Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Er, Mr. President, the mike is still on.

Lucien Bouchard questions work ethic in Quebec
Updated Tue. Oct. 17 2006 2:28 PM ET News Staff

Former premier Lucien Bouchard has ignited a heated debate after charging in an incendiary television interview that Quebecers are threatening their future because they don't work hard enough.

The former Parti Quebecois leader argued in an interview with TVA that the province is lagging behind Ontario and the United States with its fiscal record, partly because its residents don't share the same work ethic.

He added that 75 per cent of the province's debt, the highest per capita in North America, was racked up during his generation.

Bouchard said Quebec is now holding back the new generation in its failure to make economic progress.

When asked about a possible return to the political stage, Bouchard told TVA that his life in the public eye is over.

Labour leaders expressed outrage over Bouchard's comments, saying Quebecers are willing workers but they need fair wages and a balance between their jobs and personal lives.

Pierre Cere of Le Conseil national des chomeurs, a group that advocates for the province's unemployed, said the comments are offensive.

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