In this paper, published today in La Presse, I suggest that the fiscal imbalance evocated by Quebec's politicians is the final attempt to impose Quebec's social choices to the rest of Canada. With the most important expenditure in social services, more than double than anadian average, the Quebec's imbalance isn't fiscal, the problem is on the social services supply side. The only wise and equitable way to solve that highly political problem is for the federal government to abandon some fiscal fields, such as reducing the GST, and let the provincial governments raise their own taxes. Some will do, some won't...
However, Quebec's PM, Jean Charest, has announced he wouldn't agree with that solution many times in the last few months, unless his conditions are respected. By refusing a good solution, Quebec has shown that the fiscal imbalance is, in fact, a political lie. Moreover, by refusing to use that procedure back in July, when Ottawa reduced the GST by one percentage point, he showed that Quebec wasn't really needy.
Ottawa must now refuse to take from Ralph to give to Jean. Even more since Ralph has been responsible while Jean is being picky on the solution. By the end of the day, Quebecois must accept no one other than themselves has to pay to allow them to keep the highest level of public services in Canada. They now have to make a choice: either pay the real cost of their public services or give some of them to the private sector.