June 17, 2024

Westside People

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Quebec where beggars kneel before millionaires

Quebec where beggars kneel before millionaires

No, I won’t talk to you about elected officials’ salaries. The debate was skillfully avoided by elected officials. That they live with their contradictions, pride and lack of time for Mother…

Instead, I wanted to talk about the race for subsidies that governments engage in to attract big car companies.

GM-POSCO announced a $300 million deal this week at Bécancour. Soon, more millions will be announced for projects by German chemical giant BASF and Ford.

That’s without taking into account Quebec’s desire to attract a mega-cellar project that would be expensive in terms of energy and dollars.

In Ontario, the provincial and federal governments announced $13 billion for Volkswagen.

A major announcement whet the appetite of other companies.

Another manufacturer, Stellandis, had already signed a $1 billion deal with governments. But he stopped construction of his factory to get more money… otherwise it would go elsewhere.

There is no other way?

For now, we’re told we have no choice but to hand out these juicy grants to companies whose CEOs make a few million a year…

We say this is the price to pay to adapt to the new industrial era and get on the energy transition train.

America has put hundreds of billions of dollars on the table to attract these companies in particular.

We want our piece. The investment creates jobs and supports the regional economy.

Businesses aren’t crazy. They will go to higher paying places.

They don’t come to Quebec for our beauty, our clean electricity, our territory, our workforce, our sustainability, our resources.

So you have to take bigger checks.

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We also need to invest because we have long opened the field to China with the development of batteries. We are in a very dependent relationship.

Europe suffered from its dependent relationship with Russia during the conflict in Ukraine.

We want to avoid replaying the picture with China and Taiwan.

A reflection is necessary

Unfortunately, we have not learned from the increase in tax cuts that governments have engaged in. Tax expert Brigitte Alephin talks about a dangerous breed that only benefits the rich.

We cut taxes, give subsidies to keep jobs…all out of taxpayers’ pockets.

It would take 10,000 taxpayers earning $100,000 a year to pay $300,000,000 to GM.

This is a lot of money that is not going towards our public services, our road network, our health system, education…

Why is it easier in Quebec to raise the salaries of elected officials and deal with big corporations than our nurses and teachers?