2017-2023 Government Action Plan to Foster Economic Inclusion and Social Participation
The Government of Quebec unveiled the 2017-2023 Government Action Plan to Foster Economic Inclusion and Social Participation, which promises investments of nearly $3 billion. This plan will place Quebec among the industrialized nations with the fewest poor people in 2023 and will permanently lift more than 100,000 people out of poverty by 2023.
With this plan, Quebec is acting as a trailblazer by increasing the income available to people who cannot gain employment on their own or through existing support measures. It is a significant first step towards the implementation of a basic income. The introduction of this form of financial support is an important development in the approach to combating poverty and social exclusion in Quebec.
In addition, this plan provides several measures to assist people in their integration into the labour market. It will also help improve social housing, mobilize communities across Quebec and encourage the social participation of low-income or socially excluded people and families.
In 2014, our government promised Quebecers that it would make Quebec a fairer and more egalitarian society. A strong and prosperous economy contributes to social progress. That’s why we have restored Quebec’s financial health and brought economic development to every region. Today, we have the necessary leeway to simultaneously invest in Quebecers’ priorities, reduce the tax burden and fight even more effectively against poverty and social exclusion. We gave ourselves the means to implement measures that will increase the population’s quality of life and allow us to pursue our social development. Together, let’s build a new Quebec that’s able to generate more wealth and share it better.
– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec
With this plan, we are making a concrete gesture to reduce poverty. The gradual implementation of a basic income for people with a severe employment limitations demonstrates the government’s desire to improve the living conditions of many and to help them truly take their place in our society. Thanks to all the investments related to this plan, Quebec will gradually reach the ranks of the industrialized nations with the fewest poor people.
– François Blais, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity
This step forward reaffirms our concrete desire to take action on the ground to better help the most vulnerable people in our society, especially the disabled and homeless. We are proud to support organizations that work with these people to improve their living conditions and help them fulfill their full potential.
– Lucie Charlebois, Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living
Key facts :
- The action plan comprises 43 new or significantly enhanced measures and actions that will be carried out by 18 ministries and government agencies.
- The introduction of a basic income for Quebecers with severe employment limitations represents an investment of $1.25 billion. Combined with the other existing income support measures, the basic income will allow people living alone to increase their available income by 41.4% and to each attain the threshold of the Market Basket Measure (MBM). The income available to childless couples who live in a similar situation will increase by 39.6%. This basic income will be implemented gradually over the period covered by this plan.
- Several measures aim to better support the beneficiaries of last-resort financial assistance programs and participants in the Objectif Emploi program and will help them focus on joining and remaining in the labour market. These measures include an enhancement of the services provided in these programs, which will help reach 55% of the MBM and represents an investment of $580.3 million.
- As part of the measures to promote entry and retention in the labour market, the government will invest $38 million to grant a $1,000 bonus to beneficiaries of last-resort financial assistance and to participants in the Objectif Emploi program who have sustainably joined the job market. Nearly $260 million will also be provided as work premiums.
- The government will support young people from low-income backgrounds who want to complete their studies, enter the labour market and become socially involved. This measure is valued at $68 million.
- Investments of $286 million will improve social housing as well as the living conditions and social participation of residents.
- The Fonds québécois d’initiatives sociales, which finances the implementation of projects by local and regional organizations that aim to combat poverty and social exclusion, will be strengthened to reach $160.1 million over five years. This is the largest investment to this day. Moreover, advocacy organizations that are supported in their overall mission by the Fonds d’aide à l’action communautaire autonome, as well as multisectorial organizations, will benefit from additional financing of $50.7 million.
- The government will invest $65 million to increase access to reduced-contribution daycare services for the children of people who benefit from last-resort financial assistance, changing the period of exemption from the parental contribution from 2.5 to 5 days starting in January 2020. Furthermore, $40.6 million will be dedicated to continuing to open full-time four-year-old kindergarten classes in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
- Finally, the gender-based analysis contained in the plan found that, although poverty affects everyone, it is accurate to state that the experience is often harder for women due to their specific circumstances, such as single parenthood. Therefore, several measures aim to better support them.