Media Releases

Angus Reid – Montreal Economic Institute poll – Budget: the government must reduce the number of civil servants

Montreal, March 16, 2009 – According to an Angus Reid poll commissioned by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), 56% of Quebecers want the government, in a context of economic crisis and lower revenues, to balance its finances by reducing the number of civil servants. Only 7% favour higher fees for public services.

In addition, unions are seen by nearly half of respondents as a force that is blocking necessary change in a negative way. Only 27% see unions as a positive force, which is noteworthy considering that more than 39% of Quebec workers are union members.

The poll was conducted among 801 persons on March 6 and 7, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The MEI commissioned the poll in early March, before a serious scandal broke out in the construction wing of the Quebec Federation of Labour.

MEI president Michel Kelly-Gagnon says “the government will need courage in getting its own house in order before asking Quebecers to make further sacrifices.” He will be available Monday to comment on the poll.

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and education organization. Through studies and speeches, the MEI contributes to debate on public policy in Quebec and across Canada, suggesting reforms for wealth creation based on market mechanisms.

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Information and interview requests: André Valiquette, Director of communications, Montreal Economic Institute, Tel.: (514) 273-0969 ext.. 2225 / Cell: (514) 574-0969 / E-mail: avaliquette (@iedm.org)

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