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Press release
March 07, 2019

Time For The CAQ To Make Choices

QLP’s Budget Expectations

Quebec, March 7, 2019. – If they want to make good on all of their election promises and maintain commitments from the previous budget, François Legault’s government is going to have to make some choices. They either need to raise taxes, generate new sources of income, opt for budget cuts, or renege on some of their promises.

Regardless of which option is chosen, the government will have to be transparent before the population and clearly explain their choices, insists the MNA representing Robert-Baldwin and Official Opposition Critic for Finance, Mr. Carlos J. Leitão.

Mr. Leitão reminds that the Coalition Avenir Québec had committed to maintaining a balanced budget and continuing to paying down the debt, while making very expensive promises such as reforming school taxes and implementing 4 year-old kindergarten throughout Quebec.

I do not doubt that the balanced budget can be maintained for this year, it’s the next four years that I worry about. How will this government manage to maintain budgetary discipline while funding all of its promises? When it comes to infrastructures, for example, the CAQ says that it will be able to keep its word without increasing the budget envelope of $100 billion over 10 years, as provided for in the Plan Québécois des infrastructures (Quebec Infrastructures Plan). This government will undoubtedly have to abandon some of its promises; now all that remains to be seen is which ones. The CAQ needs to be transparent with the population.

– Carlos J. Leitão, MNA for Robert-Baldwin and Official Opposition Critic for Finance

For its part, the Liberal Party wants to see the following in the budget:

  • Set aside the funding required to deploy ratio projects for nurses, nursing assistants and beneficiary attendants throughout Quebec, as established by the previous government;
  • Implement actions to counter workforce shortages, particularly in the public and para-public sectors;
  • Entrench the Reno-Vert Program;
  • Implement a new renovation assistance program for maintaining small tenant buildings;
  • Set aside the necessary funds for the renegotiation of the fiscal pact, in particular provide for the transfer of 1% of the TVQ to municipalities;
  • Plan for an enhancement to the Quebec Infrastructures Plan, at least 1% per year for 10 years.

Finally, recall that the CAQ postponed the publication of its monthly operations report from March 8th to March 21st. Thus, regrettably, we will not be provided with a clear portrait of the budget surplus before the budget is tabled.