Why change what works?

Marie-Christine Trottier and
Émilie Bergeron

Look at this article

Flush out the false news, to verify the statements of politicians, find the real numbers : the research staff of our investigation agency, based in Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa, that specialize in the art of re-establish the facts. Each Saturday, they will present their findings to allow you to see more clearly in the events of the week.

The statement

The new Finance minister, Éric Girard, has called into question this week by the relevance to the Québec government to publish a budget report each month.

In evidence, the surplus of $ 3 billion, unveiled by the most recent monthly report will no longer exist at the end of the year, said Mr. Girard.

According to him, forecasts, published only four times per year would give a fuller picture of the realistic financial position of Québec.

The facts

Checks are made, the solution advanced by Eric Girard is not the best.

Over the past four years, at the time of submitting its budget, the government planned to achieve a balanced budget. It is wrong each time.

During each of these years, the report published after five months, the same one that Mr. Girard calls into doubt, has given an indication a lot more realistic with the final result (see table).

The monthly report of the financial operations of the government of Quebec has been put in place in April 2006.

This tool has been launched “in order that citizens are able to better assess the financial situation of the government,” explained then the former minister of Finance, Michel Audet.


More accurate after 5 months

  Forecasts of the budgetary balance Results after five months ($M) Results, at the end of the financial year ($M)
2017-2018 0 1726 850
2016-2017 0 995 2361
2015-2016 0 944 2191
2014-2015 0 618 -725

Government of Quebec