Saturday, December 20th0.3°C
24562
23664

Quebec economists advocate selling power utility, public sector wage freeze

QUEBEC - Quebec's new Liberal government should consider selling off portions of Hydro-Quebec and the liquor board as part of reforms to help balance the budget, says a report released Friday.

In analysis commissioned by the government even before it officially took power this week, economists Luc Godbout and Claude Montmarquette painted a grim portrait of Quebec's financial situation.

The report argues drastic measures are required to prevent the province from being downgraded by credit agencies.

The partial privatization of Hydro-Quebec and the liquor board, known as the SAQ, are only two of several major changes advocated by the experts to help get Quebec off the fiscal cliff.

Godbout and Montmarquette also suggest a wage freeze for public employees, increased service fees and a hike in the cost of Quebec's $7-a-day daycare.

Premier Philippe Couillard said Thursday he's still aiming to meet the previous Parti Quebecois government's objective of a $1.75-billion deficit in 2014-15 and a balanced budget the following year.

But he also said the province's deficit for the most recent fiscal year was $600 million more than projected.

He said the 2013-14 deficit clocked in at more than $3.1 billion instead of the $2.5 billion mentioned by the PQ before the election.

Couillard has already given notice his government will take steps to cut spending.

The government will try to cut administrative costs and impose a hiring freeze in the public sector, he said.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23954


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14468.26+121.51
S&P CDNX676.54+11.04
DJIA17804.8026.65
Nasdaq4765.38+16.983
S&P 5002070.65+9.42
CDN Dollar0.8618+0.0001
Gold1197.20+2.50
Oil56.50+2.39
Lumber336.20-0.70
Natural Gas3.446-0.196

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.25-0.03
Cantex0.03-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1726+0.0026
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.005
Russel Metals25.58-0.42
Copper Mountain Mining1.55-0.02
Colorado Resources0.120.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.011-0.0089
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.215-0.01

 
24130


24153

FEATURED Property
21508432545 O'Reilly
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$574,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


My final thoughts on real estate

This will be the last column I write on real estate. Largely because at the end of the year I will be handing in my license. After 20+ years of working in land development, resort development and rea...


Reflecting on the end of the year

The importance of the end of the year and the Christmas holidays is profound. It is a time to reconnect with family and traditions that have made us who we are. But the year-end has always been a time...


Parenthood: Estates, insurance & taxes

It is now even more important to ensure your loved ones are well looked if anything should happen to you. Here are a few topics to consider helping you prepare for some of the unexpected events that c...

_



24437

24476


Member of BC Press Council


23910