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Found 4 results

  1. I have an idea...lets keep the status quo. By Nicolas Van Praet Montreal • Forget Newfoundland, derided for decades as the fish-dependent fiscal laughingstock of Canada. Another province is swiftly climbing the ranks of the penniless: Quebec. Quebecers will displace their fellow countrymen as the poorest Canadians if current income and purchasing power trends continue, according to a new study released Tuesday by Montreal’s HEC business school. The stark outlook underscores the urgency for Canada’s second-largest province to fix its structural problems and lends weight to arguments that its untapped natural resources should be developed. Related “Compared to the rest of the country, Quebec has a real revenue problem,” says Martin Coiteux, an economist who wrote the study for the HEC’s Centre for Productivity and Prosperity. Unless the province begins an honest, nothing-off-limits self-examination, “it runs the risk of finding itself last among Canadian provinces with respect to income and standard of living.” It’s the trend lines that should be worrying Quebecers, Mr. Coiteux said. The income gap is widening between Quebec and Canada’s richest provinces while it is shrinking with the poorest. Over a 31-year period from 1978 to 2009, every region of Canada gained on income against Quebec, according to the study. Buoyed by revenues from offshore oil, Newfoundland has bridged the income gap with Quebec to within $3,127 per adult as of 2009. Ontario’s income was $9,853 higher per adult that year while Alberta’s was $17,947 higher. That in itself is problematic for Quebec. But the HEC research also shows that one of the key things that made living in Quebec so attractive, namely the lower cost of living compared with other big provinces, is also rapidly changing. While it remains cheaper to buy consumer goods like food, gasoline and haircuts in Quebec than most other provinces (9% cheaper in Quebec than Alberta in 2009 for Statistics Canada’s standard Consumer Price Index basket of goods, for example), the difference is narrowing. And that makes the purchase power equation even worse for the French-speaking province. What explains this income nightmare? Mr. Coiteux summed it up thus: “Proportionately, fewer Quebecers work [than other Canadians]. They work fewer hours on average. And they earn an hourly pay that’s lower than that of most other Canadians.” The relative poverty of Quebec means that its residents pay less in federal income tax and receive more transfers than those living in richer provinces, which reduces the income gap with Ontario, Alberta and B.C. But that situation also represents “a form of dependency,” Mr. Coiteux noted. Provincial wealth in Canada is increasingly split along the lines of those who have natural resource wealth and those who do not. In addition to a bounty of hydroelectric power and aluminum production, Quebec also has known shale natural gas and oil deposits on its territory. The Liberal government of Jean Charest has signalled it is eager to tap its forestry and mining wealth, most notably with its plan to develop a vast portion of its northern territory twice the size of Texas. It has put oil and gas commercialization on the back burner in the face of public opposition and a continuing ocean boundary spat with Newfoundland. But even the northern development plan isn’t generating unanimity. Quebecers have proven to be tremendously shy in using their resources to generate wealth, says Youri Chassin, economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, a conservative think-tank. “We are kind of afraid of the consequences. And it might be good to have public debate about this. But [in that debate], we have to take into account that we are getting poorer.”
  2. Prosperity gap to widen, Conference Board says Growth in Quebec expected to hit 1.4% DAVID AKIN, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Booming Saskatchewan will lead all provinces in economic growth this year, while Ontario and Quebec will suffer through a difficult year, said forecasters at the Conference Board of Canada. The widening prosperity gap between the West and those in central and eastern Canada presents federal policy-makers with some unique challenges. The West may need policies that slow growth and curb inflation, while central Canada has few inflationary worries but needs some economic stimulus to encourage growth. In its semi-annual provincial outlook, the Conference Board says Saskatchewan's economy is booming thanks to surging commodity prices, particularly oil and potash, and as a result, the provincial economy there will grow by 4.2 per cent this year. In fact, the Conference Board said workers are leaving Alberta and heading to Saskatchewan to make their fortune. The report says that, as a result, retailers in Canada's flattest province may be in for a particularly good year. "The positive labour outlook, combined with lofty wage gains, is spurring a spending spree. Retail sales are expected to soar by 12.2 per cent in 2008," it said. Meanwhile, in Quebec, things will be a bit better this year, where growth of 1.4 per cent is expected. "Since the middle of 2007, the Quebec economy has been at a near standstill. The weakness in the manufacturing sector has eroded economic gains made in other industries,' the report said. Next door in Ontario, where manufacturers had particular trouble coping with the one-two punch of a fast-rising loonie and skyrocketing energy prices, economic growth will be just 0.8 per cent, the Conference Board said. Only Newfoundland and Labrador will see slower economic growth than Ontario this year. After a stellar year in 2007 with double-digit economic growth, the Conference Board said the pace in Canada's most eastern province is stalled. It predicts growth there of just 0.2 per cent this year. Overall, the Conference Board believes Canada's economy will grow by 1.7 per cent. The forecasters at the independent think-tank are much more optimistic than the Bank of Canada, which said last month it believes Canada's economy will grow by one per cent.
