Forests are a big part of life in Quebec. In economic terms, this sector generates nearly 90,000 direct jobs paying $3.2 billion in wages. Some commentators are worried about what lies ahead for our forests. What is really happening? Will we soon be facing a shortage of wood? Is greater intervention by public authorities likely to lead to a more sustainable use of Quebec forests?
In the late 1990s, the Quebec government put in place a number of incentives worth more than 2 billion dollars in order to attract related firms in designated zones. This "cités industrielles" policy, whose most prominent examples are Montreal's Cité Multimédia and Cité du commerce électronique, and Quebec City's Centre national des nouvelles technologies, seeks to create "synergies" between firms and to revitalize certain urban areas. This policy is not based on any detailed analysis.
The Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools provides an annual, independent measurement of the extent to which each school meets basic needs. The Report Card thus serves several purposes. For one thing, it facilitates school improvement, and for parents who have a choice between several educational institutions, it can help them make an enlightened decision.
Despite strong local opposition, the government of Quebec has forged ahead with its ambitious project of municipal reorganization. This means that beginning January 1st, 2002, the 28 municipalities on the island of Montreal will be amalgamated into a single city divided into 27 boroughs; elsewhere in the province, dozens of other municipalities have also been forced to merge. However, the debate over the merits of this reorganization is set to continue.
We are proposing a new approach to the financing, insuring and delivery of medical and hospital services. While retaining universal entitlement to Medicare insurance, as a core publicly funded service, we propose a new concept of universal private choice. This includes Medicare, as well as voluntary private medical, hospital and health insurance alternatives, as exist in all other OECD countries. Our aim is to improve quality, access and choice for all Canadians.
There seems to be a view among Canadian governments that the domestic market and interprovincial trade are not important. Canada as a country doesn’t have enforceable trade rules. Provincial governments can and do use their legislative and regulatory powers to protect local interests and limit trade in their markets. We also don’t have an effective mechanism to ensure that our domestic market is functioning the very best it can to support and sustain export growth in the future.
The electricity industry has seen a lot of transformations since the 1980s. Privatizations, deregulations, opening of markets: new forms of organization have come up that question the model of regulation inspired by the theories of natural monopoly. This volume is an overview of a complex economic process which appears irreversible, despite the problems that badly conceived deregulations are causing in California and elsewhere.
Some public statements in the media on the topic of poverty contain exaggerations and even downright falsehoods. We often get the impression that low-income people are very numerous and that this is a permanent condition for most of them. This perception in fact runs counter to reality. The duration of poverty is one area where social mobility research can provide answers. Greater social mobility is allowing for better adaptation to continuing economic change.
"The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer." Here is an oft-repeated assertion that serves as a ready-made conclusion for debates on various topics, from free trade to tax reductions. Indeed, one broadly held view is that economic growth does not benefit the poor. The revenue of the poor might not increase at all or not increase as fast as that of the rich, so that economic growth would create more inequality. What do the facts tell us?
This Economic Note examines the growth of Canadian government over the last few decades and provide some empirical estimates of the cost of this government expansion on the lives of Canadians generally and Quebecers in particular. Like many medicines, a small dose of government may lead to a healthy and vigorous society, but it can be a dangerous poison if taken in too large a dose.