5 Things That Will Happen If Quebec Separates

There are two questions that I consider when I think about the Quebec sovereignty movement – one is ‘why won’t it happen ?’ and the second question I ask myself is, ‘what if it does happen?’ I think that the answers to ‘what if it does happen?’ are in some ways the best way to argue that it never will happen. So I’ll jump right into 5 things that I think will happen if Quebec separates.

I will make a fundamental assumption here – that the new country of Quebec retains most or all of its territory. I am making this assumption because this is what separatists think they will get in a referendum win, so it highlights even more dramatically the consequences of separation in some ways. Also, note that this is only my opinion – it is very difficult to predict exactly what will happen, but I’ll give it a go. I do find it amusing that there are many Quebec separatists out there that believe after Quebec separates, everything will continue business as usual – this is simply delusional thinking and it takes a simple thought experiment to come to that conclusion.

I will use data from 2009 for the economic numbers (Statistics Canada) to back up point 3. These numbers are 5 years old (best I could do for a complete set of data), but the trend is somewhat the same (or worse) right up until 2013 for Quebec when the latest data is available.

Note that some of the points below are co-related.

1. Businesses will leave the province

By making the assumption that Quebec will retain all of its territory, including Montreal, there will be many businesses that will leave Quebec. I don’t expect this to be the worst consequence of separation because so many businesses have already left and the major ones remaining are more or less Quebecois companies (especially in the technology sector). I don’t see Bombardier, CGI, or SNC Lavalin leaving Quebec for example. However, there will be quite a few smaller scale enterprises that will leave for various reasons – principle, migration of employees and workforce out of the province, and lost sales.

I would expect the sectors that will be hit the hardest (in fact devastated) will be restaurants, retail, entertainment, real estate, insurance as well as downstream sectors such as agriculture, raw materials, processing, logistics, procurement, transportation, energy, services. The companies that would be least affected would be Quebec based or international companies in the following sectors: technology, pharmaceuticals, and the public sector.

Read on to discover the reasons why these areas will be affected.

2. A minimum of 1.5 million people will leave the new country to start off

1.5 million people will leave the province in a ‘first wave’ and possibly another 1 million over the course of several years as the new country experiences increasing hardship. Of course this is a rough estimate and probably on the conservative side as well. My estimate is based on the fact that the entire Anglophone community will leave the province + a good contingent of the Allophone population. Let’s state the choice in words that will be given citizens that are living in Quebec after a referendum win: you can either stay in an unproven and increasingly impoverished country in which thousands are fleeing every day and renounce your Canadian citizenship, or you can go on living in one of the freest, richest countries on earth. Doesn’t sound like a particularly difficult choice to make. Personally, I’d have my bags packed and house on the market well before the referendum campaign even started.

3. Lost revenue

One of the major arguments for Quebec separatists is that they pay all kinds of money to the federal government and that this money will be repatriated when Quebec becomes a sovereign nation. Pauline Marois even went to the podium a few weekends ago and reminded her zealous followers about how Quebec is paying for shipbuilding in the Maritimes and auto industry in Ontario.

What they forget to tell you is that money will be required for equivalent services in Quebec. Not only equivalent services, but start-up costs to for example, create a postal system, a military, infrastructure.

Furthermore, the PQ never mentions how Quebec benefits from equalization payments in their propaganda. Quebec received a whopping $ 8,355 billion in equalization payments in 2009 – way more than any other province. Ontario received nothing this same year with a population that is 5 million greater than Quebec. Furthermore, since Quebec’s contribution to the equalization program was 18.4 % of the total contribution of $ 14,4 billion for that year, Quebec benefited from a net gain of $ 5.7 billion in equalization payments for the year of 2009. Since 2009, the trend is quite similar – Quebec benefits way more than any other province from the equalization program. To be fair, Ontario has received some equalization payments since 2009 when it received none, but still nothing compared to Quebec.

You will hear separatists argue that some of the Atlantic provinces have a higher equalization per capita (in other words, if you divide the payment they receive by the total population). This is true, but they don’t mention that administration costs are higher per capita because these provinces have much lower populations, they have an economy that is highly reliant (but less so in recent years) on fisheries and that they are at a serious geographic disadvantage to Quebec (proximity to major Canadian and America cities). So it is like comparing apples to oranges – Quebec is the second largest economy in Canada, so shouldn’t we stick to comparing it to Alberta or Ontario?

