Progressive politics, ideas & culture


“The winter was cold, and the English humiliated us again!”

This Magazine Staff

Headline in Le Devoir today:
“Ottawa a ‘saigne’ le Quebec pour satisfaire le Canada anglais
What is the humiliation this time? Under the equalization agreement, the new money the feds put in the pot will be divied up in proportions equal to what each “have not” province is alread receiving. So, if your province was receiving 1/3 of the old amount, you’ll get another 1/3 of the new amount. Quebec went into the equalization negotiations with the following position: Quebec should get a disproportionate share of the new money. Why? No reason. Just cause it’s Quebec and they feel entitled to it. The other have-not provinces predictably told Charest to forget it. Hence, Ottawa has “bled” Quebec.
Meanwhile, here’s Senator George Baker, in today’s Globe:
Senator George Baker said Newfoundland’s exports have done much for Canada, and now it’s time for the nation to pay the province back.
“We’re been keeping the carpets on the floors in Ottawa since we joined Canada. Canada now owes Newfoundland big time,” he said.

In Newfoundland, the prevailing wisdom is that when all the additions are done, about who has given what to whom, Newfoundland gets the short end of the stick. Why? Because of all the fish and, uh, other stuff they’ve sent “away” over the years. Add the value of the fish we’ve consumed here in the ROC, and you get a humiliation.
Except, the rest of Canada didn’t TAKE the fish. We BOUGHT it. So, for every fish sent out of Newfoundland, goods equal to the value of one fish were sent in. That’s why they call it TRADE.
But if you’re a Senator AND FORMER FEDERAL CABINET MINISTER from Newfoundland, you get to say these sorts of things and nobody contradicts you. In Newfoundland, the humiliation lies not in taking almost a billion dollars a year from the residents of Alberta and Ontario. No, the humiliation lies in those residents saying, “fine, but as soon as your per capita income exceeds ours, we’re going to cut back the payments.”
God I hate this place.
And you just know the Headwaiter is going to cave.

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