Passports: and we are taught the lesson…

Passports: and we are lectured...


Perhaps not everything has been said about the federal fiasco concerning the issuance of passports.

Gross incompetence? Obviously. But let's broaden the perspective a bit.

In Le Journal yesterday, we report the case of a pre-retiree from Laval who is awaiting the review of his request for a employment insurance since April 3.

Tens of thousands like him.

See how the arrival of travelers is managed, treated like cattle, at airports under federal jurisdiction. 

See the incredible mess of the Phoenix system to manage the payroll of federal civil servants.< /p>

Tens of thousands have received too much, or not enough, or nothing at all.

See Roxham Road.

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What do these federal boondoggles have in common, other than of course illustrating mind-blowing incompetence?

Two things.

These are blunders in areas that directly affect the concrete lives of human beings. 

These are blunders to which those in charge react in an amorphous, robotic, indolent way, without any sense of urgency. , as if, deep down, they were being disturbed, as if they were busy with much more important things.

The federal government is responsible for areas that are crucial, but often far removed from the concrete life of the majority: defence, foreign affairs, banking institutions, etc. 

When the federal bureaucracy interferes with everyday life, it is bad, distant, disconnected.

The provincial governments are in charge of what affects us most in everyday life: the school, hospital, daycare, etc.

I'm not saying for a minute that the provincial government manages better.

Don't waste my time with a long list of persistent problems in services for which the Quebec government is responsible.

I am saying something else. 

I am saying that the fundamental difference is that the provincial minister responsible is close to us, we know him, he will be quickly put on the spot, will not be able to escape, will be hounded , will have to answer, will have to at least be concerned… and will end up being fired if things get too bad.

Honestly, have you ever heard of Karina Gould, the federal minister responsible for passports, before the last days?

What I'm trying to say is that, while there is certainly incompetence in the Government of Quebec, there is not this feeling of estrangement, of lazy indifference, of hovering far above ordinary people , to live on another planet that coats the federal public service. 


This difference is embodied by the contrast between the proximity of a François Legault, with his qualities and his faults, and the Saturnian distance of a Justin Trudeau, still in Davos, at the G7, traveling around the world, while the people here rage in frustration.

What adds insult to injury is this federal automatism of implying that it knows so much better than the provinces how to do things that it must closely supervise them, like an adult watching over a child .

Passports: and we are told& ccedil;on...