What makes statements made by Marois even more ludicrous, is that Quebec contributed $ 3 billion to the federal budget deficit in 2009. So, I am not sure how the economist working for Marois came to the conclusion that Quebec pays for shipbuilding in the maritimes or the auto industry in Ontario, but I guess it makes for great propaganda for separatist zealots – it takes about 10 minutes of research to see how false this statement is.

source: 1. please see document ‘The Canadian Equalization Program: Main Elements, Achievement and Challenges’ by Quebec think tank ‘The Federal Idea’. 2. Statistics Canada: Consolidated provincial and territorial government revenue and expenditures, by province and territory 

4. Housing bubble

The housing collapse in the USA, which effectively began in 2006, left millions of Americans homeless and personally bankrupt. Even though the circumstances that led up to the housing bubble in the USA are dramatically different than Quebec separating, the end result would be the same: massive increase in housing inventory, driving housing prices through the floor, leaving people with mortgages they can’t pay for on houses that are worth nothing.

How will this happen? If the families of 1 million people sell their homes in a short period of time to get out of the province, I figure Montreal will look something like Detroit fairly rapidly. Couple this with massive job losses and you have a recipe for total disaster. This will unfortunately have an effect on banks and mortgage brokers, but since many of these institutions have a national presence, they will most likely recover quite well as people migrate and settle in other provinces and take up mortgages. The worst hit bank will most likely be Desjardins, which has a strong presence in Quebec and a weaker presence in Ontario and other provinces.

5. Psycological/human toll

It is rarely considered just how much of a toll this will take on the people, if we forget the economics for a minute. Quebec families are integrated across multiple ethnicities, languages and cultures and creeds. Quebec separating will effectively destroy this harmony, especially in Montreal. My own family (extended included) is a mix of Francophones, Anglophones, Swiss, German among others (speaking all of these languages at the dinner table during family reunions). I can’t imagine the prospect of part of my family living in a different country.

This leads me to my final point: before the PQ started systematically dividing us, I can’t recall not having as much solidarity with Francophones as I do with Anglophones. Close your eyes, and remember what it is like before the PQ and you will see just how good they are at messing with our heads.

I am sure I can add many other points, but I will leave it to you to fill in the blanks!

A simple exercise such as the one I have done above reveals that, because of the consequences, Quebec is highly unlikely to separate any time soon. What do you think?

14 thoughts on “5 Things That Will Happen If Quebec Separates

  1. There is one other potential problem to Quebec separation that I have wondered about and yet have never seen discussed. And that is; how might the United States react? Since Quebec is geographically located on both sides of the St. Lawrence River it in effact controls the entrance to the seaway and the Great Lakes including all shipping ports in both Canada and the U.S. I don’t see the U.S. standing idly by and allowing Quebec to disrupt the flow of ships in and out of the Great Lakes. I would appreciate your informed opinion. Thank You/Merci.

    • Hi Raymond, I believe that Quebec would have to re-negotiate the various treaties surrounding the St-Lawrence river. I don’t think that Quebec would actively seek to disrupt the flow of ships – it really wouldn’t be in their best interest to make enemies with the USA. However , more broadly, I think that US foreign policy towards Quebec would seek to take advantage of the fact that the new country will be geo-politically and financially very weak. For example, Quebec would need to borrow money to finance basic services because of collapsing revenues + they may need to hire consultants to help run the country. There would be reluctant to go to Canada for this. The USA may end up ‘owning’ Quebec in a sense because of this.

    • Roger,
      Ton raisonnement unilangue, ne cible pas l’idée principale de l’article, donc tu ne deserve pas l’honneur d’exclamer Bravo quand tu manque de subjectivité, comme on dirais en anglais .. ” The illiterate are not those who cannot read and write,
      but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn ”

  2. This come from an economist who have been vice-president at Morgan Stanley Capital International
    -Perequation

    the idea to remember that Canadian perequation is one of the worst in the OCDE and that money saved by not paying double for federal/provincial will be greater than perequation.
    -The Debt

    The idea to remember is that Québec is less in debt than other OCDE countries and if there is seperation and if we take our part of Canada’s debt (we surely will), then there will also be a seperation of Canada assets (military, postal service, …)
    -Why would we want to seperate

    The idea to remember is that we want to separate to make our laws, taxes and treaty according to our values and interest and that EVERY country that has seperated never wanted to go back.

