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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Quand austérité rime avec hostilité

Selon Philippe Couillard, l’austérité ne serait rien d’autre « qu’une vue de l’esprit ». Or, comme l’a si bien dit Philip K. Dick, célèbre auteur américain de romans de science-fiction, « la réalité, c’est ce qui continue d’exister lorsque l’on cesse d’y croire ». Dans la même veine, que l’on « croit » ou…
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The imaginary deficit

The last elections have ushered in a fresh input of creativity and imagination in Quebec’s political life. Not content with exaggerating the budget deficit by cooking the books, Couillard’s government invented a so-called “structural deficit” between the state’s expenditures and revenues. The logic is quite simple: spending growth is greater…
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