Copyright ©1991 by The Fraser Institute
As the 1992 referendum on Quebec sovereignty approached with the fate of Canada hanging in the balance, the economic consequences of Quebec sovereignty became the most pressing question facing the country. This book provided the first comprehensive and objective look at this critical issue, considering all its important aspects including fiscal flows, trade relations, migration, the division of the public debt, and monetary arrangements. It was covered in depth by all the countries print and electronic media and resulted in the author being invited to testify before the Quebec National Assembly (testimony).
In addition to examining and presenting all the relevant data, it surveys earlier studies of the impact of Quebec sovereignty, including a critical review of the Bélanger-Campeau economic studies that were so influential in Quebec.
The books main conclusion is that the costs of separation would be high for Quebec. While the costs would be lower for the rest of Canada, they would still be significant. Indeed, if Quebec were to separate and relations between Canada and Quebec were to become acrimonious, the consequences could be economically disastrous for everyone.
Quebeckers had been lulled into a false sense of complacency about their economic future by the reassuring voice of the Bélanger-Campeau Commission. This book put the facts on the table at the critical time so that Quebeckers could make an informed political choice. It also sought to inform the rest of Canada about the economic disruptions that would have been unleashed if failure to accomodate Quebec's legitimate demands caused it to opt out of Canada.
"The events of the coming year will not be shaped by the
deliberate act of statesmen, but by the hidden currents,
flowing continually beneath the surface of political history,
of which no one can predict the outcome. In only one way
can we influence these hidden currents - by setting in
motion those forces of instruction and imagination which
change opinion. The assertion of truth, the unveiling of
illusion, the dissipation of hate, the enlargement and instruction of men's hearts and minds, must be the means."
John Maynard Keynes
The Economic Consequences of the Peace
(1920, pp. 296-7).
"Could Quebec go it alone? One recent analysis from an adjunct scholar at Vancouver's Fraser Institute has been praised by both sides. The Economic Consequences of Quebec Sovereignty, by Patrick Grady, a bilingual economic consultant and former federal civil servant." Peter Brimelow, "Agreeing to Disagree?"Forbes, March 2, 1992, p.62.
"Quebec would suffer an immediate economic decline - its worse since the Great Depression of the 1930s - if it separated from Canada, a new report says." David Crane, "Quebec Split 'Costly'," The Toronto Star, September 23, 1991, p.1.