2017‑2018 Expenditure Budget - Québec gives itself the flexibility to invest in public priorities: health, education and the economy

QUÉBEC CITY, March 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Thanks to the discipline and determination it has shown since the start of its mandate as well as the good economic performance, the Gouvernement du Québec announced today, when tabling the 2017‑2018 Expenditure Budget, that it will meet its program spending objectives for a third year running. Quebecers have done their part and the Government has been able to honour its commitment, with major investments in its priority areas of health, education and economic development.

Sound government management practices along with Québec's strong economic performance have freed up the leeway to invest in public infrastructure.

The 2017‑2018 Expenditure Budget, tabled at the National Assembly by Pierre Moreau, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, has a program spending target of $72.6 billion for 2017‑2018, an increase of 4.1% from 2016‑2017. The margins thus created will make it easier for the Government to pursue its debt reduction objectives while increasing its public infrastructure investments, in turn fostering economic growth and job creation throughout Québec.

Quotation
"Together, we have proven that sound expenditure management benefits everyone, since it strengthens our capacity to maintain the public services that Quebecers need, both now and in the future. We are also able to pursue our debt reduction goals while maintaining a high level of investment in public infrastructure. A powerful lever for economic development, these investments create jobs in every region of Québec. Now that we have regained a solid financial footing and economic health, we will be able to make informed decisions that will benefit Quebecers of all ages and from every region."

Pierre Moreau, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review and Chair of the Conseil du trésor

Highlights
2017‑2018 will begin on the basis of the findings and measures set out in the 2017‑2018 Expenditure Budget, the key points of which are as follows:

  • The Government will meet its program spending target for a third consecutive year, allowing it to make choices based on the priorities of Quebecers.
  • Significant additional amounts will go into priority sectors, such as:
    • Education and higher education, with additional resources to improve academic success.
    • Health, with an increase to public services in view of reducing hospital wait times, increasing and improving care and services in residential and long-term care facilities (CHSLDs), reducing wait times for diagnostic services and surgery, and increasing access to youth protection and psychosocial services.
    • Economic development, with initiatives to stimulate economic growth, foster job creation and support families.

These investments are reflected in program spending increases of 4.2% for Santé et Services sociaux and 4.2% for Éducation et Enseignement supérieur.

Collective agreements of at least five years have been reached with over 95% of government employees. Such agreements will make government spending more predictable in addition to helping stabilize labour relations and the provision of public services.

Overall staffing is still under control, slightly up since 2015‑2016 but well below the levels reached in 2014‑2015.

Regarding program review, the Government has introduced a process to make ongoing recommendations on program performance improvement as well as support decision making in this respect.

The Government's digital shift continues with the implementation of the IT strategy known as "Rénover l'État par les technologies de l'information." IT projects and activities will also be increasingly monitored. Specifically, the Government will provide a representative picture of its IT assets, increase internal expertise, optimize the role of information managers, leverage cloud computing and consolidate its data processing centres.

Greater openness and transparency are in store with the new open‑data portal known as Données Québec, launched in partnership with a number of Québec municipalities.

Based on recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry, the Government has stepped up measures to safeguard its integrity. This is reflected in the adoption of a law to protect whistleblowers seeking to report wrongdoing in Government, as well as consideration of a bill on the creation of a public procurement authority, the Autorité des marchés publics, to monitor the process leading to the awarding of public contracts across Québec. Lastly, the action plan entitled "Passeport Entreprises" will facilitate access to government contracts for private‑sector businesses, particularly SMEs and business start-ups.

    Related link
    Expenditure Budget 2017-2018: www.tresor.gouv.qc.ca

     

    SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable de l'Administration gouvernementale et de la Révision permanente des programmes et président du Conseil du trésor

    For further information: Source: Catherine Poulin, Press Attaché, Office of the Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Tel.: 418 643-5926; Information: Émilie Lord, Media Relations, Direction des communications, Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor, Tel.: 418 643-0875, ext. 4052

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