Making blocks...

Quebec’s budget explained with Lego blocks

Par Nael Shiab

March 11, 2020

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What better way to understand the Legault government’s budget than with construction blocks? In this 3D representation, each block represents 5 million dollars.

For next year, Quebec foresees total revenues of 121 billion dollars, mainly from corporate, personal and consumption taxes.

The government doesn’t plan to spend everything. At the end of the year, a budget surplus (2.7 billions dollars) is expected, for a sixth year in a row.

This surplus will be transferred to the Generations Fund to repay the province’s long term debt, accumulated during the previous decades.

In the short term, interests have to be paid on this debt, the same way you pay them for money borrowed on a credit card or a mortgage. These fees are estimated at 8 billion dollars for this year.

The Environment Ministry received a 1,6 billion dollar budget this year, a 28.5 % increase compared to last year. A new plan for a green economy will be soon released, but few details are currently known.

However, several measures financed by the Green Fund have been announced. This 1 billion dollars in the fund comes from the Quebec carbon market, put in place in June 2006.

The government will spend 271 million dollars for the Roulez vert program. Up to $8000 will be reimbursed for the purchase of an electric car and $600 for a charging station at home.

And 14 million dollars will be used for the Chauffez vert program. Homeowners could receive up to $1275 to replace an oil or propane heating system.

Each year, infrastructures need to be maintained and new ones have to be built. For 2020-2021, Quebec plans on spending 11 billion dollars through its Plan québécois des infrastructures.

Public transportation gets 1 billion dollars this year. It is planned that billions more will be spent before 2030. Projects are currently under evaluation in Montreal, Quebec, Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil and in the Monteregie.

However, investments for road infrastructures are double the amount as those for public transportation, with 2,2 billion dollars planned for this year.

The Health and Social Services Ministry receives the biggest part of the budget, with 48 billion dollars. It’s a 5.3 % increase compared to last year.

This year, 489 million dollars will be invested in hiring more workers, especially nurses, and to add more beds in hospitals. The goal is to improve front-line services.

The government plans on spending 190 million dollars to offer better care to seniors, with a focus on home care. Part of this amount will also be used to improve food quality in the CHSLDs.

A sum of 190 millions is dedicated to the youth in difficulty. The money will be used to hire more workers at the Direction de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ), among other measures.

200 million dollars will also be alloted for the care of disabled people, for mental health initiatives and to help sexual assault victims.

The Ministry of Education is the second biggest ministry, with 26 billion dollars budgeted this year. It’s a 4,5 % increase compared to last year.

Helping students succeed in school is a priority. With 141 million dollars, the roll-out of preschools for four-year olds will continue and resources for students with special needs will be added.

The school tax, payed by homeowners, will decrease once more this year. For a $275,000 dwelling in Montreal, the bill will be $182 lower than in 2018. This measure will cost 182 million dollars.

The remaining 23 billion dollars, representing 19 % of all revenues, will be used to pay all other expenses, for all of the other ministries and agencies.

What did you think of this 3D representation? Did you like the left to right navigation? Let us know!

Nael Shiab data reporter, Santiago Salcido and Francis Lamontagne designers, Melanie Julien desk editor.