The Bloc Québécois unveiled a post-pandemic recovery plan that looks like an electoral platform.
Entitled Quebec chooses. The Bloc acts, the 20-page document addresses issues of health, public finances and the fight against climate change. It was produced after the Bloc’s summer tours to the four corners of Quebec.
“The Bloc Québécois post-COVID recovery plan comes from the regions of Quebec. And we are hopeful that people in the regions of Quebec will recognize themselves in this plan, “boasted Chief Yves-François Blanchet at a press conference Monday morning in Gatineau.
It was supposed to be made public two weeks ago, before the Speech from the Throne, but the administrative segregation of almost all Bloc members and their leader’s positive test complicated matters.
Ignoring these deadlines, Mr. Blanchet presented the document prepared by his party as “infinitely more precise than the Speech from the Throne” and invited other political parties to draw inspiration from it freely.
The Bloc demands to “put an end to the model of dependence on hydrocarbons in order, on the contrary, to promote the transformation of our wealth in Quebec”, we can read.
It is proposed to “invest in the transformation in Quebec of natural resources and the enhancement of the environment in Quebec”, such as renewable energies, forestry, wastewater management and research and development. In particular, money will have to be injected to promote the electrification of transport and facilitate the purchase of zero-emission or hybrid vehicles.
In return, Ottawa will have to stop investing, through subsidies or tax breaks, in fossil fuels in Western Canada. The Bloc would, however, support “significant aid” to help Alberta transition to a “model of sustainable wealth creation.”
The Bloc wants the creation of a commission of inquiry into the pandemic, “in particular to assess the federal government’s level of preparedness, its level of alignment with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the efficiency in the detail of its economic response ”.
Unsurprisingly, the Bloc is rallying to the provinces’ demand and demanding that the federal government unconditionally increase its contribution to health transfers so that it covers 35% of total spending.
The Bloc asks the federal government to “provide projections of public finances for the next three years as soon as Parliament returns”, with the tabling of a budget. An economic update is currently scheduled to be tabled this fall.
In the new revenue column, the Bloc is proposing to end tax avoidance by big business and force web giants to collect GST on their services.
The Bloc would like to “permanently increase Old Age Security by $ 110 per month from age 65 and adapt the guaranteed income supplement so as not to penalize anyone”. For now, Ottawa intends to increase the pension for seniors aged 75 and over only.
It is also proposed to automatically grant the tax credit for home care, as is done in Quebec.
Economy and infrastructure
The Bloc suggests not only providing targeted financial support for the aerospace industry, but implementing a national strategy to help this sector.
It is also asking the federal government to spend 1% of its income on housing.
Quebec flagships weakened by the pandemic should be protected against foreign takeovers, according to the Bloc, by more actively using the Investment Canada Act and by entering into negotiations with Quebec to amend the Business Corporations Act.