Friday, 30 October 2015

Quebec shows Wales and Indeed Scotland what can be achived with real powers.

In a speech in Cardiff on Yesterday , Welsh Secretary  Stephen Crabb warned:

 "There's a real danger in Wales that our full economic potential is being hamstrung by a never ending constitutional debate focused on a theoretical discussion about powers which is entirely divorced from the practical importance of what these powers can actually achieve."
He said  he had a nightmare

  "a nightmare" of "an ongoing, inward-looking debate about Welsh powers and the constitution, where we still prop up the bottom of the economic league tables within the United Kingdom and where we are still discussing the need for that damn M4 upgrade."
 Maybe Mr Crabb should consider the news that 

The provincial government in Quebec is to invest $1bn US dollars (£655m) in Bombardier's troubled CSeries jet.
The narrow-bodied passenger plane's development has placed a major strain on Bombardier's finances.
Bombardier is based in Canada, but it is Northern Ireland's largest manufacturing employer.
The Quebec government will hold a 49.5% stake in a limited partnership set up to complete the CSeries programme. 

 Its headquarters are in Montreal, Quebec, Canada but  although the move safeguards jobs in Quebec it appears that the Quebec governments  move will also be of benefit to the Northern Ireland economy.

The Quebec government can do this because it has the resources and powers to do so,

As far back as 1944 the Quebec government  established   Hydro-Québec 

On Friday, December 28, 1962 at 6 pm,  under the leadership of the then Liberal Minister
René Lévesque,  (Who later went on to found Parti Qubecois)  Hydro-Québec launched an hostile takeover, offering to buy all of the stock in 11 companies at a set price, slightly above market value. After hedging their bets for a few weeks, management of the firms advised their shareholders to accept the C$604 million government offer.[32] In addition to buying the 11 companies, most electric co-operatives and municipally owned utilities were also taken over and merged with the existing Hydro-Québec operations, which became the largest electric company in Quebec on May 1, 1963.

Financing of the purchase was achieved through borrowing. In early 1963, Quebec placed $300 million dollars in 25-year bonds with 40 American financial institutions. The scale of the amounts transferred following the bond issue had an impact on the Canadian markets, leading the Bank of Canada to adjust the discount rate.

Yes this happened over 50 years Quebec had more powers than Scotland let alone Wales has even now

Since then Hydro Quebec has been the Jewel in the Crown not only of Quebec's economy  but in its identity

What Stephen Crabb wants is a devolved government  which has little powers to change the Welsh economy but is only there to distribute Westminster grants through the Barnett formula.

Any real economic moves must come through Westminster policies.

Mr Crabb assertion that we re trying to have  a theoretical discussion about powers which is entirely divorced from the practical importance of what these powers can actually achieve." may hold some water because of Carwyn Jones Labour Assembly Government in Wales  whose approach to the concept of Parity with Scotland" is as nonexistent as Mr Crabbs  but if Wales continues   with  a devolution settlement which denies a Welsh Government  the powers to change the Welsh Government will end up with the people of Wales wondering why have devolution at all?

But then that may be exactly what Mr Crab and the Tories and some Labour MPs want.

1 comment:

  1. All I can say in Defence of both Wales and my country Scotland is that Quebec has not got England as their neighbour, that they have Federalism not this unholy in ours as in Scotland Union and the conquering of Wales. Any powers we have are tempered with loss elsewhere, They took back control of our renewables and then they have tried to obliterate them. We have had to pay to send electricity South, David Cameron is going to pay Iceland to send it even further. Punishment do you think. Devolution will vanish if the Tories have their way and we see in Scotland that Labour are simply Red Tories, do not let Jeremy Corbyn fool you.