How does a government willing to invest heavily in homelessness end up docked in the municipal world?
How can a government that has finally embarked on an energy transition be suspected of wanting to go too fast and then not enough?
Welcome to the wonderful world of politics. It is not good to tell the whole truth.
CAQ learned this the hard way in recent days.
Everything is perception
In politics, emotions always come before reason.
This is why the anger of a mayor faced with the tragedy of the homeless on his streets will always win the battle of public opinion against a minister who seeks to explain that the money to intervene is available in Quebec.
Always lost in the equation is the social services minister’s “do the job” to hear what the mayor of Gatineau said was completely unfair.
Welcome to the life of Lionel Cormond, a minister faced with the search for solutions to complex social problems.
He must take solace in his colleagues, Pierre Fitzgibbon and Eric Girard, who often venture to say “real business”.
The Super Minister of Energy does not care about the outcry.
He is right that the car fleet should eventually be halved. The long road to energy transition requires taxpayers to dare to specify the financial means to force them to change their lifestyles.
Horror, the end of checks to fight inflation? Can big cars not be taxed?
But, as the finance minister pointed out, the government is the optimist of the entire economy. He must think in the short and long term.
But politics is above all the art of managing people’s expectations.
Everyone is moved by the human tragedy on the streets of our cities. But who is willing to pay more taxes to care for these homeless people and support them for months and years to reintegrate them into active society?
Everyone is worried about the climate catastrophe hanging over our heads. But who would trade the comfort of their SUV for the archaic maze of our public transport? Worse, who is willing to pay more for their SUV to fund these potential metro and tram lines?
Many families are on the brink of a cost-of-living crisis. But who would be willing to sell their home or skip meals to absorb the blow when inflation recedes?
This is where the wires touch. When we have to connect these hard facts with political reality.
This is where Prime Minister Legault enters the scene and dampens the excitement.
Everyone does their job. Municipal leaders have requested. Ministers think and face problems head on. The Prime Minister promises.
Basically, it’s healthy for wires to touch occasionally.
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