  3. that's an interesting line and i agree that both of these areas could use better access to rapid transit. that said, you've probably already seen my take on it, as seen here in it's latest revision (!!!!) : the white line forking off of the green routes north of frontenac serves to irrigate the eastern end of the plateau area, connecting the nord-east of montreal-north & rdp through pie-ix. oh and wouldn't you know it, there is a subway+tram station just east of d'Iberville of course this doesn't do much for the western end of the plateau / mile-end district, but i do believe that both the parc avenue & st-joseph blvd tram routes proposed on my plan would more than bridge the gap between the different subway routes surrounding the area (and you can count 5 of them, which isn't bad at all). they'd also promote short distance commuting within those neighborhoods. rosey12387, got more routes? i'm always curious to see the works of others
  4. Quebec to limit family doctors next year Aaron Derfel Gazette health reporter Friday, November 28, 2008 Despite a shortage of doctors across the province, the Quebec government is planning to issue fewer permits than the actual number of graduates in family medicine next year, The Gazette has learned. A total of 238 doctors are expected to complete their residencies in family medicine and pass their board exams in 2009. However, the government is counting on issuing 220 permits, according to the Quebec Federation of General Practitioners. The gap stems from a five-year-old permits policy aimed at making sure that young doctors start their careers in short-staffed regions across the province. In the past, the government had issued more permits than the graduating class, and some regions had a harder recruiting new doctors. This year, however, the government has decided to keep a tight lid on permits to make sure that all regions are able to hire new doctors. But the policy - known as Plans régionaux d'effectifs médicaux or PREMs - has actually backfired and led to an exodus of mostly anglophone, Quebec-trained doctors quitting the province for Ontario and elsewhere, say critics. "It's absurd," said Mark Roper, a Westmount family physician, who is also chairman of the medical manpower committee of the Regional Department of General Medicine of Montreal. "It's almost like they're pushing young doctors out of the province." Most new doctors prefer to practise in Montreal rather than in small rural communities. Quebec has offered doctors financial carrots to work in the Far North, but it has used the stick to get them to practise in La Mauricie, the Outaouais and other regions. Before the PREMs, new doctors who decided to stay in Montreal were docked 30 per cent of their billings for the first three years of their careers. Most doctors toughed it out, so the government switched to the more restrictive PREM system. Each year, the Health Department - in co-operation with the federation of GPs - decides on a certain number of positiongs for the 15 regions of Quebec. Newly-graduated doctors must then apply for positions in a number of regions. Most apply to work in Montreal as their first choice, and if they don't get accepted, they are more likely to get hired by another region. For Montreal, the government has decided to issue only 54 permits even though the city has a shortage of about 300 family doctors. If new doctors decide to stay in Montreal, their billings will be docked by 25 per cent, not for the first three years but their entire careers. Figures obtained by The Gazette show that recruitment was actually higher before the PREMs system went into effect in every region except La Mauricie. So where have all those young doctors gone? Coincidentally, Quebec has been a net exporter of doctors to other provinces in the past five years, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Serge Dulude, director of planning at the federation of GPs, confirmed the gap between the number of permits to be issued and the graduating class. But he said that these are projections and adjustments can be made. Some doctors might decide to pursue another medical specialization apart from family medicine. Others might fail their board exams. There are also young doctors who go on sick or maternity leaves, and so won't be applying for a PREM. "Besides that, some decide to take a break and to travel for a year, some decide not to go into medicine (after all), and some decide to leave Quebec." Health Minister Yves Bolduc has defended the PREMs policy as necessary, saying that without it some regions would have even bigger shortages of doctors. Marie-Éve Bédard, Bolduc's press attaché, provided The Gazette with different figures, but they still show a gap. She said that the government is projecting next year 217 new doctors, or new billers as it prefers to call them. At the same time, the governmet expects to issue 211 PREMs. However, she said that some regions still have PREMs that have gone unfilled from previous years, and when those are included, the true total is 235. Still, the federation of GPs is projecting a graduating class of 238. "It's totally false to suggest that this incites new doctors to practise elsewhere," Bédard said of the PREMs policy. "We're aware that there is a shortage and we have designed a plan to make sure that there is a fair distribution of doctors in all regions." Even so, the Quebec College of Physicians has criticized the PREMs policy as restrictive, and most doctors bitterly complain about it. Doris Streg, a Montreal GP who graduated in 1978, described the PREMs system as "magical thinking." The government is "not discussing the real bottleneck, which is the PREMs," Streg said in an email. "No matter how many new doctors are graduated, there will be no increase in availability of GPs to Montrealers unless this policy is removed." [email protected] © Montreal Gazette 2008
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