March 25, 2019
Quebec 2019 Budget Addresses “Significant Infrastructure Needs”
The 2019 Québec budget has put the spotlight on the province’s “significant infrastructure needs” by raising investments made under the Québec Infrastructure Plan (QIP) by $15 billion this year, with a total projected allocation of $115.4 billion over the next decade.
Thirty-two per cent of the province’s public infrastructure assessed to date is in unsatisfactory condition, including 54 per cent of education infrastructure, the budget noted.
Overall, the province reported a budgetary surplus of $2.5 billion for 2018-2019 and projects a balanced budget in 2019-2020. The government said it plans to keep the budget balanced until 2024 without using the stabilization reserve.
The province’s real GDP growth is expected to stand at 1.8 per cent in 2019 and 1.5 per cent in 2020, with gross debt at 46.1 per cent of GDP, the lowest level in more than 20 years. The budget also committed to a gradual elimination of the family tax starting this year and a $200-million reduction in the school tax starting in July.
Infrastructure-related highlights include:
- $4 billion towards the expansion or construction of new schools under the 2019-2029 QIP. Overall the plan allocates $20.3 billion in education and higher education infrastructure investments, with 80 per cent of funds going towards maintaining existing infrastructure.
- $325 million to plan a new road link between Québec and Lévis.Development of a new public transit system in Québec City.
- $20 million more for the Société des traversiers du Québec (intra-provincial ferry service)
- Preliminary studies for:
- extension of the métro’s Yellow Line into Longueuil
- extension of Highway 13 to Highway 50 near Mirabel Airport
- installation of reserved bus lanes on Highways 13, 20, 25, 440, 640 and Route 116
- tramways in Montreal’s east end and Taschereau Blvd. in Longueuil
- $74 million in 2021-2022 and $245 million in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 to build seniors' homes offering quality living environments tailored to changing individual needs.
- Expansion of the La Malbaie hospital and the Pierre-Le Gardeur hospital.
- $400 million over seven years to improve high-speed internet and cellular access in remote regions.
- $90 million over six years for regional infrastructure projects, including $47.6 million over three years to extend the natural gas network by approximately 80 kilometres from Saint-Henri-de-Lévis to Montmagny and $7.5 million to help carry out a feasibility study on extending the QcRail network between Dolbeau-Mistassini and Baie-Comeau.
Encouraging Innovation & Entrepreneurship
- $320 million for the decontamination of land, the construction of public infrastructure and the acquisition and development of strategically-located land with demonstrated economic development potential in various municipalities to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
- $250 million to support the construction of more than 10,000 AccèsLogis Québec (social and community) housing units.
- $1 billion to encourage strategically important businesses to keep their head offices in the province.
The full 2019 Quebec budget can be accessed at http://www.budget.finances.gouv.qc.ca/budget/2019-2020/index_en.asp