I will be heading overseas again, but before going, just wanted to update on the provincial scene. New Brunswick just had their election recently and had I lived there, I would have voted for the PCs led by Blaine Higgs since I believe his plan of less government spending and making New Brunswick more attractive for business will help stop the downward spiral. I was glad to see Gallant lose his majority, so this along with Ontario election is hopefully a wake up call to Trudeau that raising taxes and running deficits without any plan to balance the budget is not the way to go.
However in the case of Quebec, my endorsement unlike the other two provincial elections this year is for the Liberals led by Philippe Couillard. Asides from his immigration policies, I generally support a lot of what is in the CAQ platform, but I believe the first question one needs to ask before voting is has the current government done a good enough job to deserve re-election. If the answer is yes, then I believe they should be voted back in regardless of what the opposition offers. Only if the government has done an okay or bad job do you look elsewhere. In the case of Philippe Couillard’s Liberals, I can say emphatically he has done a good job and definitely deserves to be re-elected. When he came to office in 2014, Quebec was in a fiscal mess. Thanks to his strong fiscal discipline, Quebec has the largest surplus in over 45 years, money that can be used to spend more on programs particularly health care which is underfunded. Money that can be used to reduce Quebec’s crushingly high taxes. With the strength of the union movement in the public sector in Quebec, making the tough choices to turn the province around was never going to be easy. Jean Charest tried this, but backed down under pressure. So I believe a premier who was able to accomplish what most thought was not possible absolutely deserves another term. By defeating the Quebec Liberals, this is sending the wrong message that leaders should avoid tough choices lest they face defeat. If as polls suggest Francois Legault of the CAQ wins, I will judge his record next time around and if he does a good job, I may recommend him being re-elected, but as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing, and unlike neighbouring New Brusnwick or Ontario which clearly did need a change in government, Quebec does not.