Let me get this one straight. The BQ are threatening to pull support from the Conservative government in Canada if they don’t give them billions upon billions of dollars in payments. (Remember folks, only two provinces are net contributors to the ‘provincial equalization program’, Alberta and Ontario. Quebec, despite clever economics are not even close to net contributors.) For some reason the BQ believe Quebec is more important than the rest of Canada and are deserving of their billions. Albeit, party leader Duceppe is playing a card the Conservative government promised in the last election — to fix ‘funding shortfalls’ in Quebec.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe painted a picture Sunday of the future of Quebec City in 2015, transforming it into the capital of a sovereign country that plays an important role in the global community.
Duceppe urged voters to imagine what it may be like to live in his “clear, concrete and ambitious” vision of Quebec City as the only centre of political power in the province.
“Quebec City will be the marriage of the old and new. Quebec City will be on the map, claiming its full rights as the capital of a sovereign country. Not on the Canadian map, but on the world map. That’s what I want for Quebec City in 2015.” (Too bad he doesn’t think of the rest of Quebec especially the poor North.)
Bloc supporters in attendance at the meeting added their voice to the mix, arguing the benefits of seeing Quebec City become the capital of a country could include wireless Internet throughout the city, and a high-speed rail link to New York. (A la Alberta between Calgary and Edmonton…. viable? No, dumb idea here.)
The secretariat for Paris-based UNESCO on cultural diversity would be located in the city, Bloc supporters boasted, while others contended that sovereignty would provide the authority needed to enhance the city as a major maritime port. Duceppe’s vision of Quebec City as the capital of a sovereign country hinges on the party winning the next provincial election and then winning another referendum on sovereignty, which the PQ promises to hold as soon as possible should it form a government.
The Bloc lost eight Quebec City-area seats in last January’s federal election — seven to the Conservatives and one to independent Andre Arthur. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s campaign commitment to solve the fiscal imbalance and give Quebec a place in Canada’s delegation to UNESCO is credited with helping his party win 10 seats in the province.
Duceppe is prepared to force an election early next year if Harper’s government fails to deliver on its promise to correct the so-called fiscal imbalance in the next federal budget.
He wants Ottawa to provide at least $3.9 billion to Quebec this year to make up for what he says are funding shortfalls.