Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Economic Chaos Sets Scene For Quebec Election Call

From Chronicle Herald:

MONTREAL — The next salvo in Quebec’s pre-election campaign will be fired by the province’s finance minister today when she delivers an economic update that will form the backbone of the Liberals’ push for a majority government.

Monique Jerome-Forget’s economic statement is widely expected to be followed a day later by Premier Jean Charest’s launch of a fall election campaign that will see Quebecers go to the polls on Dec. 8.

Jerome-Forget said the update won’t be affected by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s announcement Monday that increases in equalization payments to the provinces will be smaller over the next few years.

"This has no impact on my economic statement tomorrow (Tuesday)," Jerome-Forget said in Toronto as she attended a meeting of the country’s finance ministers.

"I think that my statement will finally reveal the situation in Quebec for the next year and the year after that."

Charest has made it clear his pitch will be that he needs a majority government to steer the province through the stormy economic waters ahead.

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