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Press release
13 November 2020

Economic update: CAQ misses the mark on Quebec’s economic future

As usual, François Legault’s government had inordinately raised expectations surrounding the budget update. The Premier had an opportunity to demonstrate that he was capable of rebuilding Quebec’s economy by focusing on a true vision for our economic development. We were promised an ambitious plan, but what was tabled was far from ambitious as it was simply unrealistic.

Quebec’s economy is at a turning point. We made a series of essential short-term demands to move forward and we urged the government to demonstrate vision, which they chose not to do.

Our demands included:

  • Funding ratio projects to reduce the number of patients for which each health care professional is responsible;
  • Implementing universal access to a public psychotherapy program for the young and not so young;
  • Offering more predictability for entrepreneurs;
  • Creating a better vision for our forests’ potential;
  • Taxing web giants (GAFAM).

Since the onset of the pandemic, we have asked the government to demonstrate leadership and anticipate the economic impacts to ensure that no one in Quebec gets left behind. Unfortunately, our SMEs did not receive direct assistance and our cultural and tourism industries are struggling to survive as the government continues to ignore them. The budget update presented by François Legault’s government was an opportunity to show creativity and imagination, to present us with an economic recovery plan that was resolutely modern and sustainable. Instead, Quebecers will have to make do with a short-term balance sheet over three years that is devoid of any long-term vision. I’ll say it again, the government needed to be prepared to face global economic upheaval and the permanent changes caused by the pandemic and they made the choice not to. We have to change this conservative vision and support our regions, our businesses, our talents and our job creators once and for all.

Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions

The government had an obligation to invest in certain key sectors given the exceptional situation that we are all experiencing right now. However, the CAQ missed the mark. People with expectations were disappointed. Entrepreneurs, health care workers, citizens, especially those living in Quebec’s regions, the tourism sector and the list goes on. We were presented with a series of half measures stemming from a simple balance sheet planned over 3 years rather than the ambitious 5-year plan that the CAQ promised.

André Fortin, Official Opposition Critic for Public Finances and Official Opposition House Leader

The outlook for economic growth that was presented in the economic update is awfully bright because the government expects GDP growth of 5% in 2021 based entirely or essentially on consumer spending and investment, but that is impossible to predict at this time. This plan is neither ambitious, nor realistic and it in no way meets Quebecers’ needs.

Carlos J. Leitão, Official Opposition Critic for the Economy