Public consultation: Talk to the hand!

The schedule for the global strategic environmental assessment (SEA) on hydrocarbons (fossil fuels) tells us that it was on October 28th, that the population gained access to the documents that will inform the whole string of policies related to the exploration, drilling, and transportation (by pipeline, train or boat) of…
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Right-wing think tank IEDM on poverty: A few flaws

A few weeks ago, researchers Yanick Labrie, Youcef Msaid, and Alexandre Moreau from the right-wing think tank Institut économique de Montréal (IEDM) published an economic note on the persistence of poverty. The study’s first conclusion and the one most prominently displayed by the IEDM (particularly in their media release) is…
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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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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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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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