by The Nommz on April 27, 2015 - 2:06pm
Currently in the province of Quebec there have been discussions to cut the reserved budgets for many social programs which the habitants of the province have depended on for decades. Everything from healthcare to education will be affected, and a substantial amount of the population has raised their voices in anger at the situation. Quebec is one of the many provinces to be affected by the cuts that the federal government in an attempt to balance Canada’s budget. However according to the Globe and Mail’s Bill Curry in his article “Budget balanced on backs of contingency fund, EI and oil” the balancing of the Canadian budget relies heavily on the oil prices going back to normal, and collecting a substantial amount of employment insurance premiums. Ultimately the goal of the Harper Government’s plans is to ensure that the budget is balanced by reducing Canada’s contingency budget from 3 billion to 1 billion dollars, And cutting the Employment premiums of the country from 1.88$ to 1.44$ per 100 dollars. Such measures have left certain aspects of the reserve vulnerable such as health care, which have made many doctors threaten to go private in order to protect their livelihoods.
The effects of austerity can be seen in Ontario, where back in 2012 certain cuts to the budget of public services contributed to the provinces economic slow down. According to the (CCPA) the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, poor predictions of the economic situation of what the province would look like in the year of 2013 led to the shift to the austerity plan. The government predicted that the deficit would be just over $30 billion, however the CCPA discovered that in reality the debt was only to reach $11 billion. The CCPA also concluded that government spending into services and industry would make its return, and that despite Ontario’s weak economic recovery the provincial deficit would continue to disappear without the need for further cuts to the public services of the province. Ultimately the cuts to public spending further contributed to the decline of Ontario’s economy.
The fear of many young Quebecers is that austerity measures being applied to Quebec’s already weak economy would further degrade the situation within the province. Unlike Ontario that has a 29.6% debt to GDP ratio, Quebec has a 49% debt to GDP ratio. This mark up gives Quebec the most significant amount of debt among any Canadian province, and is what has so many new power activist worried. They believe that if the government allows Quebec to adopt Austerity measures into its economic plan to rid the province of debt, in will have the opposite effect on the province and further contribute to the problem that the government is trying to avoid in the first place. The cuts to social services which the government spends money on to secure and see their continual operation, are essential to the further growth of the economy. Without government investment into these systems we will see a decline, mush as Ontario has and it is vital that we address this issue with clear acknowledgement of what does, and does not work.