    Also I find it hard to to belive that 1.5 millions of people will leave Quebec to relocate to Canada, or elsewhere and an other 1 million after.
    Sociology has shown that 95% will be born and die in a 50km circonference. (I don’t remember the exact numbers, but the general idea was that most people will not move by far over their lives). Sure, there will be people leaving, but certainly not the ~30% that you estimated. People have jobs, friends, houses, lives here and most will not leave that to start all over again.

    Same for the compagnies, they have their employees, their market, infrastructures here and there is a cost associated with moving out.

  3. You are grossly misinformed and/or make ridiculous assumptions on a number of points:

    ” I do find it amusing that there are many Quebec separatists out there that believe after Quebec separates, everything will continue business as usual – this is simply delusional thinking and it takes a simple thought experiment to come to that conclusion.”

    Because you have encountered, I haven’t personally, sovereigntists that are this delusional does not mean, not even close, that the movement in general is. That’s why the PQ spent money and efforts on studies of the impact of indepedance. In there was even a Commission parlementaire that was dedicaded to this role, you can find the list of the 67 studies/reports they have done or received on a plethora of subjects here : http://www.saic.gouv.qc.ca/institutionnelles_constitutionnelles/commission_etude_souverainete.htm

    “1.5 million people will leave the province in a ‘first wave’ and possibly another 1 million over the course of several years as the new country experiences increasing hardship.”

    This is a baseless assumption, at least until you provide it. Sure, there were Anglophones, perhaps thousands of them, that were scared of the previous 2 referendums and decided to move. Although not enough to make a serious dent on the population growth at least for the year 1995 (+27 000 as per Statcan, evaluated for July 1, same for period 95->96 and 96->97). And that raises the question, because you did mention you won’t wait for the results to pack and sell your house, were you old enough to do exactly that during the last referendum? If not, perhaps you should re-evaluate your judgement on the number of Anglophones that will decide to stop being part of the nation in which they spent most of their lives.

    “What they forget to tell you is that money will be required for equivalent services in Quebec. Not only equivalent services, but start-up costs to for example, create a postal system, a military, infrastructure.”

    Here, you make the assumption that Québec would run exactly the same as the Canadian federation after doing independence. This is obviously a big mistake, but sure, there will be costs to make the transition, but :

    1- All sovereigntists, and I sincerely hope most of the population, are well aware that equalization payments would stop and it’s usually the first argument when talking about the budget, no one is trying to hide this. Considering we are paying more than 7 times that amount in taxes and contributions, this is obviously insufficient to make a point.
    2- Québec has historically been against the wars in which Canada has participated. It’s a dubious statement, at best, to say that Québec would spend proportionally the same amount as the federal government does. That is, of course, assuming that Québec would decide to maintain an army which it really doesn’t NEED.
    3- I’m pretty certain that infrastructures would remain on the territory. AFAIK roads, bridges and airports can’t move out of the province. Sure, the maintenance costs would be transfered, but we’re not talking about billions of dollars annually.
    4- Equivalent services : that’s actually one of the strong arguments in favour of independence, because there are services and ministries that are already doubled: revenue agency, international trade, environment, culture. In terms of other services, well 2/3 of it (157G$ for 2009) is made up of transfers to individuals, businesses and governments. Out of that Québec received 36.2G$ in 2009 (or 23%) and that includes equalization.

    So, the real question is : out of the 79G$ unaccounted by transfers in the federal budget, would it cost Québec more than 14G$ to fulfill the same services? Take 6.7G$ for the debt service and the answer still remains : probably not.

    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l02/cst01/govt02b-fra.htm
    http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/statistiques/economie/comparaisons-economiques/interprovinciales/tableau-statistique-canadien.pdf

    “You will hear separatists argue that some of the Atlantic provinces have a higher equalization per capita […]. This is true, but they don’t mention that administration costs are higher per capita because these provinces have much lower populations, they have an economy that is highly reliant (but less so in recent years) on fisheries and that they are at a serious geographic disadvantage to Quebec (proximity to major Canadian and America cities).”

    You seem to forget you are talking about equalization and not social programs such as employment insurance. Sure, it takes some calculation for the equalization and there are costs to transfer the money, but we’re not looking at hundreds of employees administering the program. That’s probably the program where ratio of administrative costs vs money transferred is the lowest.

