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Quebecor And RLQ’s Chou-Chou, Eric Duhaime Has Hit a New Low–Enough With The Canadian Arrogant Complacency!

Yes, that would be the same Eric Duhaime, the one who begged the feds, not once, but twice, to somehow intervene in the construction scandal woes in la Belle province, a problem that dates decades that needs systemic changes that not even the feds can touch.  That same scandal that ol’ Chrissie Paradis once had himself embroiled in regarding some renovations at parliament.

That would be the same Eric Duhaime who wrote one of the most misogynistic columns that  my co-blogger, Kim slammed him for awhile back.

The same clown who co-founded and ponied up 500$ clams for the Reseau Liberte de Quebec–Quebec Freedom Network aka the Quebec chapter of the Tea-party.

Well, boys ‘n’ girls, ol’ Eric Duhaime, in all the wingnutty crunchy goodness, as Canadian Cynic would say,  he could muster, has sunk to an all time new low. Remember how I’ve mentioned that he keeps saying the debate in Quebec should no longer revolve around sovereignty v federalism? How the debate should be between left and right, instead? And remember how I came to the conclusion that ol’ Eric basically, didn’t want to hear anything from the left, but rather, wanted the right to take hold in la belle province?  Well, according to his latest screed on the French language version of Canoe, I seem to be proven correct. In short, all who participate in Occupy movements as well as those on the left of the political spectrum are “bums”, in the world according to M. Duhaime. I will get to my verbal bitch slapping later.

First, let’s go over Eric’s silly arguments which are typical of today’s right and/or those who don’t support the occupy movements; those who I like to call the Canadian Arrogant Complacent. The kool-aid swallowers, if you will.  Yes, ol’ Eric’s latest dispatch has some inaccuracies. I will point a few of them out, for starters:

 Nos riches paient une part de plus en plus importantes de toutes les taxes et impôts (et Dieu sait qu’on en paie tous beaucoup plus qu’aux États-Unis). Aucune aide financière publique n’a été octroyée à une banque canadienne. Les salaires sont toujours en hausse au Canada. Le prix de nos maisons continue d’augmenter. Le pourcentage de gens vivant sous le seuil de la pauvreté diminue.  Nous avons toujours un système de santé gratuit et universel. Et nos finances publiques se dirigent vers l’équilibre budgétaire.

Roughly translated:

Our rich pay more and more taxes (and Gawd knows,  everyone pays more taxes than in the US). No financial aid went to bail out our banks. Salaries in Canada continue to rise. House prices continue to rise. The percentage of those living below the poverty line continues to drop.  We still have universal health care. Our public finances are headed toward balanced budgets.

About those banks, that’s not entirely true.  Some bankers did receive some help in 2008, despite the fact they may not have ‘needed it’.

Uh, Eric, how about our corporate taxes which the Harpercons continue to drop?  In fact, as of January, 2011, our corporate taxes are 17% lower than that of the US.

  • Canada Rank: 37th   Total Tax Rate: 29.2%
  • UK Rank:76th   Total Tax Rate:37.3%
  • US Rank:124th   Total Tax Rate:46.8%
  • Germany Rank:128th   Total Tax Rate:48.2%
  • Russia Rank:123rd   Total Tax Rate:48.5%
  • Japan Rank:130th   Total Tax Rate:48.6%
  • France Rank:163rd   Total Tax Rate:65.8%
  • Italy Rank:167th   Total Tax Rate:68.6%

Those taxes will continue to drop under the Harpercons’ watch.  They continue to subsidize big oil and other corporations, as well.   Like the bank bail outs in the US and in Europe, there are virtually no strings attached. No jobs are created. However, we do see CEOs and other assorted upper management giving themselves ridiculous pay hikes, bonuses and flying around in private jets. Isn’t that what we saw after bailing out GM? On the flip side of that coin, weren’t jobs still lost at GM?

House prices continue to rise.  Actually, I translated that literally.  I’m not sure if he meant property values or actual costs, as that phrase implies. I will go with the latter. In this instance, yep, I’ll throw Eric this bone. Housing costs are going up. More often than not, families and indviduals are finding themselves in the predicament where they’re paying more than half their monthly income on to maintain a roof over their head. Anti-poverty groups and housing activists, such as Frapru, suggest that housing should not cost more than one fourth of a monthly income.

