Francis Vachon Le Devoir In the aftermath of a winning referendum for the option of “Yes”, Quebec would not only be “viable”, but “profitable” in such a scenario, said Paul St-Pierre Plamondon on Monday.
Quebec lacks nothing to become one of the “richest countries on the planet,” according to Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. In its portrait of the finances of a sovereign Quebec, the Parti Québécois (PQ) concludes that independence would be achieved “essentially at zero cost” from year one of a Quebec country.
“The Quebec has nothing to envy of the rest of the world,” wrote the PQ leader in the pro forma document that he made public Monday morning at a press conference.
As François Legault had in 2005 in the PQ, he praised the potential gains for Quebec if it separated from Canada “from the first year when independence is possible”, in 2027. First and foremost, the approximately 8, 8 billion in money recovered by eliminating “overlaps” with the federal government.
“Quebec’s starting position is very, very comfortable and advantageous,” said Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon in a local Laval University, during a press briefing which at times resembled an economics lecture.
Quebec would inherit 200 billion in federal debt if it declared its independence
The day after a winning referendum for the “Yes” option, and by making the same choices as Today, Quebec would succeed in collecting nearly 97 billion in federal revenue, estimates the PQ. The Quebec state budget deficit would thus amount to $5.5 billion in 2027-2028.
When submitting his version of the “year one budget” in 2005, François Legault had calculated surpluses of $1.3 billion from 2005-2006, in addition to estimating Quebec's budget balance over five years at $13.8 billion. The situation is very different today, insisted Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon on Monday.
“There is still a limit to the [Legault] model,” maintained the PQ leader. “It is a model which was designed in the 1990s, and which, in my opinion, does not reflect the extent of the federal drift.”
As reported by Le Devoir this weekend, a sovereign Quebec would inherit 17.6% of federal debts, or more than $200 billion. It would, however, maintain a “comfortable” debt-GDP ratio, second among G7 nations.
According to the PQ leader, Quebec's economy would not only be “viable”, but also “profitable” away from Canada. Notably because the pro forma calculation methodexcludes the government from making choices different from its current choices.
In the last chapter of his budget, the elected official designates the additional savings that could bring about the elimination of five federal ministries in Quebec: Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, National Revenue, Employment and Social Development Canada, as well as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. These decisions, maintains Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon, would make it possible to raise two billion dollars more in the first year of a Quebec-country.
And that's without taking into account the possibility for the Quebec “to exist internationally.” “This budgetary exercise is not able to assess the positive impacts that will be generated by the independence of Quebec, in particular an economic diplomacy aligned solely with the interests of Quebec, the establishment of more than 200 embassies in the city of Quebec, […] a monetary policy aligned exclusively with the economic situation of Quebec”, lists Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon in his budget for year one.