    The reasons why the higher equalization per capita are elsewhere entirely, but I would challenge you in providing a credible sovereigntist source (joe the blogger doesn’t represent the majority you depict) that maintains this argument at all.

    “What makes statements made by Marois even more ludicrous, is that Quebec contributed $ 3 billion to the federal budget deficit in 2009.”

    What are you talking about? How does the provincial government increases the federal debt? Sure, Québec would receive its share of the Federal debt if it became independent, but that doesn’t mean Québec is the reason why the federal debt increased…

    “Even though the circumstances that led up to the housing bubble in the USA are dramatically different than Quebec separating, the end result would be the same: massive increase in housing inventory, driving housing prices through the floor, leaving people with mortgages they can’t pay for on houses that are worth nothing.”

    This is completely inverted logic. Assuming there was indeed a flood of housing units on the market because so many people moved out, that would not magically “leave” the people staying with a bigger mortgage to pay. You see, the core reason behind the housing burst in the U.S. is that people received mortgages they couldn’t pay in the first place and it’s only when people stopped paying that the market was flooded with houses.

    But yes, if the people leaving Québec decide to stop payment that would definitely create a problem for THEM (not the one who still can pay their mortgage) and drive prices down… Which will, get that, in turn attract people to the province to purchase cheap cheap housing units.

    “Quebec separating will effectively destroy this harmony, especially in Montreal.”

    You don’t even try to explain why, good job.

    Final note, you forgot to fulfill your promise of point 1 : “Read on to discover the reasons why these areas will be affected.”

    • Hi Simon-Pierre,

      Here is my response to each one of your responses to my original blog. I posted what you said and under it, my follow-up.

      A. YOU: Because you have encountered, I haven’t personally, sovereigntists that are this delusional does not mean, not even close, that the movement in general is. That’s why the PQ spent money and efforts on studies of the impact of indepedance. In there was even a Commission parlementaire that was dedicaded to this role, you can find the list of the 67 studies/reports they have done or received on a plethora of subjects here : http://www.saic.gouv.qc.ca/institutionnelles_constitutionnelles/commission_etude_souverainete.htm

      ME: I never said that all separatists are delusional. Why is quite obvious is that many separatists consistantly omit the fact that Quebec will undergo substantial hardship if it separates. If you consistenly ignore this fact, and continue talking about indepenence as if it were a blissful transition into a wonderful utopia where the Quebecois people can build their own dream country is quite delusional. And by the way, you don’t need a Harvard graduate to crunch numbers – it is obvious that Quebec will experience hardship. Quebecois people have been a part of Canada for 400 years, and by that fact have already contributed enormously to THIS country.

      B. YOU: This is a baseless assumption, at least until you provide it. Sure, there were Anglophones, perhaps thousands of them, that were scared of the previous 2 referendums and decided to move. Although not enough to make a serious dent on the population growth at least for the year 1995 (+27 000 as per Statcan, evaluated for July 1, same for period 95->96 and 96->97). And that raises the question, because you did mention you won’t wait for the results to pack and sell your house, were you old enough to do exactly that during the last referendum? If not, perhaps you should re-evaluate your judgement on the number of Anglophones that will decide to stop being part of the nation in which they spent most of their lives.

      ME: Not baseless at all, but difficult to predict – as I stated at the beginning of the blog, this was my opinion and that I would ‘give it a go’, meaning this is by no means a scientific study. As of 2011, there were 767,415 individuals in Quebec that listed Anglophone as their mother tongue. I wouldn’t be surprised if literally all of them left in the event of a referendum win. Sorry mon ami, but Anglophones are categorically and unanimously opposed to Quebec separating from Canada. Take this 715,000 and add another 715,000 from an admixture of Francophones and Allophones as a rough estimate, and you have roughly 1.5 million – I believe this estimate is conservative. Furthermore, there is a massive distinction between a referendum (threat of separation) and the province actually separating – the latter is considerably more serious and will mean considerably higher rate of out-migration from the province.

      C. YOU: Here, you make the assumption that Québec would run exactly the same as the Canadian federation after doing independence. This is obviously a big mistake, but sure, there will be costs to make the transition, but :

      ME (see your original points, I didn’t copy them for brevity):

      1. Insufficient to make a point? If I understand you correctly, that if Quebecers are paying 7 times that amount in taxes, for equivalent services (everything else being equal because the exercise becomes too complex otherwise) that means that Quebec will have to raise taxes by 14 % (1/7) to have the equivalent services as they did when they were part of the Canada (by the equalization to tax proportion that you mentioned). You are simply reinforcing my argument.

