Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The fiscal imbalance myth is put to rest.

I'm not sure whether I should scream or just muss my hair. Having read this, after listening to the little weasel from Whitby-Oshawa shovel money into the voter-pit, it has generated something just short of fury in me.

The Harper Conservatives bought into the Quebec fiscal imbalance myth and then embraced it. Today, we see how much of a fiscal imbalance there really is. Quebec's Charest is promising close to $1 billion in tax cuts to Quebeckers, if re-elected, $700 million of which is coming directly from increased transfer payments.

Quebeckers are the highest taxed provincial population in the country and one might argue that they are entitled to a reduction in provincial taxes. However, they have social programs most provinces would kill to be able to provide and for which they can never find the funding. With a unique and expensive social structure, given what the rest of the provinces are able to do for their citizens, it stands to reason that Quebeckers pay higher provincial taxes.

But now, we're all expected to sit by while Charest promises to reduce taxes and maintain expensive programs. Vue d'ici lays it out well and questions how the rest of Canada will take Charest's use of transfered funds.

I can't help but think there was more than a little collusion between Harper and Charest on this one. Harper needs seats in Quebec if he ever hopes to form a viable majority government. Clearly, he was willing to tax the rest of the country to accomplish his goal and by providing the funds by which Charest could offer a provincial tax cut, he stands his best chance.

The most galling part is Harper's little bag-man suggesting this will end the bickering once and for all. What a bloody idiot.

This more than clearly expresses how we all feel about that.

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