Austerity in Quebec: Budget cutting and affected services

According to the government, austerity exists only in the minds of its critics. Of course, efforts are required to restore the state’s financial health, but that’s only “rigour.” Trimming the fat. Making what already exists more efficient. But without affecting services. Reality nonetheless catches up with the spin fed to…
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Putting an end to the open bar

The federal election campaign demonstrates once more how the concept of a public drug plan is gaining ground. It has reached election issue status. Its progress in the last few years is such that opponents now prefer influencing the system to be implemented by the government rather than suggest that…
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Unacceptable Democracy

No matter how overused and abused the word “democracy” may be, its very concrete application never ceases to be disturbing. The phenomena is certainly not new —Jacques Rancière wrote beautifully about it ten years ago—but these last months have been littered with all sorts of expressions of this hate, among…
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OECD cherry-picking minimum-wage situations

Over the past few weeks, an OECD infographic has been making the rounds on social media. The image shows the number of weekly hours needed at minimum wage to move out of poverty in certain of countries. The infographic suggests that in Canada, one needs to work 38 hours per…
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The executives who are holding us for ransom

In a televised exchange with Michel Nadeau of the Institute for gouvernance of private and public organizations (IGOPP), I stated that public corporation executives’ level of compensation functioned just like a ransom. The discussion heated up, and I did not have the chance to explain what I meant when I…
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Austerity: A Matter of Choice

In the spring of 2013, we studied the economic trajectories of Canada and Quebec following the 2008 crisis. I decided to update the data from this previous study to see how the situation has evolved. Two years ago, the concept of the “austerity trap/stagnation” seemed to best describe the economic…
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Balancing the Budget: Just a Pretense?

Balancing the budget is at the heart of governmental discourse, but it’s only a pretense that has nothing to do with most initiatives implemented for its sake. The true aim is not to save money, but to pursue the state’s transformation initiated under Jean Charest, i.e. managing public services like…
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Nothing Changes Much With New “Plan Nord”

Last month, on April 8, the government proudly announced its new revamped Plan Nord. Premier Philippe Couillard’s project, though much less ambitious than that of Charest’s government, appears to be just as risky. The government is intent on investing 2 billion dollars to build infrastructure in the North in order…
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