A few months before the provincial election, the Legault government tabled a budget largely focused on inflation. Here are the highlights of relevance to retailers.
1. In brief – measures to stimulate the economy:
$4.2 billion by 2026-2027 to stimulate economic growth, including:
- $2.2 billion to increase the productivity of Quebec economy, particularly as part of the new 2022-2027 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy;
- $290 million to improve the employment integration of immigrants;
- $1.5 billion to support regional economic development; and,
- $258 million to support the economic recovery and promote Quebec culture and its community.
2. Pandemic support:
Continuation of support programs for businesses affected by the pandemic for as long as required:
- Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (PAUPME); and
- Assistance for Businesses in Regions on Maximum Alert (AERAM) and tourism component of the PACTE.
3. Digitalization of the economy:
Continuing the Digital Transformation Offensive
- An additional $60 million is planned over two years to accelerate the digital shift and increase productivity and wealth creation in Quebec.
Completing the mobile coverage of Quebec’s inhabited areas and road network
- The 2021-2022 budget provided for 116,000 new homes to be served and for this operation to be completed in the fall of 2022. The government now wishes to improve the mobile coverage of Quebec’s road network in order to 1) meet safety issues on Quebec roads and connectivity on the territory; and 2) help to create the conditions for hyperconnectivity.
- $30 million is planned in 2022-2023 and $20 million in 2023-2024 to carry out a mapping of needs and start the work regarding mobile coverage. This is a first phase that will eventually make it possible to offer mobile coverage throughout Quebec’s road network.
Accelerating the pace of Quebec’s digital transformation
- Transform Revenu Québec’s service delivery to individuals and businesses by introducing a simpler and more efficient digital model regarding tax administration.
Accelerating the acquisition of new technologies by companies
- The government announced an extension to the temporary increase in the rates of the Investment and Innovation Tax Credit (C3i) for one year, (i.e. for property acquired before January 1, 2024). This initiative will provide more than 10,000 businesses with more than $155 million in additional liquidity by 2026-2027.
4. Labour shortages:
Improve the employment integration of immigrants ($290.2 million over five years) by:
- Increasing support for learning French ($198.3 million):
- Make workplace courses accessible to immigrant workers wishing to improve their command of French;
- Increase the offer of remote francization services to reach clients in remote areas and offer French language learning services to new clienteles; and
- Conduct French courses for immigrants selected abroad before their arrival on Quebec soil.
- Promoting the attraction of immigrants to the regions:
- $80 million over four years to reduce tuition fees for international students.
- Speeding up the processing of immigration applications:
- $11.9M over five years to hire sufficient resources to process the increased number of applications.
Modernize vocational training programs:
- The Ministry of Education will provide $135.2 million by 2026-2027 to modernize programs in order to expand the pool of skilled and qualified workers in vocational training.
5. Purchasing power and local purchasing:
Direct support to citizens:
- One-time payment of $500 to any adult with an income of $100,000 or less;
- 6.4 million Quebecers will share $3.2 billion; and
- This amount will be paid automatically by Revenu Québec to all eligible adults based on the information contained in the 2021 tax return.
Boosting Quebec production and local purchasing:
- Continuing efforts to encourage local purchasing, the government is providing $20 million over three years to fund various measures, including:
- Promoting the online and local identification, promotion and purchase of Quebec products and services;
- Facilitating the integration of best business practices in logistics; and
- Strengthening Quebec’s supply chains.
Support for regional connectivity and procurement
- $255 million over five years will be provided for regional air transport.
Continuing the development of the biofood sector:
- $627 million will be provided to support the development of the biofood sector.
6. Blue box and bottle deposit modernization:
- In preparation for the blue box and bottle deposit systems modernization, $18 million in assistance over three years will be paid on a transitional basis until the blue box and bottle deposit modernization comes into effect, in 2025.
All official Quebec budget documents are available online.
We also invite you to consult RCC’s statement (in French) following the tabling of the 2022-2023 budget.