Equalization: Legault responds to Kenney
Prime Minister François Legault responded Sunday in Sherbrooke to his Alberta counterpart Jason Kenney on the issue of Equalization. He reminded Mr. Kenney that he will not be able to unilaterally withdraw from the federal equalization program, even though Alberta is not happy to contribute massively to several provinces, including Quebec.
S amedi, in a video posted on Twitter, Mr. Kenney in particular criticized Quebec for not exploiting its shale gas, thereby depriving itself of income, and then depend on the oil money of Albertans.
He indicated that his government would hold a referendum in October 2021 if he did not get changes to Equalization as well as authorizations to build pipelines to export his oil.
Quebec received $ 13.1 billion in equalization from the federal government in 2019, which represents 11 per cent of its revenues.
In a scrum Sunday morning at the Congress of Young Caquists in Sherbrooke, François Legault stressed that the principle of Equalization is enshrined in the Constitution and that only Canada as a whole can change the formula.
“It comes back to the very existence of Canada. When Quebec embarked in Canada, it was planned that there would be equalization. It’s part of the original deal, we can not change the original deal. ”
The Caquist leader said that Quebec “has the right to equalization” and that there is no question of changing the formula.
He admitted that his government can not do without these billions, even if it is swimming in surpluses. And his counterparts in deficit provinces, but contributing to Equalization, showed him their dissatisfaction with the Council of the Federation last July in Saskatoon.
The Caquist Prime Minister, however, recalled that the federal government has repeatedly favored Ontario by subsidizing the auto industry, or favoring Alberta by subsidizing the oil industry.
Mr. Legault pointed out that in the medium term, Quebec can be free from Equalization, if it becomes as rich as Ontario, but that it is the “one generation job site”.
The goal of the federal equalization program is to enable all provinces to provide services of equal quality, regardless of their wealth. Under the formula, some wealthier provinces, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, contribute to the program, while others, such as Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, are beneficiaries.
Young people divided
If François Legault addressed Equalization on Sunday, it is also because the subject had been the subject of a lot of ink the day before, while a proposal bringing the idea of a plan for Quebec to get rid of the Equalization was rejected with a good majority by the youth wing of the CAQ.
In his speech, the Prime Minister wanted to come back to the issue.
“We receive this $ 13 billion and we do not want to lose it. We are entitled to it and there is no question of sending a message that equalization could be dropped. There is no question of changing this program, “he told his youth committee.
“When I prepared the finances of a sovereign Quebec, not so long ago, Quebec received four billion in equalization, he adds. We receive $ 13 billion because essentially we are not as rich as the rest of Canada. If we look at GDP per capita, we are 24% behind the rest of the country and 16% behind Ontario where there is no oil. There is no reason for that. ”
According to him, the amount received by Quebec weakens his balance of power.
“When you negotiate with Ottawa or the other provinces, you do not always have the big end of the stick,” he says. If you want a strong, proud Quebec, I invite you to consider it as one of your top priorities to have a Quebec that is as rich as the rest of Canada. It is primarily a question of pride. ”
Legault will do everything to keep GCM Newspapers going
The Caquist government will “do everything” so that the newspapers of Groupe Capitales Médias (GCM) continue to appear after August 26th. That’s what Prime Minister François Legault said on Sunday morning. “I will do everything I can to keep the newspapers going,” the premier said in a scrum. We want to find a way – and we’re working on it right now – so that newspapers continue to publish. The Liberal opposition is worried about the concentration of the press in the event that Quebecor picks up these newspapers. The empire of Pierre Karl Peladeau has been approached and would be interested. According to the Liberal Party, the citizens of Quebec, in each region, must have access to several different sources of information. However, François Legault replied that it did not concern him. “It’s the federal government that will look at this,” said Legault. Last week, the Prime Minister said he was open to emergency one-time help, until a general media assistance program was put in place and the issue of CMG ownership was resolved.
Government Announces Forum on Screen Dependency
The Caquist government will hold a forum on screen addiction. Prime Minister François Legault made the announcement Sunday at the congress of young Caquistes in Sherbrooke. It is the Minister Delegate for Health, Lionel Carmant, who will chair this forum. The forum will aim to paint a picture of the situation. Subsequently, Mr. Carmant will put in place an action plan with awareness campaigns. The date of the forum has not been announced.