Ol’ Eric claims that salaries are on the rise. He seems to imply they’re rising for everyone. Well, Jeffrey Simpson, hardly a left of center columnist (oh wait! To a wingnut like Eric, perhaps ol’ Jeff is a raging socialist, never mind), begs to differ. He wrote a column last summer which basically refutes Eric’s claim.  Here are some of his findings before the recession even began:

From 1980 to 2005, the earnings of the top group rose by 16.4 per cent, while middle-income Canadians’ incomes stagnated, and earnings for those in the bottom group slid.

And

In Canada, the top fifth of income earners take 39.2 per cent of total income (up from 35 per cent in the 1980s), while the lowest quintile takes 7.2 per cent. Vancouver has the highest share of people in the lowest quintile of earners among Canadian cities; Quebec City has the lowest.

Only the incomes of Canada’s wealthiest continued to increase throughout the recession.

Simpson also shows statistics about how poorly Canada actually does regarding income inequality:

Canada, it turns out, ranks 12 among 17 comparable countries in income inequality. Canada’s Gini score is 0.32, slightly worse than that of Australia and Germany, and far behind Denmark (0.23), Sweden (0.23), Finland (0.26) and Norway (0.27) The United States and Britain, two countries against which Canada measures itself, are the worst performers – that is, the most unequal societies of the 17. Put another way, anglophone countries are the most unequal, at least compared with continental European ones, and two of them (the U.S. and the U.K.) are also in desperate fiscal shape.

The U.S. Gini score is 0.38, reflecting the fact that income inequality is at a record high, greater even than during the Roaring Twenties. During the past decade, the top 10 per cent of U.S. earners took 49.7 per cent of income gains.

Wow! You were saying, Eric?

Oh yeah! I guess ol’ Eric was right, sorta, when he said incomes were going up. He shoulda specified that it was the income of the wealthiest of Canada.

Eric contends that the percentage of folks living below the poverty line is actually dropping in Canada. Hoo ha! That your final answer, Eric? You sure, now?

Child poverty is on the rise.

Child poverty on the rise. Earnings gap between rich and poor families widening. Canada’s economy rebounding, but many families falling into poverty

Here are some stats from the Hennessy index from February 2011 regarding inequality and poverty:

$6.6 million
The average compensation of Canada’s best-paid 100 CEOs in 2009. (Source)

$42,988
The average wage for Canadians working full-time, year-round. (Source)

155 times
How much the best-paid 100 CEOs earn more than average wage. (Source)

0
The number of women among the best-paid 100 CEOs in Canada in 2009. (Source)

20th
Canada ranks 20th, behind the U.S., in a global ranking of women’s equality. (Source)

Canada’s richest 1%
Doubled their income share between the late-1970s and 2007. (Source)

Canada’s richest 0.01%
Quintupled their share of income during that same period. (Source)

Shrinking middle
The share of income for the bottom 80% of Canadian families with children is smaller today than it was a generation ago. (Source)

Teetering
6 out of 10 Canadians could be in trouble if their paycheque gets delayed. (Source)

Debt nation
Canadian consumer debt to financial assets ratio worst of 20 OECD nations. (Source)

$1.41 trillion
Canadian household debt. (Source)

17th
Canada ranks 17 out of 24 OECD nations on children’s material well-being. (Source)

1 in 10
Canadian children live in poverty. 1 in 4 Aboriginal children live in poverty. (Source)

A solution
Shifting 1% of Canadians’ collective after-tax income to the 1 in 10 Canadians living in low income would eliminate poverty in Canada. (Source)

Now, we know ol’ Eric most likely doesn’t care about this kinda thing, like most of today’s cons, but it don’t mean facts can be ignored as Eric and may cons blatantly do.

Now, on to health care. Yes, we have universal health care–for now. It has been gutted for some time now and is making way for private for profit to sneak in while the Canada Health Act is being ignored and the Feds look the other way.   Here in la belle province, thanks largely in part to Pauline Marois’s firing of nurses and doctors, as well as closing of hospitals (which she said she would do again), the supreme court decision of Chaoulli v Gov’t of Quebec and Premier Johnny-Boy Charest’s subsidizing the private for profit health care system, we are now considered the private for profit health care capital of Canada.  It’s also why our public health care is suffering.

Let’s also remind ol’ Eric, that one of his partners in crime, co-founder of the Reseau Liberte Quebec, Dr. Roy Eappen, yes, boys ‘n’ girls, Blogging supposiTory, Jabba the Roy, hisself, has been advocating for Americanized health care in Canada for some time, now.

