Infrastructure spending the key to economic revitalization: Liberals

Anthony Abbondanza
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From left to right: Martin Coiteux (Nelligan), Jacques Daoust (Verdun), and Carlos Leitao (Robert-Baldwin).

The economic trio of Jacques Daoust, Martin Coiteux, and Carlos Leitao continued to push the Liberals' economic plan last week at the former’s electoral office in Verdun.

“We raise revenues by accelerating economic growth… We intend, in the short term, to spend on infrastructure. We’re going to add what the [PQ government] has cut,” said Leitao, a Robert-Baldwin candidate, when asked how the party intends to raise provincial revenue without raising taxes.

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard promised to increase spending on infrastructure by $1.5 billion a year to $11 billion early on in the electoral campaign.

Infrastructure spending in the short and medium terms, as well as budget cuts will help produce a surplus by 2015-16, the Liberal Party (QLP) has promised.

Aside from promising the review of all government spending programs, which the party said could save Quebec at least $1.3 billion in the first two years of a Liberal mandate, the re-initialization of the Plan Nord project, as well as the recently-announced Maritime strategy will provide a large boost to the province’s economy.

The Maritime strategy will revitalize tourism in Quebec, creating 30,000 new jobs and generating approximately $3.5 billion for the economy.

“When we were in a recession, we were in the midst of increasing investment in infrastructure,” said Coiteux, who’s running in Nelligan. “Under a Liberal government, we had much better performance in employment growth and GDP. We know exactly how to do it and this is what we’re going to do starting the first day.”

The PQ have attacked the Liberals’ economic plan, with Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau calling it a “recycled” plan, that is to “borrow more and to spend more.”

The PQ has promised to limit spending to two percent over the next three years.

Meanwhile, the Coalition Avenir Quebec’s (CAQ) economic plan promises to cut health and school taxes and cut the deficit to zero by the first year of its mandate.

Health and education spending vital: Liberals

The QLP promised to spend 4 and 3.5 per cent, annually, in the health and education sectors, respectively, while freeze spending in other ministries for a period of five years.

A review of both sectors bureaucracy will also be needed, said Leitao.

“We don’t need many bureaucrats. We’ll cut some administration if we have to,” said the former Laurentian Bank chief economist.

Leitao added that the addition of what he called ‘super-clinics,’ opened 24/7, could compliment the healthcare system.

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Organizations: QLP, PQ, Liberal Party Laurentian Bank

Geographic location: Quebec, Verdun, Nelligan

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