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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7 billion is a lot of money

Exiting the crisis comes with a cost. For women in Quebec, the price tag has nearly reached $7 billion since 2008. And that’s just part of the story…let’s start with the beginning. In 2008, the province of Quebec, like most Western states, was hit by an economic crisis that many…
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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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