Policy
May 7, 2012

Plan d’action pour la gestion de crise

Maintenant que l’excitation provoquée par les élections canadiennes et américaines est retombée, l’attention de la nation se tourne vers des mesures à prendre par les autorités pour contrer l’actuelle crise financière. À peu près tous les dix ans, les administrations publiques canadiennes sont aux prises avec une situation imprévue qui exige une réponse énergique et rapide. Ainsi, ces dernières années, nous avons dû composer avec les conséquences des attentats du 11 septembre, une tempête de verglas dévastatrice, la crue de la rivière Rouge, l’effondrement du secteur de la haute technologie, le SRAS et des menaces à la chaîne d’approvisionnement alimentaire (listériose). 

 

Chaque fois, les administrations publiques ont très bien réussi à mobiliser leurs ressources pour intervenir et rassurer les Canadiennes et Canadiens. Cependant, l’actuelle crise financière pourrait bien être le problème le plus complexe des quelque cent dernières années, et ce, pour un certain nombre de raisons.

 

Premièrement, la cause réelle de l’effondrement des marchés financiers n’étant pas encore certaine, il n’est pas facile de trouver des solutions. Deuxièmement, la crise est à l’évidence d’envergure mondiale; nous ne sommes pas les seuls à la ressentir. La stabilisation de la situation exige donc l’action coordonnée de nombreux pays. Troisièmement, les problèmes sont plus psychologiques que concrets, ce qui rend les interventions requises particulièrement complexes et sensibles à la réaction du public. Quatrièmement, le déclenchement de cette crise est imputable en partie à une trop grande dépendance envers des modèles informatiques que peu de gens comprenaient et, qui plus est, créaient un fossé entre les négociateurs et leurs clients ainsi que le marché. Il pourrait donc être impossible de trouver un lien entre les événements qui ont débouché sur la situation actuelle. 

 

Enfin, cette crise a été alimentée par la cupidité attribuable aux gains énormes réalisés par quelques milliers de négociateurs qui se sont soustraits au risque en le répartissant habilement entre des millions d’investisseurs avec la promesse d’un « risque sans risque ». Le déconstruction des instruments financiers en petites unités non repérables compliquera également la tâche des autorités qui voudront rendre les entreprises responsables des conséquences de leurs agissements. 

 

En ce début du processus de relance, il incombe à tous les ordres de gouvernement de contribuer au rétablissement de la confiance dans nos institutions financières. Les premiers ministres fédéral et provinciaux ainsi que les maires des grandes villes ont la tâche ardue de déterminer quels instruments de politique publique permettront de ramener la confiance. C’est manifestement au Premier ministre fédéral, à peine sorti d’une campagne électorale de six semaines où la forme a pris le pas sur le fond, que revient le plus gros de ce fardeau.

 

Vu la gravité de la situation actuelle, la fonction publique sera appelée à jouer un rôle vital dans la reprise économique. Contrairement à l’administration américaine, qui cherche des conseils stratégiques et de l’expertise à l’extérieur de la fonction publique pour gérer le processus de sauvetage du secteur financier, nos administrations publiques s’en remettront vraisemblablement aux compétences des fonctionnaires. Les délais seront serrés, étant donné que de fortes pressions s’exerceront sur le nouveau gouvernement pour qu’il élabore très rapidement des mesures susceptibles de rassurer un public nerveux et mécontent composé de propriétaires de résidences, de consommateurs et d’investisseurs.

 

À tout le moins, nos administrations publiques peuvent prendre à court terme les mesures suivantes, en attendant de connaître toutes les répercussions de la crise financière. 

 

En premier lieu, les responsables des finances publiques doivent analyser très attentivement la situation de ces dernières et ne pas écarter un réexamen des dépenses de programmes qui libérerait des ressources susceptibles d’être injectées dans le secteur national des services financiers. Le retour des déficits au cours des prochaines années est une possibilité bien réelle, et le gouvernement doit en informer clairement les Canadiens. Une gestion financière prudente est plus importante qu’un attachement obstiné à l’équilibre budgétaire.

 

En deuxième lieu, puisque la déréglementation du secteur des services financiers a été reconnue comme l’un des déterminants de la crise, il pourrait être opportun d’examiner en profondeur le cadre réglementaire actuel afin de déceler les facteurs manifestes de risque systémique.

 

En troisième lieu, la politique publique prendra plus, et non moins, d’importance au cours des prochaines années, de sorte qu’il faudra poursuivre les divers efforts de recrutement en cours pour attirer de nouveaux talents qui combleront les besoins actuels et futurs, surtout dans les secteurs où des lacunes sont constatées.

 

En quatrième lieu, l’heure est propice aux changements organisationnels susceptibles de déboucher sur la création de nouveaux organismes ou comités consultatifs appelés à travailler dans des délais serrés.

 

En cinquième lieu, au fil des ans, la politique publique canadienne a recouru aux projets d’infrastructure publique pour créer de l’emploi en période difficile. Cela fait un certain temps que les mai

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