No one was surprised to learn yesterday while reading The newspaper what the bill for seniors’ homes projects, of which at least 35 of 46 will be in Caquist ridings, now stands at $ 2.4 billion.
Initially estimated at $ 1 billion, you can be sure the bill will increase further. With inflation, material costs and overheating in construction, partially caused by the government’s infrastructure plan to boost recovery, it should come as no surprise that some places for a single senior have been returned to us. cost over a million.
It is a lot, a lot of money, especially when you know that it is infinitely less expensive to keep the people who want it at home to grow old, by offering them financial support and services. Incidentally, this is what most people want.
Take out the checkbook
But should we be surprised? Because for our Prime Minister, having completed his academic training in the 1970s and 1980s, there is an asphalt and concrete solution for every problem.
Is the economy suffering from being slowed down by the pandemic? Let’s build roads and buildings, like in Duplessis’s time! Investing in research, techno and green energy is for when things are going well.
Do children with learning difficulties need to be known earlier and to receive the appropriate professional services? Perfect ! Let’s build kindergarten for 4 year-olds wall to wall, while even the most ardent promoters of this approach say that it is worthless if we do not add more remedial teachers and specialized educators. Faced with the shortage, the union representatives of the latter are fighting to improve their salary scale in favor of the current negotiations in the public sector, which the government refuses. And there is still a shortage of 50,000 places in early childhood educational services, in particular because there is a lack of educators.
Is there automobile congestion in Quebec and one of the bridges connecting it to the south shore is dilapidated? No problem ! We’re going to widen the highways and build the biggest highway tunnel in history. It will cost whatever it likes, 10 billion, if necessary. There is no danger that we invest first to maintain existing assets, that we increase the sums grudgingly taken away for public transport and that we try to readjust travel times on roads that are not really under. pressure only two hours a day.
So it is under François Legault.
It’s an old way of looking at it. Quebec is a vast country, with a highly developed infrastructure network that is costly to maintain and remove snow.
One might think that in 2021, after a pandemic that we were able to go through by mobilizing the adaptability of people, the technological know-how of Quebec and the dedication of public sector employees, this is what ‘we would invest in priority.
But no. The consulting engineering firms and the construction industry may have tricked us for decades, they have the merit of not being unionized (not officially, anyway …). And then when we sign a new collective agreement or send more attendants to the elderly, there is no ribbon to cut, no shovelful of earth to raise, no commemorative plaque to put down.
That is why, for the 2021 problems, we continue to have the solutions of 1971 and that we will pay to seal the ceiling for seniors’ homes in 2071.
Because in Quebec, we prefer to spend on concrete rather than investing in our world.