Straight Talk
ERIC DUHAIME - PQ ministerís horror story a twisted tale

Bernard Drainville, February 10, 2013.

Credits: FRANCIS MORAN/QMI AGENCY

ERIC DUHAIME | QMI AGENCY

Is Prime Minister Stephen Harper conspiring to destroy Quebec? Really???

According to Bernard Drainville, former French CBC reporter turned Parti Quebecois minister, the federal government is currently stealing Quebec's manpower to provide bodies and sweat to the oilsands in Alberta.

Here goes the script of the PQ's twisted tale: To achieve their mission of assimilating the French-speaking population, the Conservatives - in the pay of the oil and gas industry - have modified the Employment Insurance program so it becomes more enticing for an unemployed skilled worker in Quebec to rent a U-Haul, pack his boxes and move west, leaving his culture and mother tongue behind for a well-paid job in his trade that is waiting for him.

Drainville motivated the PQ grassroots at their national council last weekend by mimicking the scary Harper government and repeating a popular line: "Go west, young man! That the regions of Quebec empty themselves is not important. What matters is the oilsand industry out west. They need our manpower out there and they make sure they'll get it. Our linguistic differences, they couldn't care less. No respect for Quebec's values, regions or identity."

Well, Mr. Drainville, I am shocked to hear you say that not working and waiting to collect a cheque is part of Quebec's values or, even worse, its identity. Shame on you! If you weren't a PQ minister, separatists would lose no time in calling you a Quebec basher.

And, if ever there is such a plot to transform good welfare-dependent francophones living in rural Quebec into angry anglophones leaving their homeland to work their asses off in northern Alberta, isn't the PQ an accomplice? There are natural resources in Quebec. Since its arrival in power last September, Pauline Marois' government said no to the shale gas industry and is now even supporting the city of Gaspe that refuses to dig the petroleum it has underneath it.

To continue in the spirit of Drainville's horror story, I wonder how we should regard elected officials who deprive some honest Quebec workers from digging the land of their ancestors to extract resources that would provide them with a well-earned living in the name of the environment, and force them into exile to do the exact same thing out west where people aren't indoctrinated by the green theology yet. I'll quote Alanis Morissette instead: "Isn't it ironic ... don't you think?"

Last Monday, Quebec's Labour and Employment Minister, Agnes Maltais, was expected to meet with federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley in Ottawa to keep developing the PQ's new conspiracy theory and show the need for sovereignty. The meeting had to be cancelled because weather conditions prevented Maltais' airplane from landing in the nation's capital.

Maltais should thank Mother Nature. She could have been humiliated simply by being reminded that Quebec workers currently only contribute $3.15 billion a year to the Employment Insurance pot, while collecting more than $4 billion annually in benefits from it.

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