This deepening chasm

The Legault government’s announcement to provide a $ 500 credit to every Quebecer earning up to $ 100,000 a year came unexpectedly and questionably. How not to see an electoral decision there? As we will tell each other, the $ 1,000 in the pocket of a couple earning $ 180,000 a year is not the same as the impact of $ 500 on the budget of a single mother who has difficulty joining the two ends up in her minimum wage. work.

It’s a kind of indecency to offer a wealthy citizen’s Lexus LC payment and fuel to a mother so she can continue to pick up her children at the daycare, which is 40 miles from home because that’s all she found. There is anxiety over giving the same amount of money to those where inflation could mean a fewer trips to the Turquoise Islands than those who have to go to a food bank to feed their families. .

The illness is greater because the reality on the ground is dramatic. Food banks have experienced a 50 to 60% increase in the number of users since the pandemic began. Choked by inflation, they still fear that they will no longer be able to meet demand. For billionaires, they make more money during the pandemic than they did ten years ago. And while the Musks, Bezos and Gates of this world have seen their income double, inequality contributes to the deaths of at least 21,000 people a day according to Oxfam, due to lack of care, violence that based on gender, hunger and climate crisis. Unfortunately, Quebec is no exception to this harsh reality. At least 21 women were killed by men in 2021 in Quebec and shelters are experiencing increasing requests.

In a democratic society, proper management of taxpayers ’money means taking into account this appalling fact and ensuring that the gap between rich and poor stops growing. Especially since the overall picture of economic inequalities over the past four decades has revealed that Quebec has recorded the largest wealth gaps in Canada. The richest in Quebec have seen their accumulated wealth double in 20 years while the poorest population is suffering.

If our politicians prefer to hide their faces to win votes, it’s time for the richest to do their fair share to reduce horrific inequalities, starting with providing this amount that $ 500 to community organizations in their region. To Laurentians, the situation is even more serious as the housing crisis has reached a dramatic, albeit embarrassing point! Renting 3 ½ at $ 1,500 per month no longer makes sense! And the scarcity is so great that the rooms of motels in the region have been made temporary accommodation for families piling up there while waiting to find better ones. And while some pass by Laurentian chalets to see deer pass in front of their windows in telework mode, single mothers struggle to pay for their poorly insulated and windowless dwellings. On this topic, I have a question for those who have made their basements rented for $ 600 per month: you sleep so well at night you know you are paying your mortgage on the back of poor people who rely on food banks to meet their basic needs?

The extent of the inequality we are witnessing today cannot leave us indifferent. It is still necessary to move away from these current beliefs that success or failure is based on merit and individual effort. It is time to let go of our individuality, our comfort and our apathy and to feel the importance of social cooperation. As economist Thomas Piketty rightly taught, inequality destroys democracy. May mutual aid work on the systematic causes of these inequalities. May our actions influence the decisions of our politicians and reduce these injustices.

Leave a Comment