Sunday, May 9, 2010

Barbara Kay: Quebec offers a taste of Greek-style spending

Barbara Kay: Quebec offers a taste of Greek-style spending Posted: May 07, 2010, 10:43 AM by NP Editor Barbara Kay, quebec, social services Quebec's debt according to the OECD standard method represents 94% of gross domestic product, lower only than Greece, Japan, Italy and (gulp) Iceland amongst developed nations (Canada's is 69.7%). Nevertheless, Quebec's March budget blithely incorporated raises in taxes and spending on social programs, already the most lavishly funded in Canada. The words "social programs" are general and vague. Let me give you a concrete example of what the government of Quebec considers one of its most sacrosanct social programs, and a glimpse at the fecklessness with which taxpayers' money is flung at it. The minstère de la Santé et des Services sociaux - Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) - oversees three types of social programs: shelters for women victims of domestic violence; centres for at-risk youth; and rehabilitation centres for substance-dependents. Amongst these three, the women's shelters are by far the best financed. The 106 shelters (all for women: none for male victims of domestic violence, or for fathers seeking to shelter their children from mothers' violence) are allotted $60 million, as compared to $26 million for 392 homes for at-risk youth, and $14 million for 95 dependency centres. Read more:

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