A budget tainted by COVID-19

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More than a year after the start of the pandemic, Quebec has its first budget marked in red by COVID-19. What can government spending and revenue look like in the face of a health crisis?

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Éric Girard, Quebec Minister of Finance, unveiled the government's 2021-2022 budget, tainted by the health crisis that has been raging for more than a year now.

It will therefore be a total of 134.9 billion dollars in expenditure, with a deficit which would reach 12.3 billion. It is predicted that there will be more spending than income for the next seven years in an effort to absorb the shock of the pandemic. Quebec will be in deficit until 2028, and that is, among other things, so as not to harm future generations. Exceptional resources… for an exceptional situation!

Overall, the top expenses should look like this:

Le Devoir, March 26, 2021

COVID-19, as of March 2021, has already cost Quebec $ 12 billion. According to Eric Girard, the bill should increase to 30 billion within 4 years. The plan of François Legault's government is based, among other things, on an increase in the federal health contribution to return to balance in seven years.

What to encourage young people?

For elementary and secondary school children, the government is freeing up $ 170 million to compensate for school delays accumulated since the start of the crisis. Hiring of tutors, professionals and purchase of computer equipment will make up the major part of this envelope. We can add to this the creation of new specialized classes and new premises to accommodate more 4-year-old kindergartens.

For those a little older than you, therefore at CEGEP or at university, Quebec will give 100$ per session to each student to help them overcome the financial difficulties linked to the pandemic. There will also be new investments aimed in particular at encouraging young people to study in fields in demand, such as nursing and information technology. More psychological support will also be offered to students.

If you want to know all of the government's spending and measures related to its 2021-2022 budget, you can read this article of Devoir which makes it an excellent summary.

The video below, produced by the Rad team, also answers several questions about the causes and consequences of the budget deficit forecast for the next seven years. One of the main reasons for this major deficit: not to harm your generation and the others that will follow!


 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

Disciplines and levels targeted

Financial education

  • Take a position on a financial issue

Mathematics

  • Sequence Culture, society and technology

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Developing and mobilizing technological skills
  • Collaborate digitally
  • Producing content via digital technology
  • Developing and mobilizing information literacy
  • Communicating via digital technology

Suggested digital tools

  • Padlet
  • iMovie or Anchor
  • Can go

Educational intention of the guide

The following activities will allow students to take a position on the Legault government's budget and to identify its ins and outs.

Objectives of the activities

  • Examine the budget of the Government of Quebec and examine one of the elements in greater detail by specifying the needs of the population in this regard.
  • Create a “shadow cabinet” in the class and present in the form of advertisements (audio or video) the priorities of each of the departments.
  • Create an infographic for each of the key measures of the budget decided beforehand by the class.

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