I agree with Jonathan Kay. For a party that wants Quebec independance, the name of the game is getting more money from Ottawa. So the Quebec independance movement wants to be more dependant on the rest of Canada. Quebec already receives more than $8 billion in equalization payments. This latest nonsense should be refused.
Just when we all thought that the opposition pretext for the much-mooted 2011 federal election would center around the less-than-thrilling issue of corporate income taxes, along comes Gilles Duceppe to give the Conservatives something meaningful to campaign on. And if Stephen Harper plays his cards right, he might well play the Bloc Québécois’ gambit to his advantage.
Quebec politicians often seek de facto bribes from Ottawa — whether in the form of cold cash or more symbolic gestures. And usually, Ottawa gives in. This explains why our equalization system is skewed so as to deliver a multi-billion-dollar jackpot to Quebec every year; not to mention Paul Martin’s “asymmetric federalism,” and Stephen Harper’s declaration that Quebec constitutes a “nation.” These shakedowns have come to define the Canadian political condition.