A « small » deficit of 6.7 billion in Quebec

Despite the health crisis and the financial crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, will finally end the terrible fiscal year 2020-21 with a budget deficit, before transfer of money to the Generations Fund, of only $ 6.7 billion.

Why do I say « only »? Because it is 8.3 billion dollars less than the deficit forecast by Minister Girard during the revision of his 2020-21 budget in the summer of 2020. While the pandemic had severely shaken the Quebec economy during the April to June, the government treasurer Legault predicted at that time that Quebec was heading for a $ 15 billion hole.

Last November, Minister Girard was a little more optimistic by revising said deficit for the year 2020-21 to $ 12.3 billion.

Then, when tabling its 2021-22 budget on March 25, it maintained its forecast for the 2020-21 fiscal year deficit at $ 12 billion less dust. It was far from the deficit (before money was transferred to the Generations Fund) that I had anticipated a few weeks earlier.

Faced with the recovery of the Quebec economy, I predicted in my column of March 9 « a Quebec deficit much smaller than expected? » »That Minister Girard would succeed in closing the 2020-2021 fiscal year with a deficit significantly lower than his forecasts in the November 2020 update.

Concretely, I had written that the deficit would rise « in the worst case » to $ 8.3 billion.

Finally, the budget deficit for the pandemic year, according to the latest figures from Minister Girard, will be $ 6.7 billion, or 2.2 times smaller than the budget forecasts of the Minister of Finance in the summer of 2020.

Note that by adding the revenue payments dedicated to the Generations Fund, ie $ 3.3 billion, the budgetary balance within the meaning of the Balanced Budget Act will rise to 10 billion.


« The results are better than expected … This improvement is due to the strength of the economic recovery supported by our economic stimulus measures and our assistance measures intended for our businesses and Quebecers, » explains Minister Girard.

« During the year, » he adds, « the government notably put in place initiatives totaling $ 13.4 billion to support the economy and support the health system and Quebecers in the context of a pandemic and health emergency.  »


In fact, it was not the Legault government’s $ 13.4 billion initiatives that contributed the most to saving the Quebec economy from disaster.

Let us be a bit grateful to the government of Justin Trudeau, which injected hundreds of billions of dollars in financial assistance to individuals and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Quebec alone has collected around $ 40 billion in federal aid during the coronavirus pandemic, through generous federal programs, including the Canadian Emergency Benefit, the Emergency Grant. salary, the Emergency Account for Canadian Businesses, etc.

This is still three times more than the provincial aid granted by the Legault government.

It is these federal assistance programs that, despite the financial crisis, enabled the Legault government to collect in 2020-21 as much Quebec tax on personal income as in the previous fiscal year. And much more provincial corporate income tax than he anticipated in this pandemic year.

Let us give Trudeau back what it deserves in the Legault government’s budget recovery!

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