Quebec government hands out money to families in economic update

Flush with surplus money, the Coalition Avenir Québec government is handing out goodies for families, making good on its promise to eliminate the sliding-scale system for daycare fees and boosting the child allowance earlier than expected.  

Finance Minister Eric Girard announced $857 million in new expenditures for the current fiscal year — $525 million of which will be put toward spending and $332 million of which will go back into the pockets of Quebecers.

“The economy is performing remarkably well, and this increases our revenues, allows us to give money back to Quebecers and still have responsible fiscal management,” Girard said at a news conference Thursday.

Among the highlights:

  • The enhanced family allowance will be fully implemented in Jan. 2020, two years earlier than originally promised. Families will receive an additional $779 on average.
  • The CAQ’s promised return to a single-fee system for daycare will be retroactive to the beginning of 2019. It will mean an average savings of $ 1,100 for 140,000 families.
  • Starting in the spring of 2020, hospital parking fees will be capped at around $7 to $10 depending on the region, and the first two hours will be free. Fees in some places were more than $20.

Girard said the province should finish the 2019-2020 fiscal year with a $1.4-billion surplus, fuelled by a 2.4 per cent increase in GDP in 2019.

The surplus for the previous fiscal year was $4.8 billion, up from the previously announced $4.4 billion.