Quebec second to last in disposable income in Canada

Statistics Quebec released some economic data for 2012 showing the average Quebecer to be poorer than most Canadians and the trend is downward.

In 2012, Quebec had $26,347 per capita of disposable income, 15% below the Canadian average of $29,907. This is an increase from a gap of 12.5% in 2007. Disposable income is the total revenue after income taxes have been deducted and includes all forms of revenues whether it be a salary or a welfare check.

Quebec has the largest income gap in disposable income, apart from Prince Edward Island placing ninth in the national rankings. In 2007, Quebec placed 7th and in 2009 Quebec slipped to 8th.

Disposable Income Per Province in 2012

  1. Alberta: $38,761
  2. Saskatchewan: $31,363
  3. British Columbia: $30,474
  4. Newfoundland: $30,461
  5. Ontario: $29,745
  6. Nova Scotia: $27,063
  7. Manitoba: $26,995
  8. New Brunswick: $26,793
  9. Quebec: $26,347
  10. Prince Edward Island: $26,115
In real terms, while mean Canadian disposable income has grown 8% between 2007 and 2012, Quebec's has only grown by 5.3%.

Based on 2011 census numbers, Quebec holds 24% of Canada's population ranking second after Ontario for the largest share. With the large population Quebec has, its manpower and its skill bank should be one of the leaders in the country. However, as federal taxes have descended, Quebec's provincial taxes have risen. When the Conservatives in Ottawa finished lowering the GST from 7% to 5%, the Charest Liberals rose the QST from 7.5% to 9.5%. While the rest of Canada enjoys the tax relief, Quebecers can only be relieved they don't have an HST. Quebec is the highest taxed province in Canada and offers its visitors a unique set of pesky regulations and limitations to deal with - along with botched infrastructure.

The Marois government is now trying to pass a Charter of Quebec Values which represents nothing more than how little-spirited a government can be. The Charter would drive up the gap between Quebec and the rest of Canada just by the jobs that will be lost when immigrants of particular ethnic groups are forced to leave their jobs for remaining faithful to their beliefs - which ever Quebecer and every Canadian is entitled to.

Quebec's political scene doesn't help matters. A constant struggle between the remnants of separatists past and Quebec's future in Canada, and the tiresome debate of what Quebec's culture really is dominates over the more pressing issues of economic growth, healthcare and individual freedom. Everyone in the political scene must abide by the culture war and promise to protect the French language in the most twisted ways possible just to secure votes. Quebec's culture is a flower that should be capitalized on, but Quebec governments past and present have opted to turn it into a venom.

Quebecers deserve change, the population is over-taxed and their money, rather than being allocated to crumbling infrastructure and bumpy roads, is placed in a language office that has made Quebec the laughing stock of the modern world. Since when is using "pasta" in a menu an act of the devil? Since when does speaking a different language on a break constitute in a massive unjustifiable offense? Imagine the expensive and wasteful bureaucracy that will be created if the Charter is actually passed, to measure the size of the crucifixes public servants are wearing to enforce neutrality when the giant crucifix won't even be removed from the National Assembly.

Quebecers are sick and tired of watching their hard earned money be taken from them by a state that honestly thinks its better suited with the money than individuals, and wastes the money by spending recklessly on unnecessary programs like daycare and language police while letting healthcare and infrastructure deteriorate. How much money have Quebecers collectively lost from the culture wars and the tensions with Ottawa when the PQ is in power? During the 2012 election, some of the wealthier Quebec residents packed up and left for Ontario in fear that Marois would form a government.

Quebec isn't a poor province, it is the second largest contributor to the Canadian GDP representing 20% of it - just after Ontario's 37% and just before Alberta's 17% according to 2012 Statistics Canada data. It is still a beating drum of the Canadian economy, but unlike Alberta, its natural resources haven't yet been introduced to market and its government is too stubborn to implement a plan that would exploit them and create jobs and prosperity - the ticket the separatists don't have in their quest for independence. It is severely mismanaged, complicating the things that need not be difficult and duplicating the tasks it need not do as a province. Only 10% of wealthy newcomers stay, why do the other 90% leave? Look at the provinces at the top of the ranking, they share a few traits: low taxes, less regulatory burden, greater individual freedom, and greater use of their actual capacity.

Rankings by Population and GDP among provinces (Only 4 displayed)

Province Population Rank Population Share GDP Rank GDP Share Disposable Income Rank Disposable Income
Ontario 1 38% 1 37% 5 $29,745
Quebec 2 24% 2 20% 9 $26,347
British Columbia 3 13% 4 12% 3 $30,474
Alberta 4 11% 3 17% 1 $38,761
In 2014, Quebec needs to change its priorities and focus on the economy. Quebec needs jobs and prosperity, but that won't happen with a state that suffocates its citizens and takes away their money - nor will it happen with a state that provides a crutch for the aforementioned. Quebec needs to ditch its attempts at being a country, scrap unnecessary bureaucracy, lower taxes, overhaul its regulations and start turning its untapped resources into a source of wealth. Most importantly, the Quebec government needs to trust its citizens. Individuals don't need a nanny state to take their money and decide what's best for them, individuals are best placed to determine what to do with their lives and families.

How do you feel knowing you have less after-tax revenue in Quebec than you would in the rest of Canada? Does it make sense that Quebec should have such poor results given the economic and population context? Share this article, join the discussion and let us know what you think: Facebook, Twitter, Google+

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