      2. Canada occasionally sends ‘peacekeepers’ to various troubled areas of the world (wars that were started by others). Canada has not technically participated in a war since the Korean war in the 1950’s. So I am not sure who is telling you about these various wars that Canada apparently fights.

      3. Infrastructure. I am not only referring to upkeep of infrastructure. You seem to forget that the postal service, military installations, federal penitentiaries, bridges, government administration buildings, etc.. are not owned by a country called Quebec – who is going to pay for these federally owned buildings? Do you think that Quebec is going to take ownership of this infrastrucure? Perhaps a gift from Canada for being such a gracious former province? I don’t think so.

      4. How can you say ‘probably not’ when you don’t have a clear breakdown of how these funds are spent and what the net advantage for Quebec is? Not enough info to back up your claim.

      D. YOU: You seem to forget you are talking about equalization and not social programs such as employment insurance. Sure, it takes some calculation for the equalization and there are costs to transfer the money, but we’re not looking at hundreds of employees administering the program. That’s probably the program where ratio of administrative costs vs money transferred is the lowest.

      The reasons why the higher equalization per capita are elsewhere entirely, but I would challenge you in providing a credible sovereigntist source (joe the blogger doesn’t represent the majority you depict) that maintains this argument at all.

      ME: What I mean when I justify the higher per capita equalization is that if you have equivalent services in the Maritimes, you may end up having one administrator servicing lets say 1000 people in Nova Scotia instead of 10,000 in Quebec. Dividing this persons salary by the population means it is more costly per citizen to maintain similar services. My girlfriend works for the government of Canada, so trust me,
      I know exactly how this works – it is not necessarily perfectly efficient, but it guarantees all Canadians similar service.

      E. YOU: What are you talking about? How does the provincial government increases the federal debt? Sure, Québec would receive its share of the Federal debt if it became independent, but that doesn’t mean Québec is the reason why the federal debt increased

      ME: I never said that the provincial government increases the debt. What I mean is that the services rendered by the federal government in Quebec cost more than the total federal tax revenue collected for Quebec, thus contributing to the federal budget deficit. This is to refute the ridiculous statement Marois made that Quebecers are somehow paying for the auto industry in Ontario.

      F. YOU: This is completely inverted logic. Assuming there was indeed a flood of housing units on the market because so many people moved out, that would not magically “leave” the people staying with a bigger mortgage to pay. You see, the core reason behind the housing burst in the U.S. is that people received mortgages they couldn’t pay in the first place and it’s only when people stopped paying that the market was flooded with houses.

      ME: You misunderstood me, I didn`t say that the mortgage payments would go up (people will pay the same for their mortgage contingent on the contract they signed before or after a referendum win). But job losses and a weaker economy will make it harder to pay the mortgage. And I understand the US housing bubble quite well thanks😉.

      G.YOU: But yes, if the people leaving Québec decide to stop payment that would definitely create a problem for THEM (not the one who still can pay their mortgage) and drive prices down… Which will, get that, in turn attract people to the province to purchase cheap cheap housing units.

      ME: This is a bizare statement – no comment.

      H. YOU: You don’t even try to explain why, good job.

      ME: I did explain. Francophones, Anglophones, Allophones don’t exist in 3 separate ghettos in Quebec (although this is what Marois would want). I know you separatists want to get rid of all of the Anglophones, but it will necessarily require relationships and families to be fractured – this is plain as day to see.

      • Part 1

        ” Why is quite obvious is that many separatists consistantly omit the fact that Quebec will undergo substantial hardship if it separates.”

        There is nothing omitted, the economical outcome of Québec over a long term period (10-25 years) is highly speculative while it has been acknowledged in the past that there would be short term hardships. You can have your opinion on the matter, but claiming something as “fact” in that regards require to view other extremely debatable views as “fact”.

        ” If you consistenly ignore this fact, and continue talking about indepenence as if it were a blissful transition into a wonderful utopia where the Quebecois people can build their own dream country is quite delusional. ”

        Did you even get the point that I made, the one to which you are replying? We don’t decide to launch dozens of studies when you have delusions of utopia. You launch dozens of studies when you are concerned of what’s going to happen.

