EDITORIAL - PQs aversion to A
Pauline Marois Parti Quebecois is quietly pushing a rushed budget in which PQ interests will be manifested with total disregard to the opposition, which has barely started to regroup since Jean Charest’s announced his retirement from politics.
Sensing weakness in the greater metropolitan area of Montreal-Laval political scene which has long been a strong Liberal base of power associated with les autres, Anglophones she has smartly started to announce candy for the next election run. This includes no increased student fees, subsidized daycare for all, a revamped Bill 101 to stop eroding of the French language by the continued Anglicization of Montreal and the suburbs. She has also promised to cut subsidies to private schools.
Now she faces more A in the metropolitan area with Michael Applebaum vying for interim mayor ship in Montreal and Basile Angelopoulos the likely heir apparent in the short run in Laval. But already she has insulted the duly elected city council in Laval by insisting on providing them with an oversight official. The last time I looked Mme Marois, Laval has a credit rating of AA+ superior to both the provincial governments rating and blue chip energy provider Hydro Quebec. While Vaillancourt may have been the central figure in Laval politics he was always smart enough to have a more than competent cast of players overseeing Laval’s interest. Not to mention that Laval is blessed with one of the most efficient and talented public service management in all of Canada.
She is unobtrusively squeezing English language health care institutions like the Jewish General Hospital. By decreasing their budgets not because of inefficiencies but rather unlike many French health care institutions that have controlled budgets by refusing patients once their quotas and limits are reached, the Jewish General Hospital refuses no patients regardless of their 450 addresses. So in effect they have budget overruns because they have picked up the slack and provided more patient care. Does it matter that there is a three month waiting list for ovarian cancer treatment in some French language cancer care institutions when that type of delay can be the difference between life and death. Health professionals at the JGH think so.
If anything Pauline Marois has clearly demonstrated that she is the last of the PQ dinosaurs following Jacques Parizeau’s dissertation that the PQ must target money and the Anglophones with their political strategies in order to forward the separatist cause. If left unchecked or not challenged early enough by the opposition she will succeed in inflaming the old passions based on hate and division. Is this the Quebec we want for our children who will have to compete on the world stage. So there is much more at stake in the upcoming budget than meets the eye. Already Marois is trying to pull the wool over the opposition’s eyes. Marois said opposition parties should act responsibly to avoid returning to the polls less than three months after the last provincial election. The warning should be to Marois to stop her antagonistic agenda of targeting Anglophone institutes and promising candy that any responsible government clearly understands Quebec cannot pay for. Hopefully the opposition has enough hutzpah to call her bluff.