Wednesday Night #1992

Written by  //  May 20, 2020  //  Québec, Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

20 May 1980, Forty years ago today … the first Quebec Referendum.
There is such a preoccupation with Covid-19 that it is hard to find references in the media, but the article by Susan Schwartz of the Gazette Recalling the question that divided families, and the night the No side won paints a picture of the tense build-up among Yes voters as well as the emotional aftermath. However, she fails to evoke the frantic -and equally passionate- campaign, or the euphoria and immense relief of the No side that we experienced on that historic day.
For that we turn to Andrew Caddell‘s stirring account in the Hill Times The 1980 referendum campaign: a shining Canadian moment
A solid history lesson for our younger friends is offered by the Canadian Encyclopedia.
The French-language media are far less reticent in their coverage of the Referendum. Antoine Robitaille en a largement fait état au cours des derniers jours dans une série de reportages dans le Journal de Québec. Nous aimons en particulier l’entête
la nuit de la longue question et  l’article qui le suit.
Philippe Teisceira-Lessard writing in La Presse Référendum de 1980: deux camps, deux styles face aux crises, adds another perspective addressing the decision-making and communication styles of the leaders of the two camps and how each might have reacted to today’s Covid-19 crisis: Impossible de savoir comment René Lévesque et Claude Ryan auraient réagi aux calamités tombées sur la planète au début de 2020. Mais si le passé est garant du présent, les deux élus auraient pris et communiqué leurs décisions de façon on ne peut plus divergente. Interesting conjecture.

What would Canada be like today had either of the referenda succeeded? It would be hard to imagine the generally united front that has emerged to face the pandemic. Would the country have fragmented? Would the Atlantic Provinces have joined the U.S.? Would there be any Anglophone communities left in Quebec? Or would the pendulum have swung back in the intervening years?

Luc Sirois has shared this encouraging message
Nous sommes tous mobilisés contre la COVID-19 !
C’est toute la communauté de recherche et d’innovation du Québec qui se mobilise pour affronter – et surmonter – la crise. Aujourd’hui, nous co-signons avec d’autres organismes partenaires une lettre ouverte pour annoncer cette mobilisation sans précédent : chercheurs, entrepreneurs et acteurs institutionnels sont tous présents pour faire partie de la solution.”
Lettre ouverte de Carole Jabet Directrice scientifique du Fonds de recherche santé (FRQS) et neuf autres signataires
Mobilisation sans précédent de l’écosystème québécois

Peter Berezin‘s thoughts this week:
• The pandemic is likely to have a more severe impact on Main Street than Wall Street, which helps explain why stocks have rallied off their lows even as bond yields have remained depressed.
• Equity investors are hoping that central banks will keep rates lower for longer, while fiscal easing will revive demand. The end result could be lower bond yields within the context of a full employment economy – a win-win for stocks.
• In the near term, these hopes could be dashed, given bleak economic data, falling earnings estimates, and rising worries about a second wave of the pandemic.
• Longer term, an elevated equity risk premium and the likelihood that the pandemic will not have a significantly negative effect on the supply side of the economy argue for overweighting stocks over bonds.
• Negative real rates will continue to support gold prices. A weaker dollar later this year will also help.

Spelling out the economic recovery options as the world starts to reopen from COVID-19
Will the recovery look like a V or more like a U? What about a Nike “swoosh” or something wobbly like a W? Or the worst case scenario — will we take the dreaded L?

I think by now my friends know that I really do not like the huge cruise ships that have been described as floating Disney Worlds. I just came across this rather brutal review while looking for material on environmental impact. It covers a lot more sins. What is amazing is that bookings are up and many are from a younger clientele than the grey-hairs we usually associate with the market.

Note for your calendars:
Thursday, 28 May
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT
The Banff Forum presents Crude, Covid and Canada
Phillip Colmar from MRB Partners and Inder Arya from Richardson GMP will discuss the many challenges facing the domestic economy and public finances as the country attempts to mitigate the fallout and transition to a sustainable recovery path. Thanks to Inder for suggesting this online event.
Capitalism, COVID-19, and a New Way Forward: An Evening of Conversation with Julius Grey
Fri, 12 June
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
The Thomas More Institute is pleased to host a web-interview with Julius Grey, renowned Montreal lawyer, professor, human rights activist, and author of the book Capitalism and the Alternatives, published last year by McGill-Queen’s University Press. This major work offers a sweeping critique of modern capitalism and a model for a new society, and “attempts to reconcile economic equality with personal liberty and with a stress on the individual, rather than on the collective, as the holder of rights.” A particularly innovative aspect of Grey’s vision is his notion of “romantic individualism” which includes within it the view that “every rule and regulation which is not economic or redistributive should be open to question at all times.”

Good news for Montrealers who are craving a trip to the dentist’s chair, but bad news for those craving the attentions of a barber, hairdresser and/or manicurist: Starting June 1, private health services, such as dentists and physiotherapists, will be allowed to reopen across the province.BUT Businesses that provide personal care services, like hairdressers, will be allowed to open on the same date — but only outside of the Montreal and Joliette areas.There’s no immediate plan to open such businesses in the Montreal area. Personally, I like my dentist, but really need my hairdresser!

Finally, as WN continues on Zoom, see The Company meeting

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