PQ must make up for $1 billion shortfall elsewhere

Marc Lalonde
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Retroactive tax is unfair and should be shelved immediately

The Parti Quebecois decision to retroactively raise 2012 income taxes on individuals making over $130,000 reeks of financial desperation. It's a product of a number of different factors, not the least of which was the PQ's failure, whether by accident or by design, to publish anything relating to their economic or fiscal platform in the campaign leading up to the Sept. 4 provincial election. Unfortunately, now Quebecers are stuck with an extra tax assessment. As the Montreal Gazette so eloquently put it in an editorial last week, this retroactive tax is the equivalent of the baker who made a loaf of bread you bought weeks ago and ate demanding a higher price for the bread you`ve already eaten. Or, to put it more bluntly, it`s the schoolyard bully holding you upside down to steal your lunch money from two days earlier. It`s not right and it`s not fair. Changing the game`s rules in mid-stream might work well for three-year-olds who are trying to win a game of tag, but for taxpayers in the real world, it`s nothing short of ludicrous.  It`s dishonest and it reeks of formulating policy on the fly – something West Islanders are familiar with, after Jean Charest`s Liberal government changed the rules of democracy in the 2004 de-merger referendum, attaching a 35-per-cent-of-the-voters-list rule that said a certain threshold of voters must vote in order to make the results binding. In fact, the PQ is already wavering on the issue, given the fact new finance minister Nicolas Marceau said Thursday the minority government is `flexible` on how to make up the $1 billion that will not be collected.  Quebec voters, on the other hand, are free to be as `flexible` as the PQ has been when they cast their next ballot. The over-under on the PQ`s minority? Twelve months, we think.

Pointe Claire Village falling on hard times recently

First, it was the rumoured – and confirmed – closure of the Pointe Claire Village Canada Post branch that was upsetting to Pointe Claire Villagers – and others. Then came the closure of the Pointe Claire Village grocery store, re-opened just last spring, around the end of August. Now, on the heels of a major graffiti attack, residents and merchants are wondering what may come next. Is there an answer to ending the general malaise? No one`s really sure, but finding an investor to re-open the grocery store should be at the top of that list.

Organizations: Parti Quebecois, Montreal Gazette, Pointe Claire Village Canada Post

Geographic location: Pointe Claire Village, Quebec

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