...was a great disappointment, but not a surprise. I do like the idea of user fees for healthcare, but there is no attempt to cut expenditures or our bloated civil service. I do want Hydro rates to be determined by the market, but Hydro Quebec should sold off. Raising the PST is fine if the income tax was cut. The gold plated social programs paid for by Albera oil money continue to grow. charest is truly a liberal now.
A good analysis from Eric Duhaime.
But "Quebec must collect more tax because of shortcomings in equalization," one of the budget's headlines says, even though Quebec received a historic high in transfer payments, mainly from Alberta. According to Quebec liberals, it is not the Quebec government's decision to offer more public services than anywhere else in Canada that has made it necessary to raise taxes. It is the federal government's fiscal imbalance and the disparity in the equalization formula that disadvantages Quebec.
This argument comes from a so-called federalist government.
Jean Charest reminds me of a brother-in-law that visits you or his banker to borrow money supposedly to feed his wife and their kids. After crying on your shoulders and squeezing a big cheque out of you, he then turns around to buy a new Camaro, a yacht, a cottage in Tremblant and a brand new house that he obviously cannot afford, all of which -- to everyone's astonishment -- he then brags about.
Those who were expecting and hoping for a common sense budget that could have brought Quebec back to Earth -- and ended the province's championing of public debt and high taxes -- will need to be more patient. And those who were hoping that Charest would address the collusion and corruption scandals in the construction industry that are tainting his administration also better not hold their breath... though they should probably hold their nose. When he became Premier in 2003, Jean Charest told us that the Quebec government was "obese and tentacular."