Saturday, April 17, 2010

Maxime Bernier gives another great speech

Maxime needs to be back in cabinet. He really understands Quebec and I think he can get Quebecers to listen. I had wanted to attend this event ( which was a sugaring off party), but even I can't be everywhere.
Maxime understands the beauty of the BNA act. We need the provinces to assume more of the responsibilities they are supposed to have and the federal government to become much smaller. I agree with Maxime that Quebec cannot continue on its rapid descent into insolvency.

I delivered a speech today in Mont St-Grégoire (south east of Montreal), before members of several conservative riding associations of the Montérégie region who had invited me, on my vision of Quebec and federalism. Here is an English version of the original French.

For a proud, responsible and autonomous Quebec
Maxime Bernier
Speech delivered before members of Conservative Party of Canada riding associations of the Montérégie
Mont St-Grégoire, April 16, 2010

(Words of thanks)

I would like to discuss with you today the future of our society, the future of Quebec, which worries me very much.

Political debates in Quebec have been dominated for several decades by the “national question.” It’s a legitimate debate, but a debate that’s not going anywhere and will probably not go anywhere for a long time to come. Lucien Bouchard said it recently, and polls also show it: most Quebecers do not believe that Quebec will separate from Canada in the foreseeable future.

Despite this, since the 1970s, we’ve talked a lot about political independence, about the constitution, we’ve held referendums. And meanwhile, we’ve built a system of economic dependence that’s become more and more elaborate.

Quebec has one of the biggest and most interventionist governments in North America, and one of the heaviest fiscal burdens. Quebec has the most far-reaching social programs. Quebec is the province that gives the most subsidies to businesses, artists, parents, and to a host of other groups. And let’s not forget the other problems, such as the fact that Quebec is among the most rapidly aging societies in the world. This will increase the cost of social programs, and there will be fewer young people to pay for them.


Anonymous said...


You should stop wishing for Maxime to be back in cabinet. That would be the fastest way to put a stop to what he's been doing for the past year and destroy his credibility.

This is one of the most centralized governments in recent memory, headed by a control freak. Ministers have very little power and must follow PMO and PCO dictates. Maxime would not only have little influence, he would be forced to go along with the centrist, or even big government policies of this government (spending growth has been much higher since 2006 than under Chrétien and Martin).

He would also have to shut up and parrot meaningless government lines instead of being able to give these great speeches. They allow him to do this because he's only an MP now, they know what he's saying is very popular among the rank and file, they can't afford to alienate their more visible and popular Quebec MP, and they simply can't control him.

But a minister would not be allowed to regularly speak his mind on such issues and even contradict his own government's policies (as he did by proposing Zero Budget Growth - the exact opposite of his government's fiscal recklessness, or a skeptical approach to climate change, when his government's official position is that it is a real problem they're dealing with).

The best course for Maxime is to continue to be able to speak his mind, build up his support within the party and his reputation as a solid thinker who is not afraid to speak his mind outside, so that one day he can challenge the mushy meanstream of the CPC. Not another faceless and powerless sheep in Harper's fold.

Roy Eappen said...

Anon, if you really believe HM PM Harper is such a control freak, Maxime would never be allowed to say these things. I am fairly sure HM PM Harper knows exactly what Maxime is saying and approves. I want Maxime's voice back at the cabinet table.

Jen said...

Jack Layton is a control freak, he does not allow his mps to vote on the subject which he or she spends hrs debating and they are only a fringe party.

Paul Martin fired a few mps from his cabinet when they refused to go along with him on the same sex marriage-a free vote.

Control freak? have you watched the national media, they are so controlled that anyone who dares speaks his mind will be apprehended I guess.
You are perfectly correct Roy, the prime minister knows about Bernier's speech.

Anonymous said...

I really like this guy. Hell I'd vote for him no problem. (real conservative)

I Support Lord Black