Quebec expected to balance budget in March

QUEBEC – A new legislative session in Quebec opens today as the governing Liberals seek to fulfil an election promise of creating 250,000 jobs.

The province’s new economic minister, Dominique Anglade, has been tasked with coming up with a strategy to spur growth in Quebec’s under-performing economy.

In late March, Premier Philippe Couillard’s government is expected to present a balanced budget, after two consecutive years of slowing the rate of budget growth that were felt particularly hard in the health and education departments.

Couillard has promised that in 2016 his government will re-invest money in important portfolios, such as education, and to create the 250,000 jobs over five years his government promised during the 2014 election campaign.

Rural and urban members of the legislature are expected to clash over a government bill creating a provincial long-gun registry, which the Liberals want to replace the data destroyed by the former Conservative federal government.

Energy Minister Pierre Arcand is also scheduled this legislative session to release the province’s long-awaited energy policy, to guide government decision-making regarding oil, gas and other proposed energy projects.

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