Why Quebec Needs To Be MORE Selfish and Save Itself Billions
Why Quebec Needs To Be MORE Selfish and Save Itself Billions

Why Quebec Should Be Selfish AND Save Itself Billions of Dollars

Together let’s take a journey that includes fiscal responsibility, human rights, the environment and politics. It will be a journey where the selfish win (so not a typical story mom and dad taught us). We are taught NOT to be selfish growing up, so stating that Quebec needs to be MORE Selfish may go against the grain, but stick with me for this short journey of logic.

FACT #1: Quebec’s oil imports totalled $13-billion at the end of last year. They represent more than 60 per cent of the province’s $21-billion trade deficit, according to Institut de la Statistique du Québec figures.

FACT #2: Recent study shows billions of dollars projected in savings if Quebec refiners switch to Canadian oil vs tankers filled from countries around the world.


Our mental journey begins with a recent report that states: “Billions of dollars are projected in savings for Quebecers if Quebec refiners switch to Canadian oil.” (report overview: http://fw.to/Iosi5wG ) A switch of suppliers would substantially reduce Quebec’s trade deficit WHILE saving itself billions of dollars seems like a very logical business decision. But will it be done?

Well, sadly it is not just the business case we need to care about. In today’s world the question is truly “Does it make Political Sense?”

Let’s answer that question through an extension of the fiscal/business case – from which comes a positive ‘Political Solution.’

OK, so buying Western Canadian oil would reduce trade deficit substantially AND save tax payers billions of dollars.  Sounds like a logical choice.  Got It.  But it can also be a BIG political win for the provincial government.  Here’s how the case ACTUALLY gets even better for Quebec, NOT just the savings they will enjoy.

Billions of Dollars Saved

We begin with the irony that those “billions of dollars saved” are actually dollars they receive in equalization transfer dollars that originated in Western Canada (just like the energy would).  Now, put aside however you feel about the Equalization Program for a second and walk yourself through the obvious logic that Quebec Gov’t should be considering.  Ooops, I know logic & government in same sentence often don’t coincide, but let’s give it a go.

Buy Canadian Oil & Get Re-Elected

If the Quebec Gov’t wants to be strategic, selfish and get re-elected then the strategy would be to make the brave decision to buy Alberta oil because then Quebec will not only save money from buying cheaper oil, it will help remove tankers off of the open oceans and St Lawrence Seaway but most politically important they would receive more money in Equalization Payments from Western Canada due to the increased income those provinces would receive receive from the oil. Meaning that not only would they save money and reduce their trade deficit – they’d also receive even more money into the government “General Revenues” to support their other programs.

The more they buy, the more money they get.  This is instead of them handing this money to  regimes around the world who limit human rights, suppress women, foster violence and have very few environmental rules.  In other words, Quebec would show themselves as world leaders by making this decision AND promoting it that way – thus making it an easy re-election platform.  A true win/win/win.  How is this not an obvious logical choice for Quebec?  Well we don’t know, let’s hope that logic wins.

Already two out of three Quebecers think oil from western Canada should be their first choice for imports and when they discover this additional benefit that approval number is bound to jump further. (a survey conducted for the Montreal Economic Institute.)  The voters agree, will the political leaders have the will to be brave enough to make it happen?

BTW, here are the details on the forecast report on “Billions in Savings” by the National Bank: http://fw.to/Iosi5wG (and this doesn’t factor in the bonus increase in equalization payments).


Why Quebec Needs To Be MORE Selfish and Save Itself Billions was last modified: October 2nd, 2017 by Don R. Campbell

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