Let’s also remember that the right has been pushing and lobbying more and more for a more Americanized health care in Canada. We all remember what Stevie Spiteful, hisself, said on the subject of universal v private for profit health care:

“We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system.”

- Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, October 2002.

“What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care].”

- Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.

“I know this is a dangerous subject. My advisors say don’t talk about it, but the fact is sometimes provinces have allowed in the past few years, they’ve brought in private services covered by public health insurance… Why do I care and why do we care as a federal government how they’re managed? What we care about is whether people can access them. This is just an ideological agenda.”

- Conservative leader Stephen Harper at the leadership debate, June 15th 2004, conceding that he shouldn’t talk about his positive view of privatization of health care.

Also, Stevie’s support for American health care system, as he wrote on Dr. David Gratzer’s book jacket of Code Blue:

David Gratzer ‘proposes workable solution’ for ‘government-controlled health care monopoly, Canada needs Gratzer’s new prescription,’ said Prime Minister Stephen Harper about Mr. Gratzer’s recommendations for a form of private medical savings accounts popular in the U.S. in a review of his book Code Blue.

All this to say that our Universal health care system is in  jeopardy here in Canada. However, I would believe that would be to the joy of ol’ Eric.

Oh, and according to Eric, those who are participating in Occupy Montreal and Occupy Quebec are all ‘commies’! “Communistes”!   He probably saw one sign with the Communist party on it or something even more benign like stuff referring to social democracy and he saw red communism.  Yes, boys ‘n’ girls, I think we have Quebec’s winner of the McCarthyist award! Eric Duhaime!  Ain’t that special?  I wonder if he thinks the guy who had his “Ron Paul for president” sign is a “communiste”?

Duhaime asks probably one of the dumbest questions to date in his latest screed:

Alors pourquoi nos « indignés » ne décampent-ils pas aux États-Unis? Veulent-ils américaniser la société québécois?

Translation:

Why are our “occupied” not camping in the US? Do they want to Americanize Quebec society?

This doesn’t even dignify a response, but what the hell, I’m feeling charitable this evening.  The growing inequalities, disappearing middle-class, the politicians who govern for and answer to corporations and their wealthiest friends rather than for all people, corporate welfare, bail outs for corporations and banks when they screw up without strings or consequences while the working and middle-class are stuck being penalized for it via austerity budgets, growing unemployment are not just a US problem or a Quebec problem; it’s a global problem. Each jurisdiction has different related problems of varying degrees, but, overall, they’re all global problems. Folks, in general, are starting to see that how things were working before, things like trickle down economics, the so-called American dream (work hard and anyone can make it) and basic corporate greed is just not working.

While Canada may have weathered the recession better than the US and the Eurozone have, it doesn’t mean we’re without our problems and I have illustrated some of them above in this post.   It also means that we may not fair too well if there is a double dip recession, and it appears that one is arriving.

The final insult:

Je ne fais pas référence uniquement à l’habillement ou aux conditions d’hygiène des protestataires. Une personne idéologiquement inadaptée à notre société, qui se nourrit dans les banques alimentaires, sans travail ni domicile, on n’appelle pas ça dans le Québec de 2011 un « indigné » mais bien plutôt un clochard!

Translation:

I am not referring only to clothing or hygiene of the protesters. A person ideologically unsuited to our society, which feeds into the food bank, without work or home, we do not call it in Quebec in 2011 an “indignant” but rather a bum!

Ideologically unsuitable. Hmm. It’s enough that he implies that those who live in poverty are “ideologically unsuitable”. Given that Eric has devoted his entire column to referring to the occupiers as far left “communists”, without exception, I am led to believe that, to him, anybody, on the left, really, is “ideologically unsuitable”.   So, who exactly is “ideologically suitable”, Eric? The RLQ? Francois Legault? The ADQ? Big business? Danielle Smith of the Wildrose Alliance? Dr. Jabba the Roy? Your beloved Stevie Spiteful whom you still hope will ride in on his white horse to magically correct the construction scandals here?  Am I? Who’s allowed to have a voice and who isn’t? Who’s allowed to participate in a political debate and who isn’t?

Oh, spare the faux concern regarding food banks. You probably never cared about the homeless or food banks, until they become conveenient in order to help you win your feeble arguments.

I always knew he wanted the right to take over in Quebec.  It seems that his latest article proves as much.

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