        “Quebecois people have been a part of Canada for 400 years, and by that fact have already contributed enormously to THIS country.”

        Wow. Canada didn’t even exist for 400 years, where the hell do you get your “facts” ?

        “Sorry mon ami, but Anglophones are categorically and unanimously opposed to Quebec separating from Canada.Take this 715,000 and add another 715,000 from an admixture of Francophones and Allophones as a rough estimate, and you have roughly 1.5 million – I believe this estimate is conservative.”

        You failed to explain how “being opposed to independence” would equate with “people moving out from the province”. You also failed to explain why you would add another 715,000 that would leave the province. Sure, you gave the reasons, it looks like you picked the number out of thin air.

        “1. Insufficient to make a point? If I understand you correctly, that if Quebecers are paying 7 times that amount in taxes, for equivalent services (everything else being equal because the exercise becomes too complex otherwise) that means that Quebec will have to raise taxes by 14 % (1/7) to have the equivalent services as they did when they were part of the Canada (by the equalization to tax proportion that you mentioned). You are simply reinforcing my argument.”

        If you DON’T take into account the amount of taxes contributed by Québec to the equalization program and you DON’T take into account how the Federal government is spending money, yes that would need a 14% increase in taxes. The IFs are pretty important though, your entire paragraph is useless.

        “2. Canada occasionally sends ‘peacekeepers’ to various troubled areas of the world (wars that were started by others). Canada has not technically participated in a war since the Korean war in the 1950′s. So I am not sure who is telling you about these various wars that Canada apparently fights.”

        Afghanistan, that was not just a peacekeeping mission. All peacekeeping missions to which Canada can participate are done with either the UN or NATO. The UN was not involved in the War in Afghanistan while NATO was there (under the International Security Assistance Force) to provide training and help re-establish a government. Canada has done much more than training military and offer protection to officials during the Battle of Panjwaii, the Siege of Sangin, Battle of Arghandab, Operation Harpoon, Operation Medusa, Operation Hoover, Operation Dragon Strike. All of those (and more obviously) were military operations, not peacekeeping missions.

        “3. Infrastructure. I am not only referring to upkeep of infrastructure. You seem to forget that the postal service, military installations, federal penitentiaries, bridges, government administration buildings, etc.. are not owned by a country called Quebec – who is going to pay for these federally owned buildings? Do you think that Quebec is going to take ownership of this infrastrucure? Perhaps a gift from Canada for being such a gracious former province? I don’t think so.”

        By that reasoning, the Federal debt should not be burdened onto Québec should it decide to separate from the Federation.

        “4. How can you say ‘probably not’ when you don’t have a clear breakdown of how these funds are spent and what the net advantage for Quebec is? Not enough info to back up your claim.”

        Fine. And where’s the clear breakdown that shows it would be a net disadvantage for Québec again? The onus is on you.

      • Part 2

        ” What I mean is that the services rendered by the federal government in Quebec cost more than the total federal tax revenue collected for Quebec, thus contributing to the federal budget deficit.”

        You would have to demonstrate that with a “clear breakdown” to hold this argument.

        “You misunderstood me, I didn`t say that the mortgage payments would go up (people will pay the same for their mortgage contingent on the contract they signed before or after a referendum win). But job losses and a weaker economy will make it harder to pay the mortgage.”

        There is no case study that would help modulating the impact of a developed economy that would secede. The outcome on household’s available income in your mass emigration scenario is highly speculative. Obviously, if that were to occur, there would be dire consequences on say, the GDP and public finances, but you’re pretty much make an argument assuming your premise (the mass emigration) is true, this is called begging the question.

        “I know you separatists want to get rid of all of the Anglophones”

        Don’t accuse me of something I didn’t say ass****, my longtime girlfriend is an Anglophone and I take your baseless accusations very personally. But I’m not surprised, you’re just yet another bloke that doesn’t get it.

