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Quebec to table budget on March 12 amid warnings of larger deficit

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard announces the provincial budget will be presented on March 12, Thursday Feb. 22, 2024, at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Karoline Boucher

QUEBEC — The Quebec government will present a budget on March 12 that is expected to have a larger deficit than originally estimated.

Quebec's Finance Minister Eric Girard said today the government's priorities for the 2024-25 fiscal year will be health care and education.

Earlier this week, Premier François Legault said collective agreements recently signed with workers in those two sectors mean it will take longer for the government to balance the books.

Legault said that because of the salary increases for teachers and health-care workers — following strikes that delayed surgeries and shut hundreds of schools — the budget will be "largely in deficit."

Girard says Quebecers will see on March 12 that the province's estimated revenues have dropped because the economy has slowed down.

Legault, however, has repeatedly promised that the upcoming budget will not include cuts to services or tax increases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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