User fees, expenses and taxes to pay down deficit?
Published Sunday, September 27, 2009 4:33PM EDT
Proposals for billion of dollars of new expenses were trotted out at Liberal government meetings in Drummondville this weekend, where everything from higher Hydro rates, to road tolls, to water royalties, to a rainy day fund for healthcare was discussed.
There would also be higher taxes on alcohol, energy drinks, chips, soft drinks and candy, some Liberals suggested.
The province is projecting over $11 billion in deficits by 2014. New users fees and taxes could help pay down that debt.
Quebec recently suspended a law that forces the province to table a balanced budget
Premier Jean Charest promised wider consultation, affirming no decision would be made before the next budget.
"We will take into account what the membership expressed on the weekend. We're going to put that in a broader spectrum of where Quebec needs to go next ten to 20 years," said Charest.
The idea that drew the quickest and most vocal opposition was the plan to introduce tuition fees at the Cegep level.
Students are threatening protests at the idea, but Charest moved quickly to head off the protest.
"We will hear them out as we always do and we will preserve the principle of accessibility," said Charest.