Re-elected at the head of a majority government, here are the priorities which the head of the CAQ will have to tackle. To “do more and do better”, as the leader of the Coalition avenir Québec has pledged, the new government of François Legault will very quickly have to fight on several fronts.
Tax cuts and other measures against inflation
To help citizens cope with inflation, François Legault has promised tax cuts on the first two tax brackets, starting in 2023. He believes that this tax relief, valued at $7.4 billion, will serve as an engine to revive the economy. As for the revenues that the State will inevitably deprive itself of, they will be offset by using a portion of the payments provided for in the Generations Fund, a financial tool designed to repay the public debt over the longer term. By the end of the year, taxpayers should receive a check for $400 to $600 depending on their income, an amount they can spend as they please.
The government will also increase the financial assistance offered to low-income seniors from $411 to $2,000, a measure that is supposed to benefit 1.1 million seniors aged 70 and over. The head of the CAQ has also pledged that Quebec will return to the point of balanced budgets within five years.
The above measures should help the struggle that have been fighting citizens of Parc-Extension.
One of the major projects of the Legault government, is a four-lane road tunnel between downtown Quebec City and downtown Lévis which could cost $6.5 billion, according to estimates. Other projects in Quebec: the continuation of the construction of the tramway as well as the launch of new river shuttles that will connect tourist destinations on the banks of the St. Lawrence to the Champlain Market, which must be completely rebuilt and transformed into a new showcase for Quebec gastronomy .
The labor shortage
Hiring temporary foreign workers who meet the needs of the province, raising wages, promoting the return to work of retirees with bonuses and tax incentives… All means are good to counter the shortage of labor that plagues many sectors of activity, especially the health sector. For the College of Physicians, it is simply necessary to reinvent a collapsing health network. The CAQ forecasts annual growth of 4.5% in health spending and has promised to turn to the private sector.
If it respects its commitments, the Legault government will invest an additional $400 million, in particular to train and recruit 660 doctors and 5,000 additional health professionals.
An energy shift to feed
This is the great dilemma of the decade: to meet the increase in electricity needs. Hydro-Québec has forecast that from 2019 to 2029, electricity demand will grow by 20 TWh, or 12%, in part due to natural population and economic growth.
François Legault would like to increase the production of electricity from hydroelectric dams. He also promised the construction of wind farms for short-term needs. As for electric vehicles, the purchase of which will be stimulated by the ban on the sale of new gasoline vehicles from 2035, they should benefit from three times as many charging stations within four years.
Problems with windows, plumbing, facade and sometimes even mouse infestations. More than one out of two schools in Quebec was deemed to be in poor condition, Mr. Legault has pledged to invest $2 billion more than expected, for a total of $9 billion, to address years of neglect.
The Coalition avenir Québec has promised to refresh 600 schools in poor condition. The work will also include the addition of windows, technological laboratories and collaborative work rooms, as well as the expansion of gymnasiums.
The new CAQ government will also have to tackle the shortage of teachers, access to the profession remaining strewn with pitfalls for interested candidates. Finally, the newly elected government will sit down with the unions in October to negotiate the renewal of the teachers’ collective agreement.
The strengthening of Quebec’s powers in immigration
After having suffered several refusals from the federal government, François Legault promised to come back to Ottawa to win more decision-making powers in the area of welcoming newcomers. In terms of permanent immigration, the CAQ wants to maintain a threshold of no more than 50,000 newcomers per year. However, in temporary immigration, no ceiling has been mentioned.
His arguments alternate between the crying need for manpower, especially in the territories, and the urgency of safeguarding the French language in Quebec. If nothing is done, it could become a matter of time before we become [another] Louisiana, he had threatened.
The re-elected Prime Minister does not rule out a referendum on this issue in order to obtain a better balance of power with Ottawa. In the campaign, he was criticized by his opponents for having lost his influence with Justin Trudeau, particularly with regard to the passage of migrants through Roxham Road