The great thing about Quebec politics is that it’s not subtle.
In most provinces, if they wanted to squeeze money out of Ottawa to build a new hockey arena, they’d put up a big show about how hard they were working to raise some of the money themselves. You know — like trying to get rich local people to invest in the project, or rounding up wealthy corporations to buy in. It’s not like there are no successful businesses in Quebec that might be enticed to risk a few million on a new arena, for the sake of good community relations, or maybe as a show of their gratitude.
But not Quebec. No, in Quebec you don’t even have to pretend to pay for your own arenas. Need $400 million? Get $200 million out of the province, $50 million from the city, then start screaming that Ottawa owes you the rest. And vow that if Harper doesn’t come through with it, he’ll never get another vote from the good people of Quebec City. It’s Le Strategy de Danny Williams. Give us money or we screech REALLY LOUD!!
But wait a minute. Doesn’t Quebec already get $8.5 billion in equalization payments? Every year? And aren’t they always bragging about what a dynamic, entrepreneurial business culture they have?
So why should the rest of Canada buy them a new arena as an extra added bonus?
Because otherwise they’ll screech REALLY LOUD, that’s why. And you know how hard it is to ignore a child having a tantrum.