QUÉBEC CITY, March 10, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - The Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Christian Dubé, tabled the 2020‑2021 Expenditure Budget today, outlining the increased government program spending for the coming year. The additional investment will be mainly devoted to educational success, improved access to healthcare for the most vulnerable members of society, increased wealth and the fight against climate change. Furthermore the Government is pursuing a rigorous strategy of expenditure management.
The increase in program spending for 2020‑2021 amounts to nearly $3.7 billion, or 4.4%. Over 85% will be channelled into the Health and Education sectors. The Environment sector will benefit from the highest investment rate, largely due to the implementation of the Plan pour une économie verte 2030.
The budget increase covers the cost of maintaining the current level of services provided by government departments and bodies, while enhancing services to the public. This additional spending is in response to Quebecers' concerns. The 2020‑2021 Expenditure Management Strategy will allow the Government to achieve greater efficiency, rethink the management of its human resources and improve its management of information technology and acquisitions, with a view to providing better service to the public, managing its information resources effectively and strengthening the security of government information.
Increasing the Government's efficiency
In the next year, the Government will continue to work toward its target of reducing the number of administrative staff by 5,000 by 2022‑2023. Already 50% of this objective has been achieved. Attrition of administrative staff in the public administration will continue in the 2020‑2021 fiscal year. At the same time it implements this optimization measure, the Government will provide more high‑quality services to the public, particularly in health and education, by adding 10,800 staff members mainly in the networks.
In terms of program review, a variety of measures will be deployed to generate savings and ensure that programs meet their objectives and are administered effectively and efficiently.
The 2020‑2021 fiscal year will also see the start of activities at the Centre d'acquisitions gouvernementales, which will increase the volume and benefits of group purchases, and at Infrastructures technologiques Québec, which will provide public bodies with technological infrastructure and shared support system services, while facilitating the digital transformation of government departments and bodies. These two new bodies will be created on June 1, 2020, the same date that the Centre de services partagés du Québec will be officially dissolved.
Together, all the optimization measures begun in 2019-2020 and continuing in 2020‑2021 will generate savings of nearly $980 million. These gains will allow the Government to generate budgetary leeway to enhance services to the public.
Furthermore, the Government will continue to work to harmonize the strategic objectives of the departments, the allocated budgets and accountability reporting so as to ensure that optimal use is made of public funds.
Rethinking human resources management and remuneration
In 2020‑2021, the Government plans to table an important bill to completely overhaul staffing in the public service. In keeping with the Government's desire to recruit competent applicants to ensure quality service in the context of a labour shortage, the public service must align itself with new staffing trends and practices in order to become more agile and efficient.
True to its commitment, the Government also plans to regionalize 5,000 public sector jobs from Montréal and Québec City. This measure will improve public services in the regions, contribute to the occupation and economic vitality of outlying regions by transferring stable, well‑paid jobs, and promote regional expertise regarding local issues.
Also, after tabling its overall offers as employer, the Government will continue to negotiate the renewal of the employment agreements of some 550,000 employees in the public and parapublic sectors. It will use an innovative approach, particularly through holding discussion forums on specific issues, to make a differentiated offer to personal care workers and teachers at the beginning of their careers. During negotiations this will be the basis for considering the realities of salaried employees and the challenges and needs of Quebecers, especially in health and education.
Ensuring the sound management of information resources
To offer effective public services adapted to today's environment and ensure consistency between activities and investments in this area, the Government will focus on the following four issues: government digital transformation, information security, the governance of information resources and the deployment of Infrastructures technologiques Québec.
2019‑2020 Supplementary Estimates
To take advantage of Québec's economic performance and the needs of the Québec population, the Government is making the responsible choice to fund certain additional activities in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, including, in particular, measures announced last November in the Update on Québec's Economic and Financial Situation. These non‑recurring supplementary estimates, which amount to a little more than $2 billion, have been made possible thanks to savings obtained from debt service and available funds in portfolio expenditures. These estimates will notably be distributed in the Municipal Affairs and Transportation sector, as well as in Health and Social Services sector.
"In the last year, we have launched the reforms required to optimize our expenditures. It is these daring actions that allow us to do more for the population. In 2020‑2021, in light of the Québec's economic performance, our Government will act with the same determination to increase the level and quality of public services, and reflect Québec's desire for educational success, increased wealth, improved healthcare and environmental protection. We are fortunate to be able to count on a competent and devoted public service that, every day, ensures that we achieve the ambitious objectives we have set ourselves in order to build a greener and prouder Québec."
Christian Dubé, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable de l'Administration gouvernementale et président du Conseil du trésor
For further information: Source: Myrian Marotte, Press Attaché, Office of the Minister responsible for Government Administration and Chair of the Conseil du trésor, Tel.: 418 643‑5926; Information: Jean Auclair, Media Relations, Direction des communications, Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor, Tel.: 418 643‑2001, ext. 4064