François Legault’s government has promised an acceleration in Quebec’s economic growth, but today the Minister of Finance Éric Girard has announced an economic downturn instead.
Earlier this week Mr. Girard mentioned that “it seems like we are anticipating a re-acceleration in 2020 following an economic downturn in 2019.” The scenario we are experiencing at present is just the opposite.
We have observed a deceleration in business investments since the CAQ took power, a clear indication that investors’ confidence has decreased. The government also forecasts a decline in exports.
One of this economic update’s surprises is the anticipated inflation’s increase to 2.2%. This projection is even more surprising as the bill presented by the government to simplify the process for establishing electricity distribution rates (Bill 34) is based on an inflation rate of 1.7%. The experts had evaluated the cost at $500M, today we received confirmation that it will cost more.
On the one hand, the government is bragging about giving money back to families, but on the other it is increasing hydroelectricity rates.
The Minister of Natural Resources stands to lose the most in this economic update as it is becoming far more difficult to defend Bill 34.
- Nothing today for exhausted nurses (ratio-projects)
- Nothing for the elderly or those living alone
- Nothing for education, which was supposed to be the government’s main priority
- Nothing for the families of handicapped children who were promised a decrease in the benefit gap with foster families.
- Nothing to follow up on the Viens Report
- Nothing for public transportation, despite our demands for free public transit for students and seniors.
- Nothing planned for taxing Internet giants
- Nothing new for culture
The promises of a fast-growing economy are nowhere to be found in this economic update. There is a reason why the CAQ does not anticipate tax cuts before 2024. An economic downturn is on the horizon despite the Minister of Finance’s attempts to deny it. This economic update is a disappointment for many, including our nurses who are exhausted and for whom an obvious solution exists; the implementation of ratio projects.
– Carlos J. Leitão, MNA representing Robert-Baldwin and Liberal Critic for Finance