still support
    * a values charter of some sort
    * the language police's court case against Walmart, BestBuy, etc. for descriptors
    * half a billion in investment and loan guarantees for an unneeded cement factory
    * wind farms that are much less efficient than hydroelectric, which already produce more than needed

    Anyone know why these were not only not stopped immediately after the election, but actively pursued by the Liberals?

    1. Cause the PLQ are nationalistic..(same as seppies, not so overt about it).

      Same ole BS, we just borrowed time with the PLQ, better of the two evils...but evil no less.

      I keep saying it and will keep repeating it...to get rid of the albatross that is this province:

      Montréal pour une ville état!

    2. You're ask us to explain the Quebec Liberal party? You're not asking for much are you? They are PQ lite. Quebec is Quebec, need I say more (eyes rolling). Le Wonderland du Alice.

  19. "At any rate, I can't imagine ever letting my child go to a university with such professors.
    That is why so many highly qualified francophone students fight to get into McGill, because it says a lot about them."

    Don't be so quick to praise McGill. It's as culturally Marxist as UQAM, though the focus in UQAM is more on the language issue, whereas at McGill it's on feminism and LGBT. And it's coming from the professors themselves. Check out some floors of the Leacock building at McGill, and the kind of cultural war "messages" the professors themselves put up on the boards outside their offices. Start with the 6th floor.

    The problem with the education system, whether it's UQAM or McGill, or any other higher learning institution, is that it only gives students two paths.

    Either you get a purely technical training, giving you no exposure whatsoever to humanistic or classical teachings, thus essentially making you into a robot capable only of abstract technical thinking, and severely lacking in humanistic side. Furthermore, you end up in a very competitive market, competing for scarcer jobs not only with fellow graduates but also with new immigrants who globalists like Harper bring over in droves into big cities. The globalists further allow exporting of jobs outside the country (Harper has recently signed another "free trade" deal, this time with South Korea). Furthermore, the corporations where technical graduates end up working, are freed from any obligations other than the "bottom line". The human factor counts for nothing. Thus, the technically trained people, with all their education, often find themselves "downsized".

    The other path is the "social science" path which again provides no humanistic or classical training. Instead, social science departments have been taken over by militant cultural warriors promoting their various agendas and more interested in devising ways to socially engineer new societies or manipulate the old ones. JF Lisee is a classical example of a social science graduate, a man totally lacking in any sort of humanistic value but instead highly focused on cultural warfare, social micromanagement, and social engineering according to the blueprint designed by the "experts" (i.e. him). All these "social scientists" and "arts" graduates (their training has nothing to do with arts, it's more of some new age nonsense) end up working for the bloated government bureaucracy, living off of the taxpayer. The "artists" are government-subsidized and in return produce pro-government propaganda, whereas social scientists either produce nothing, or produce headaches for the population.

    The system works in the interest of globalist and technocratic elites like the NWO stooge Harper, and the educational system reflects it.

    1. McGill received over 5000 applications for its business school for next September. It can only admit 500. It's main criteria for admission is past grades. UQAM has no entrance requirements. To label it a University is a bit of a stretch.

    2. adski,

      Do tell what they have in McGill's Leacock building. In all my time in McGill as student and staff, I have never encoutered such quackery as shown by UQAM's academic community. Granted, my association with McGill was with Faculties of Management and Engineering, never with the Faculty of Arts. Kindly enlighten us what is happening on that side of the University.

    3. Same thing in Ottawa, The university in the Quebec side, UQO, is a pathetic label for a university. A hangout for lowlifes and under achievers when compared to Ottawa U. The foundation for UQO achieved about 15 million$, a pathetic amount when compared to Ottawa U, which got $25 million for the school's business program by former Goldcorp president Ian Telfer, which is the largest donation in Canadian history to be given to a business school. The entire endowment for Ottawa U is like 12 times larger then UQO fondation, considering that Ottawa is just three times larger then Gatineau.It also explains that 2000 Gatineau residents are studying at Ottawa Business are avoiding hiring from the réseau de l'Université de Québec, with the pathetic teacher, lack of any corporate support and radical socialist teachers

  20. Call me pedantic, nitpicky or whatever. I think my benefit of the doubt for Dr. Couillard is dwindling. A case in point is his profile on The Council of the Federation. All other Premiers use "Honourable" as their style, a tradition among Canadian Premiers. Dr. Couillard uses "Monsieur" even though he is personally entitled for "The Honourable" style for life, being a member of the Privy Council.

