Former Premier Jacques Parizeau says for the first time in decades, he is worried about Quebec's economy.
'It's the first time in 30 years that I am worried about the economic future of Quebec," the 81-year-old former premier wrote in an opinion piece in the Journal de Montréal.
In it, he says there's been an undeniable deterioration in Quebec's finances, and that "shock therapy" will be needed to correct it.
Parizeau says it would make more sense for Quebec to invest money in small- and medium-sized businesses, rather than investing in large projects and offering massive tax breaks, such as last week's $450 million funding of a cement plant in the Gaspé region.
And he says he agrees fully with the report that came out last month from the HEC, the University of Montreal's business school, which painted a portrait of Quebec living beyond its means with fiscal and economic policies that are unsustainable.
Another recent study, from the University of Sherbrooke, suggests unless the Quebec government makes a sea change in the way it spends money, it faces an "apocalypse" in the next 35 years.
CJAD's political analyst Jean Lapierre says Parizeau's words will carry considerable weight with Quebec's political class, considering his experience and his years as a finance minister under René Lévesque.
'Everybody knows [the economy] is his specialty, and I guess it's a big wake-up call."
Parizeau's last piece for the Journal was his criticism of his old party's secularism charter.