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Andre Pratt: Federal predicament is a threat to national unity

Recently, when Quebecs were thinking about federal government, they were not impressed

Frustrated travellers line up at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport on June 29, amid worker shortages and slowdowns.
On June 29, frustrated travelers arrive at Montreal Pierre Elliott Tordeau International Airport amid labor shortages and slowdowns. lining up. Photo: Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

Like most Canadians, Quebecs interact relatively with the federal government. there's only a little. When members face difficulties, they usually call state representatives instead of MPs.

Most "close to human" government services (health care, school, day care, etc.) are provided by the state government, while Ottawa handles passports, customs, and so on. , Immigration and employment insurance. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the federal governmenthas significantly increased its costs and labor forcesince the outbreak of the pandemic, virtually all services controlled by the Government of Canada are now functioning. Is not ...

Recently, when Quebecs were thinking about the federal government, they were not impressed. Why can't G7 countries issue passports within 3 months? Why can't I process immigrant files in months instead of years? Why can't the government guarantee that major airports have sufficient security and customs officers to handle travelers within an acceptable time frame?

Le Journal de Montréal reported this week that a newly unemployed man has been waiting for his first unemployment check for nearly three months. It seems that his file needs to be processed by "civil servant level 2". This explains the delay ...

Remember the sponsorship scandal, a large (and corrupt) advertising program developed by the Quebec government to increase the federal government in Quebec. Visibility. What we are seeing these days is the opposite.

Sovereign columnist Joseph Facal quickly emphasized the "grave incompetence" of the federal government and compared it to the more sensitive attitude of the Quebec government. Its lazy indifference, sense of distance, flying over ordinary people, living on another planet that covers federal civil servants.

How can the Government of Canada claim that it is advantageous to be part of the Commonwealth if it is unable to provide a responsible basic program? According to a survey by the Environics Annual Union, even before this latest turmoil, the percentage of Quebecs who believe that Canadian federalism is more advantageous than the disadvantages to Quebec was from 51% in 1998 to 2022. Dropped to 43%.

This trend is not unique to Quebec. Canadians in other regions are also skeptical about the benefits of federalism. Fortunately, other data points from that survey are more promising. For example, in the last two years, the percentage of Quebecs in Francophone who feel "Quebec only" has dropped from 22% to 12%, while the percentage of Canadians and Quebecs who feel equal has dropped from 18% to 25%. Increased. ..

According to the same survey, 80% of French-speaking Quebécois feel to some extent both Quebec and Canadian. Quebécois, for example, know that Canadian passports abroad are very valuable.

It is not permitted to continue the breakdown of services provided by the Government of Canada. Canadians with heavy taxes cannot afford to receive these services efficiently and in a timely manner. It's bad for the country because it weakens the confidence that Canadians have in their government.

This, and because repairing large government machinery is clearly a complex task, should be a priority for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet. Issuing statements and tweets about abortion in Ukraine and the United States is fine, but if the government is unable to deliver passports or unemployment checks, it is your responsibility and obligation to return from a mundane trip and get to work. is.

This frustrating situation will continue unless bureaucrats feel pressure from the Prime Minister himself. Cabinet members like to appear at the airport when refugees arrive. Why don't you show up at the airport or passport office now?

A relatively small number of Quebécois celebrated Canada Day yesterday. For most of us, the real national holiday is June 24th, Fêtenationale. This does not mean that Quebécois do not feel connected to Canada. But today, general emotions are indifferent. If the Trudeau government is not tackling the current bureaucratic turmoil head-on, it can easily turn into anger.

National Post

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