    Now, Jean Charest used "Honourable" too at the Council. That tradition was broken by Pauline Marois who used "Madame". Made sense since she was a separatist and did not want anything to do with Canadian tradition nor to be be associated with British tradition. But Dr. Couillard is supposedly a federalist. Why doe he follow Ms. Marois footsteps and make himself different with the other Premiers?

  21. "There should be more English taught in the province’s French schools, according to a report commissioned by the former Parti Québécois government."

    Hmm bet that isn't the finding the PQ was hoping for. Of course the unions and teachers don't want to be bothered with having to offer the children a better language education.


    1. What do they care about providing High School students especially with the right tools to succeed? They get to run away to foreign countries and earn a living with English. And to be fair, this isn't exclusive to the PQ, they along with the Liberals can boast how quebec has the highest High School drop out rate in the country, (mostly from French High Schools). Do you wonder how there's hardly a criteria for getting into French Cegeps? Meanwhile the English ones are so bloody saturated that if you aren't academically performing, you don't get in.

      And speaking of academically performing, I had the privilege of attending the graduation ceremony of one of the most prominent and highly regarded English public High Schools in the west island where its student population (by 70%) are IB students. Out of 250+ graduating students, 30% graduated with Honors. I was blown away.

    2. The entrenched interests in any educational system often prevent the teaching of necessary skills. Parents therefore should not rely on schools only. There are a lot of important areas which are not covered well (or at all) by schools, the resistance to second language instruction in Quebec is only one example of this. All the areas passed over by schools have to be compensated for by home schooling (rather than by trying to get the schools to change). It is not in the interest of the State and the entrenched groups within the educational system for any change to occur, so why push up against this impenetrable bulwark if you can compensate by home schooling.

      I would recommend John Gatto's works. He is a prize-winning American educator who turned against the mass education system.





    3. @Adski

      More and more Teachers have become Facilitators, they teach you how to learn, and you teach yourself. It is radically different today than how it use to be. I cannot begin to tell you how many times my kid has come home and has asked me about a subject whereby she's gotten no context for at school. It's a bit ridiculous to tell you the truth...we've become a do-it-yourself, self-serve society and that's the direction we're headed for more and more. It isn't necessarily a bad thing. As parents I think our job is to keep our kids interested and engaged. Incite curiosity as much as possible and make them aware of everything that lies outside their bubble. Ask them questions and don't settle for yes, no or mmm. It's not easy today negotiating parenthood and the influence we have on our kids, but I try and talk about different things everyday, current events etc...so that she is aware the world doesn't revolve around her. As much as possible I remind...rather encourage her to question and challenge everything...and sometimes this can come back to bite you in the ass cause then they challenge you and when u remind them they have to be obedient, and "do it cause I said so" they remind you ..this is how YOU'VE brought them up...to question everything...even you.

  22. Editor,

    Time to change the theme picture. Eugenie Bouchard was beaten by Maria Sharapova in three sets today.

  23. Something to think about:


    1. The opposite of the selfish and ignorant Me Generation is not a generation eager to fight enemies invented by the elites. We gain nothing by substituting a lazy and selfish generation by a gullible and psychopathic one.


      "Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." - Henry Kissinger

    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gWCajGSwpY




    3. let's hear what un gars bien sdf and cutie003, our two resident "stupid animals" have to say about kissinger's opinion.

    4. Why don't you go stuff yourself in some sewer somewhere you miserable little shit. I wouldn't give you the personal satisfaction of providing you with an answer to anything as it would float off the top of your head like the pond scum you are.

  24. Le gouvernement fait des coupures partout et deux jours plus tard on va donner des millions à un bandit comme un Ecclestone...

    Tellement décourageant!