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Review of the 2015 fall and winter session “By fulfilling our commitment to put our public finances in order and develop our economy, we have given Quebecers back the means to view the future optimistically and reinvest in projects that they hold dear.”  – Philippe Couillard

Québec City, December 4, 2015 – “The Québec government is fulfilling its commitments. We have put our public finances in order, supported Québec businesses and developed the economy in all regions. We have established ties with our partners and demonstrated our leadership in the fight against climate change. We have adopted the means to view the future optimistically and reinvest in projects that Quebecers hold dear. Together, we have given ourselves the means to build a fairer, greener, more prosperous Québec,” noted Québec Premier Philippe Couillard at the conclusion of the National Assembly’s current session . He was accompanied by Jean-Marc Fournier, Government House Leader, and officials from the Liberal parliamentary wing. 

Public finances are under control and the economy is robust

In the November 2015 update of The Québec Economic Plan, the Québec government confirmed that it would achieve its objectives of restoring sound, balanced public finances and establishing a favourable environment for economic growth and job creation. As economic growth continues it should reach 1.5% in 2015 and accelerate to 1.7% in 2016. At a time of economic slowdown in the other provinces in Canada and elsewhere in the world such growth is all the more significant.

Moreover, in November we noted a significant increase of 43 700 new full-time jobs and a 0.2% drop in the unemployment rate. Since the election of our government, the private sector has created 70 200 jobs. 

Since June 2015, the government has unveiled the 2015–2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan and launched Québec’s Maritime Strategy. In addition, investments have been made to support the economy and our regions: we signed the Accord de partenariat avec les municipalités that will inject $3.2 billion over four years and a Bill to develop the Québec small-scale alcoholic beverage industry has been tabled. 

Rigorous management allows us to reinvest in our priorities

The savings achieved through the sound management of public finances will enable us to reinvest in the areas that Quebecers hold as priorities. A good example is the announcement of an additional $80 million annual investment in education, in particular to hire 600 teachers this winter to support school’s success in Québec. The Québec government has also proposed a review of school governance in order to grant schools greater autonomy and give increased power to parents to promote the academic success of students.

To achieve a fairer society the government has launched other significant initiatives. One example is the tabling of action plans against bullying, to improve mental-health services, and to enhance palliative care. We have also tabled a firearms registration act and a Bill to facilitate whistleblowing in public organizations. Last, but not least, we will create a centre to prevent the radicalization leading to violence has been established in Montréal. 

Deliberations in the National Assembly  

Government House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier noted that several Bills devoted to employment were tabled during the session and that the measures to put public finances back in order have enabled the government to balance the budget for the first time since 2007-2008. “The Liberal government understands the importance of economic revival and the creation of quality jobs for Quebecers by presenting legislation to establish two logistical hubs and an economic development corridor along Autoroute 30 and the development of industrial port zones in the Greater Montréal area, legislation to better match training and employment and, thus promoting integration into the labour market, and legislation on immigration to Québec that seeks to better match immigration to labour market needs show the importance that,” said Mr. Fournier.

In the health sector, Mr. Fournier mentioned the adoption of Bill 20, which will improve access to physicians. “These major changes respond to our health and social services commitments aimed at reducing structures and focusing on the needs of patients and vulnerable individuals.”

In the wake of the Charbonneau Commission’s recommendations, elements have been tabled to amend legislative provisions in the municipal sector respecting, in particular, political financing, which lowers the ceiling on political contributions, and legislation to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoing in public bodies to protect whistleblowers.

Lastly, mention should be made of the unanimous adoption of the Act to regulate the granting of transition allowances to Members who resign during their term of office.

Québec’s leadership is recognized at home and abroad 

Québec is positioned as a true leader in the fight against climate change. Our target for 2030 is the most ambitious in Canada and calls for a 37.5% reduction in GHG emissions in relation to the 1990 level. 

“I participated as co-chair of the Climate Group’s Alliance of States and Regions at Climate Week in New York City. I also took advantage of visits to the United States to promote Québec’s hydroelectricity. Québec also made itself heard on the world stage during an economic mission to Mexico, and we are participating in COP21 in Paris. In keeping with our commitments, the Québec government is acting with conviction knowing that the decisions made today will enable our generation and the next to live in a greener, fairer, more prosperous Québec,” added the Premier.. 

Québec is ending this year enriched by collaborative relationships with numerous partners, in particular Ontario and major agreements concluded in the areas of the environment, the economy and energy. A historic agreement with the Grand Council of the Crees, specifically concerning forestry operations, and the unveiling of a Québec coordination plan to welcome Syrian refugees, also demonstrate Québec’s ability to establish strong ties with its partners.


Online as of: December 4, 2015

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