Quebec offers more for families in economic update, will end year with $1.4B surplus

Quebec’s fall economic update is offering more money for families, a reduction in hospital parking fees and a return to a single rate for the province’s subsidized daycare spots.

Finance Minister Eric Girard said today 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.

His economic statement advances by two years a promised increase in family allowances, giving nearly 679,000 Quebec families an average of $779 more a year beginning in January.

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard presents an economic update Thursday, November 7, 2019 at his office in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Girard is also cancelling the extra payments wealthier families had to pay for subsidized daycare spots, making the change retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019.

All parents, regardless of income, will pay $8.25 per child per day for daycare, representing on average a savings of $1,100 a year for 140,000 families.

The Quebec government is also reducing its much-criticized hospital parking fees, making the first two hours free at hospitals across the province.

The total additional spending this fiscal year, above what was budgeted last spring, is $857 million.

The Canadian Press first published this story on Nov. 7, 2019.

The Canadian Press