17th February 2016

Surrealistic spending

posted in politics |

Sometimes, the only way to react is to shake your head and move along. I mean, there’s silly and then there’s downright stupid. Particularly with respect to government decisions.

The Quebec government has been running with the “austerity” banner. Cut everywhere, because we’re strapped for cash. It doesn’t matter if we’re supposed to take care of the public purse. And so on; a familiar melody. Of course, when the same bunch announced, proudly, that they were going into partnership with one of the largest tech firms in the province “a 49.5% share in return for some of our extra cash”, it needed only the price tag: one billion dollars, to cause a furor.

Timeline: this was on October 29th, 2015. Early for Hallowe’en, but a treat just the same.

Fast forward to the the morning of February 17th, 2016. For those who get confused about “the number of days between two dates” due to a lack of fingers and toes, I’ll help you out: 111. Easy to remember. And with that, the same firm announced their intention to slash 7,000 jobs.

The billion wasn’t mentioned…

It will be, because the government has a (captive) audience for such shenanigans. People want to know how you burn through a billion and come up with nothing to show for it. In fact, the only positive note is that the federal government was asked to match the provincial largess, dollar for dollar, but they declined. Unsure how much extra cash might be lying around in the desk drawers on Parliament Hill, etc.

As a federal tax payer, I’m relieved. As a provincial tax payer, even one recently removed from that jurisdiction, I’m giddy. Or punch drunk. The two sensations are similar.


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