A Strong and Democratic Government

Québec is over-governed. Québec citizens elect 78 federal MPs, 125 …

Resolution #47: A Strong and Democratic Government (Official French version)

Québec is over-governed. Québec citizens elect 78 federal MPs, 125 provincial MNAs, municipal councillors, school trustees and hundreds of board members of health institutions.

In spite of all these democratic structures, Québec state apparatus is extremely centralized and leaves little manoeuvring room to various local governments. In addition to fixing the maximum school tax rate, the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports also controls educational programs, leaving school boards little autonomy. The Ministry of Health and Social Services manages its own network of establishments in a very centralized manner, also leaving little leeway for institutions and their boards. Whether in the field of health or education, the working conditions of the staff, doctors, nurses, teachers or clerks are negotiated on a provincial level with little consideration for regional needs.

Municipalities have a little more autonomy since they have their own taxing powers. However, their own revenue source represents only half of their income. They rely on the federal and provincial governments to balance the budget. The province's role has greatly increased in Québec during the last half-century since the Québec Government has used the weakness in municipalities' tax base to take over municipal programs.

A CPQ government wishes to draw on the experience of countries such as Sweden and Germany. These countries have reformed their health and educational systems by adopting new forms of funding that promote better use of available resources and greater autonomy of local government while increasing the accessibility and quality of services offered.