2008-2009 Expenditure Budget - Press release 2 of 2 - UNPRECEDENTED INVESTMENTS FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADING OF OUR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURES



    QUEBEC CITY, March 13 /CNW Telbec/ - In 2008-2009 the investments planned
under the Québec Infrastructures Plan and for completion of ongoing projects
total an unprecedented $7,740.4 million. "We are continuing to implement the
Québec Infrastructures Plan, which we announced in the autumn of 2007, calling
for a $30 billion investment over five years. This plan will contribute to
sustaining economic activity," said Monique Jérôme-Forget, Minister of
Finance, Minister of Government Services, Minister responsible for Government
Administration and Chair of the Conseil du Trésor, as she tabled the 2008-2009
Expenditure Budget.

    Unprecedented and Well-Timed Public Investments

    The investments forecasted under the Québec Infrastructures Plan, the
reduction in income taxes by $950 million for Québec families as of January 1,
2008 and the $265 million investment incentive announced today will together
support the economy, which will grow by 1.5% in 2008-2009. "These actions are
well timed," the Minister concluded.

    Maintenance of Assets a Priority

    The Québec Infrastructures Plan lays the groundwork for ensuring the
long-term durability of public infrastructures, so that future generations may
benefit from quality infrastructures, also fostering economic competitiveness
and ensuring a quality lifestyle for our citizens.
    Almost 80% of the budget earmarked for the Québec Infrastructures Plan,
$23.8 billion, will go to maintaining and upgrading public infrastructures;
this in turn will help us eliminate accumulated maintenance deficits of
previous years. The rest of the funds will be allocated to the improvement and
replacement of infrastructures.
    "Our hospitals will be more functional and use cutting-edge technology,
our roads will be as good as those of our neighbours, our sewer and water
networks will support more development and our schools will be more welcoming
and will encourage academic achievement," the Minister added.

    Quadrupling Investments for Asset Maintenance in 2008-2009

    In 2008-2009, investments of $4.9 billion under the plan will go to
maintaining assets and eliminating accumulated maintenance deficits. This
level of investment is close to four times greater than the average investment
level of $1.3 billion during the 1997-1998 to 2002-2003 period. "This level of
investment is unprecedented, and is a major turning point in the management of
collective infrastructures that will enable us to maintain and upgrade them in
an appropriate, responsible and sustainable manner and correct the errors of
the past," said the Minister.

    An Enhanced Collective Heritage for Future Generations

    On December 18, 2007 the government enacted the Act to promote the
maintenance and renewal of public infrastructures, which calls for the
elimination, over 15 years, of infrastructure maintenance deficits resulting
from past negligence. It includes a requirement to table in the National
Assembly a multi-year investment budget plan every year, as well as a report
on the use of these allocations and best management practices.
    "Establishing a legal framework for permanent maintenance and future
development of our collective facilities enables us to break with past
practices and act responsibly to leave future generations a quality collective
legacy. This is a question of fairness to our children and our grandchildren,"
the Minister said.
    -%SU: SAN,TER,TAX,SOC
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For further information:

For further information: Catherine Poulin, Press attaché, (418)
643-5270,  (514) 873-5363

Organization Profile

CABINET DE LA MINISTRE DES FINANCES, MINISTRE DES SERVICES GOUVERNEMENTAUX, MINISTRE RESPONSABLE DE L'ADMINISTRATION GOUVERNEMENTALE, PRESIDENTE DU CONSEIL DU TRESOR

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