Have artists become their own patrons in Quebec?

We’ve all heard people claim that artists “don’t work” or “don’t do any real work.” Some even go so far as to say that artists are just parasites living off the rest of society. IRIS looked into how creators, artists, and craftsmen and -women in the audiovisual sector organize their…
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PPPs: Like using a credit card to buy a house

On Monday, we published a study in which we estimated how much Quebec could save by putting an end to our unsavoury experience using public-private partnerships (PPP) to manage Montreal’s two university health centres, MUHC and CHUM. Our verdict: savings could reach $4 billion over the next thirty years, i.e….
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Prejudice Against the Poor Refuted by Facts

There are legions of negative preconceived ideas about the poor. We often hear that they make poor financial choices (pun unintended) when managing what little money they have. I studied the data available from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending to assess if they hold up to the facts. For…
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Let’s Be Creative: Let’s Destroy the University

In its July issue, The Economist placed on its front page a picture of a graduate cap turned into a bomb nearing explosion under the heading “Creative destruction: reinventing the university.” Repurposing Joseph Schumpeter’s well-known phrase, the magazine announced this time that university, that venerable institution, would undergo a true…
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Piqued by Piketty

It seems rather clear that the main theories in French economist Thomas Piketty’s best-seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century are irritating a number of people. Recommendations to increase taxes on wealth seem to be the most disconcerting to many. First, the British Financial Times did its utmost to point out…
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July 1st: Tenants Have No Reason To Celebrate

Each year, Canada Day coincides with Moving Day in Quebec. For the luckiest in the lot, the celebrations include heat and sweat, heavy boxes, cumbersome household appliances, laughs with pals, beer and pizza. However, still too often, when leases expire families end up on the street, unable to find adequate…
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Why You Should Care About Austerity

Québec’s government has radically reduced its spending growth because it has decided that we need to tighten our belts collectively. Since spending growth in some areas of healthcare and education is inevitable in order to maintain certain services, drastic cuts must be made elsewhere. The government maintains that it will…
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Leitão’s Budget: Austerity in All but Name

Both before the budget was tabled and during its presentation, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão spoke of “rigour” and “responsibility,” but never used the term “austerity.” Yet, this is truly an austerity budget: many government departments will be receiving less next year than they have this year. Here is a summary…
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