What does $500 buy nowadays?
More than a fewgroups are questioning whether cheques are the best way to help households, especially low-income Quebecers, deal with rising prices in the long term. Opposition parties were quick to criticize the governing CAQ party for announcing the measure just months ahead of the next provincial election.
But as always the meme-makers are perhaps our society's most profound — and prolific — critics.
Here are eight reactions that seem to sum up skepticism of the $500 payments.
The overwhelming sentiment seems to be that a one-time $500 payment will do little to address fundamental issues.
And then there's the question of — given the high cost of energy, food and housing — how much can $500 reasonably buy?
Got my rent increase letter yesterday\nHydro increase is coming next\nSuddenly costs 150$ to fill my gas tank\nVegetable and meat prices up 30%\n500$ on fait quoi avec \u00e7a @francoislegault ?\n#Quebec #Tabarnak #CAQpic.twitter.com/L3lIErNtVB— French Fried Gorl \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@French Fried Gorl \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1648091273
Though some seem more ambitious and optimistic than others.
Many are skeptical of the CAQ's motives.
And even opposition party Québec solidaire — known on social media for its meme literacy, as seen here and here — took part in the online criticism with an image of "pas tellement" impressed Madame Chagnon (if you know, you know).
Quand on demande aux gens s\u2019ils sont convaincus par le 500$ de la CAQ\u2026pic.twitter.com/0VizSk48zt— Qu\u00e9bec solidaire (@Qu\u00e9bec solidaire) 1648072360
For others, $500 seems like a superficial gesture.
Especially given the possibility of lowering taxes, like the Quebec Liberal Party had proposed.
The CAQ, for its part, has insisted that the measure will offer quick aid to Quebecers. Premier François Legault has tried to counter arguments that the payments — and the proposed budget they're part of — are self-serving.
"I don't want to have, in an election year, a firework display of new spending, like other governments before us," he wrote on Facebook on March 12.
"That said, I know that inflation is hitting many of you hard. It's the cost of housing, the grocery bill, the price of gas, or the electricity bill. Your government is going to help you in the next budget. We may be accused of electioneering, but that's no reason to let you down."