---- $3.15 million for made-in-Quebec Amazon?
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation criticized the Legault government’s decision to waste another $3.15 million of taxpayers’ money on the Panier Bleu online platform. Since its inception, the Panier Bleu has been nothing more than a massive dud. The government promised us a made-in-Quebec Amazon, but delivered a web version of the Yellow Pages at a cost of a million dollars.
For its launch, the Panier Bleu benefitted from a $975,000 subsidy from Quebec taxpayers. The Panier Bleu was rapidly criticized for its web-directory model, perceived as outdated.
Economy Minister Fitzgibbon just announced a new $3.15 million subsidy aimed at helping the Panier Bleu “pursue the development of [its] platform” and “continue the promotion of local commerce.” According to the Department of Economy and Innovation, the Panier Bleu platform allows for “geolocalized searches, as well as product or shop-specific searches” with 22,000 shops across the province.
Quebec shopkeepers need help, but the solution to their woes does not reside in making a costly, taxpayer-funded version of what Quebecers can already do, thanks to Google. If the minister wants to help shopkeepers stay in business, it should reduce their taxes and cut the red tape.
Renaud Brossard, Canadian Taxpayers Federation