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MONTREAL, November 26, 2018— The Official Opposition’s Finance Critic, Mr. Carlos J. Leitão, accompanied by the Critic for the Economy and Immigration, Ms. Dominique Anglade, the critic for the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Ms. Marie Montpetit and the critic for Municipal Affairs, Ms. Marie-Claude Nichols, made the Official Opposition’s expectations for the December 3 economic update clear.
The Coalition Avenir Québec made a lot of promises to Quebecers during the last campaign. Whether it was reforming school taxes, reviewing day care service fees, family allowances for 4 year-old kindergarten, it is time for François Legault’s government to show us the cost of his promises and deliver on them, or tell Quebecers which of his commitments he intends to back down on.
Our Expectations for the Economic Update
The government has already demonstrated its lack of sensitivity to environmental issues. They say they intend to prove that their intentions for the environmental sector are real and emphasize the importance of fighting against climate change through concrete measures that could come rapidly into effect, such as:
- Increasing the funding awarded to triage centres to face Quebec’s current recycling crisis and increasing the funding for municipalities to implement composting and biomethanization centres;
- Enhancing the RénoVert program which encourages citizens to complete eco-friendly residential renovations.
François Legault inherited sound public finances and currently has a 3-billion-dollar surplus. Nonetheless, there are a number of dark clouds hanging over Quebec’s economy. To date it is radio silence regarding workforce shortages and employment challenges. The economic update needs to confront these issues head on and implement measures to stimulate the economy:
- Enhance the budget envelope dedicated to the Plan québécois des infrastructures (PQI) to responsibly finance the promises made during the election campaign or tell Quebecers which projects will need to wait;
- Transfer a percentage point of the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) to the municipal sector;
- Implement an accelerated incentive, which would allow companies to deduct a larger portion of the cost of newly acquired goods. An important measure for our businesses’ competitiveness.
Governments are rarely given the opportunity of coming into post with such flexibility. On December 3, the government will present an economic update. It will be the government’s first test. François Legault’s government raised expectations by making promises without cost analyses or with estimates that were far less than reasonable. Now he has to deliver on those promises and put the surplus we left to good use.
– Carlos J. Leitão, Official Opposition Critic for Finance
Quebecers are ready to contribute to environmental efforts. The government needs to support the population’s efforts. It will be the first real test for François Legault’s government. He has an opportunity to show us that the environment is a priority for him, just like for the rest of Quebec’s population. Because beyond words and good intentions, concrete efforts must be deployed.
– Marie Montpetit, Official Opposition Critic for the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change and Agriculture