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31 August 2016

Beyond partisanship: the real economic picture in Quebec

  • Since May 2014: creation of nearly 75,000 full-time jobs and more jobs created in the private sector in Quebec than in Ontario.
  • The confidence of Québec households is at its highest level since December 2007 according to the Conference Board Index of Consumer Confidence  (128.1 points in Quebec vs. 101.5 points in Canada (index 100 in 2014).
  • This confidence is reflected in strong growth (4.5%) in retail sales for the first six months of 2016.
  • This increase in consumption is also fueling the confidence of SMEs in Quebec, who are in the forefront of the Business Barometer by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
  • Economic growth continues in Quebec, despite the downward revisions in economic growth in all of our major trading partners.
  • Public Finances; we put the house in order. This enabled us to announce significant investments in education, and nearly 4 billion in tax cuts over the next four years.

Quebec is well

This is not me saying it; it is the rating agencies that analyze the evolution of the economic and financial situation in Quebec. And on this point, they are unanimous. This has also led two of them to raise the outlook on Quebec. Standard & Poor’s emphasized in particular that their rating reflects their appreciation of “Quebec’s strong budgetary performance, strong financial management, and very strong economy”. Some of our political opponents are quick to embody and convey pessimism and a distorted picture of the Quebec’s economic reality for purely partisan purposes. Waving the imaginary specter of the decline of Quebec, they project a false and negative image which affects development in Quebec.

Worse, this negative image is darkened by the politics of rejection, fear of others and exclusion, which advocates turning inward instead of openness, and division when we should all be working together to advance Quebec. Our future prosperity requires openness and a willingness to innovate, not closure, fear and rejection.

Quebec is doing well and we are ambitious. Together we want, we can and we will do better.

Carlos J. Leitão
Member for Robert-Baldwin, Minister of Finance, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review