  4. I can’t believe some people Will actually take this seriously !?!!!! Was this article writting by a 5 yrs old??!? Thank you Simon-Pierre Lussier and Roger, to have taken the time to put things back in perspective!!!! Really, the anglo community, is thriving on scare tactics….but hey, its been like that forever in Québec!!! Time to wake up my friends!!!!! And yessss, you are my friends, even if you are scared little ones!!! We Will show you the way, of people who have learned to stand up for themselves and ADAPT, for more than 400 years!!!!! You’ll see it aint that hard, but oooooh so rewarding!!!!!!🙂

    • Hi Vivianne,

      I don’t consider myself a modern day Shakespeare, but I don’t know many children of 5 years old that write political blog posts. Anyhow, I guess I will take that comment as a compliment since it makes me feel younger😉.

      Scare tactics? Not at all (and I will respond to Pierre Lussier and Roger when I get more time). And by the way the people of Quebec are my friends as well – but that doesn’t mean I am not entitled to an opinion on what sovereignty means for Quebec – it is after all the place that I live in.

      I never argued either that an independent Quebec won’t prosper in the (very) long run either, I just think that getting there will require a very difficult transition period. I disagree with your comment about ‘show you the way’ – trust me, I am quite happy as a Canadian, and will never (I mean never ever ever) become a citizen of a country called Quebec (did I say ‘never’ ?). I can assure you that there are many other people in Quebec who feel the same way as I do – just look at the polls. I am sorry, it is just not my country, probably in the same way that you feel Canada is not your country.

      You see, Canadians don’t need government to ‘show them the way’.

      For me, Canada is the embodiment of freedom. Freedom of enterprise, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of language. Where hard work gets you somewhere (not protesting in the streets because my tuition is not low enough even though it is already lower than the rest of the planet). There is a current of political thinking in Quebec that has been doing everything it can to suppress freedom – be it through the Catholic Church or separatist politicians and their hateful dogma – forcing people to attend French only schooling, forcing people to dress a certain way in public office. generally trying to control the population. I am really sorry that you continue to live under the boot of your oppressive politicians who justify everything they do against you with ‘we are Quebecois, we are special’.

      And by the way, there are other ways to support and promote the French language in Quebec and Canada than what the PQ has been doing.

  5. Another BIG Problem after massive exodus of population to Canada will be:
    No taxes will be collected from 1 to 1.5 million people. 2/3 will be probably under 18 year old but still. People who are willing and in power to work will be in the front line to leave…not the old ones who collect pension. I wonder how the new Quebec government will collect taxes….I mean….from who?
    They will not have money to maintain the current infrastructure….not mention money for further development. However…the second wave of emigration to the Canada will be formed mainly from pure laine Quebecois…due the lack of opportunities in the new country…where is no job, no salary, no money, no future. The only problem will be their lack of English…Funny after trying to have everything in french only eventually will work only in English.
    Sorry for my english…I am just an emigrant.

  6. Interesting analysis but I don’t agree with the claim that Public Service jobs would remain constant: “The companies that would be least affected would be Quebec based or international companies in the following sectors: technology, pharmaceuticals, and the public sector.”

    Obviously Government of Canada jobs would pull-out of a newly formed country of Quebec; I know the PQ has stated that they would keep these people employed but (a) Quebec would lose a considerable near $6B annual transfer payment and would be in no financial position to “keep” these jobs, (b) Quebec already has a high % of public service jobs per capita by comparison to other provinces and adding tens of thousands more is not feasible, and (c) some employees would suddenly not be eligible to work in Quebec because of their residence would now reside in another country, mainly Ontario (ie. Ottawa home -> Gatineau work) and to a much lesser extent New Brunswick.

    Statistics Canada displays the number of Government of Canada employees in Quebec as 87,067 people (link: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/govt62c-eng.htm) working at over 3,000 federal properties (+4,300 buildings) in Quebec used by departments such as PWGSC, Service Canada, CRA, Canada Post, military, Heritage Canada, federal prisons, etc. (link: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dfrp-rbif/query_question/summary-sommaire-eng.aspx?qid=13923670).

    In Gatineau alone, there are some foundational institutions like Place du Portage (HRSDC, PWGSC), Place Vincent Massey (ENV), De La Chaudiere, and the Museum of Civilization. You may not think the number of Ontario employees working in Quebec to be many – but Place du Portage, an enormous four building Government of Canada complex found in Gatineau is said to be the second largest government building in the world behind the United States Pentagon, and Portage employs between 7,000 and 10,000 people.

    Losing nearly 90,000 jobs for any province would be beyond crippling – and the loss of the nearly $6B in federal transfer payments would spell doom to Quebec’s culture and social assistance as they would know today.

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