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Responsible and smart budgetary choices

Québec City, March 19, 2009 – “The Expenditure Budget that I am tabling today was developed against the backdrop of great pressure on government finances. We must endeavour to consolidate what we have achieved, maintain services to the public and support the hardest hit individuals and businesses during these difficult times,” said Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for Government Administration, as she tabled the 2009-2010 Expenditure Budget.

Québec still has one of the best records in Canada in terms of controlling spending

For 2008-2009, program spending will total $57,400 million, an increase of 4.7%. This growth again demonstrates Québec’s control over spending since it has maintained a spending growth rate since 2003-2004 that is lower than that in the other provinces. Only British Columbia has a better record on that front.

Program spending up 4.5% in 2009-2010

For 2009-2010, even as it fulfills its commitments, the government will keep tight control over program spending, which should reach $59,989 million, 4.5% higher than in 2008-2009.

  • Health and education a priority

  • The health and social services budget rises by nearly $1.5 billion, an increase of 5.7%. The additional funds will allow the Department to cover the increase in network system costs, including those related to population aging, the introduction of new technologies, adding more physicians and setting up new family medicine groups. The budget allocated to education, recreation and sports increases by $490 million. The additional 3.5% will cover the increase in network system costs and enable the Department to act on government commitments, including those to handicapped students and those with social or learning disabilities.

  • Other departments to maintain services and fulfill commitments

  • Additional budgets are allocated to other departments to maintain services to the public and fulfill previously announced commitments. These include an amount of $119 million added to the budget for families and seniors, for a growth of 6.1%. This will make it possible to pursue the goal of developing 20,000 new reduced-contribution childcare spaces. The budget of the Ministère des Transports increases by $424 million, a growth of 18.1%, as massive amounts are invested in the road network and mass transit under the Québec Infrastructure Plan. The budget of the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation increases by 9.8%, primarily as a result of the government initiative to increase funds available to companies through the establishment of the Renfort program.

    Finally, the budgets of other departments remain generally stable compared to 2008-2009.