Skip to main content

Quebec Liberal convention: party commits to balanced budget if it takes power

Bromont, Que. -

History will recognize the benefits of the Philippe Couillard government, according to the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ), which is committed to returning to a balanced budget if it takes power.

Gathering at a general council in a chic Bromont hotel, the Liberals will pay tribute on Saturday to their former leaders, including the last to serve as premier, Couillard, from 2014 to 2018, before being defeated by the CAQ.

These Liberal years were marked by cuts in health and education, among others, which many called "austerity," in order to return to zero deficit.

"History will in due course recognize — and we already do — the benefits of Philippe Couillard's government," interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay told a press scrum on Saturday morning, arguing that the Legault government is currently sinking with an $11 billion deficit without providing better services to the population.

Activists will debate a resolution for a Liberal government to commit to proposing a plan to return to balanced budgets in the first year of its mandate in 2026.

To return to a balanced budget, a future Liberal government will be prepared to impose sacrifices.

"Tough decisions necessarily involve sacrifices," said Liberal MNA André Fortin at a press scrum.

"Not every premier would have dared to make the tough decisions Philippe Couillard did, so my hat's off to him," said the former Couillard cabinet minister.

No eternal program

"We're going to be able to absorb the deficit," said Frédéric Beauchemin, the party's prospective leadership candidate.

Will there be cuts? "No," he replied.

"I don't think there's any state program that should go on forever, that's for sure. So, as we've already said, we need to revisit certain programs."

Is the PLQ warning voters that they'll be living through the same movie as between 2014 and 2018, cuts and budget freezes to restore public finances?

"No, there's no same movie," assured Liberal House Leader Monsef Derraji. "Quebecers want us to manage public finances well."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 25, 2024. Top Stories

Why Mount Rainier is the U.S. volcano keeping scientists up at night

The snowcapped peak of Mount Rainier, which towers 4.3 kilometres (2.7 miles) above sea level in Washington state, has not produced a significant volcanic eruption in the past 1,000 years. Yet, more than Hawaii’s bubbling lava fields or Yellowstone’s sprawling supervolcano, it’s Mount Rainier that has many U.S. volcanologists worried.

Stay Connected