Let the good times roll … in Quebec City


As our National Assembly reaches the end of its current session — who works in summer, after all? — our Premier summed everything up thus, “votre gouvernement agit sur les grandes priorités pour bâtir un Québec plus vert, plus prospère et plus fier.”

He failed to mention that these great priorities apply largely to himself, his party, and all members of the Assembly (including our own MNA, although not a CAQ member). One shinning “grand priority” of this session, and which colours virtually all that this CAQ government has accomplished, is to give themselves, roughly, a 30% pay raise.

No doubt this raise is to match the huge pay increases that all Quebecois have received over the year. No?… what, you didn’t get a 30% pay increase? Goodness, you must be in a strange profession — you can’t set your own salary? Do any of us in the Pontiac not set our own pay, every year? What!

Maybe it’s time to run for the National Assembly, especially as a member of CAQ, the party François Legault himself founded. Now, we can understand, he founded this not because the Liberals were staggering groggily after wreaking our health system, the PQ irrelevant, and Quebec-Solidaire a bunch of whining eco-lefties. Even Quebec’s Conservative Party, resurrected from the “radios-poubelles” (“garbage radio”) movement, didn’t threaten a single seat in their
stronghold region.

Mr Legault has the power to set his own pay and working conditions, all part of his job as protector of all that is chauvinistic and Duplessis-like in modern Quebec society — what an image he leaves for Quebec’s history! Our question here is how can it be justified that employees of “the people of Quebec” can set their own pay and working conditions, no matter what anyone is being paid. Has Legault toured Quebec to gather consent for this? No?

The CAQ has their majority. Nothing else matters …well, apart from Quebeckers’ ability to pay them their 30% pay hike (plus astronomical pensions).

We must also avoid the opposite extreme, assuming that legislators are, largely, scam artists. We’d be mistaken that an Assembly staffed by “ordinary people” (firemen, teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.) would be better — it is a complex job and the halls of power are not so easily navigated that any “common person” could do as professional and speedy as job as our legislators manage. But … 30%?

Being a doctor is not for everyone, either; yet we don’t allow them to set their own pay rates, do we? Why are legislators different — and what are you and I going to do about it, on that single day every
four years or so, on voting day? Approve a 30% wage hike, yes or no?