Quebec budget: Minister ditches new shoes tradition, makes donation instead

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Possible income tax cuts in upcoming Quebec create controversy
WATCH: Quebec is set to deliver the next provincial budget in less than a month and the Legault government seems poised to follow through on its campaign promise to reduce income taxes. But as Global’s Dan Spector reports, a few influential economists think it’s a bad idea. – Feb 27, 2023

Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard broke with tradition on Monday as he unveiled the theme of his 2023-2024 budget: Un Québec engagé or A committed Quebec.

Finance ministers in Canada tend to sport new shoes on budget day as a way to send a message.

Last year, Girard picked up new runners at his favourite running boutique on Montreal’s St-Denis Street. He said the shoes were built for speed and geared towards high performance and likened them to Quebec’s economy, which he said had bounced back in 2021 after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

But this year, Girard ditched the new footwear altogether.

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“Rather than buying we will give,” he said, announcing a $10,000 donation to Quebec City’s Patro Roc-Amadour — a community centre in the Limoilou district that is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

He made the announcement in the company of Family Minister Suzanne Roy.

Each will be donating $5,000 to the cause, using money from their minster’s discretionary envelope.

The donation will allow for 50 kids to take part in day camps this summer.

Girard also announced $50 million would be given to Dr. Gille Julien’s team so that it can continue its work with underprivileged children.

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Julien has been practicing “social” pediatric  medicine for over 40 years. He is president of the Fondation du Dr. Julien, which works with children from vulnerable backgrounds.

“All the pediatric centres are making a difference for children that sometimes official institutions do not reach,” Girard said of the foundation’s work.

He said it was chosen because he wanted to emphasize “how good their work is and how important it is.”

Girard will present his budget on Tuesday.

— with files from the Canadian Press

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