An independent office is required to monitor spending in Quebec

An independent office is required to monitor spending in Quebec

Twelve years after tabling Bill 192, which aims to give Quebec its own position of Parliamentary Budget Director (DPB), François Legault's CAQ, despite being in power for five years, has not yet created this crucial position.

In response to a question from Québec Solidaire's Haroun Bouazzi last spring, Finance Minister Eric Girard said the creation of such a position was part of a deliberation within Quebec's government apparatus.

“Yes, we are open to it, it is part of the ongoing discussions on parliamentary reform,” he said.

Mr. Legault and Mr. Girard: What is your problem?

“Reflect” is all well and good, but when the bill dates back twelve years and comes from your own party and its leader, and you have been in power for five years, it seems to me that “reflect” has gone on long enough and it is time , To take action.

Especially since all opposition parties (PLQ, Parti Québécois, Québec solidaire) unanimously agree to the creation of such a key position.

  • Listen to the economy part with Michel Girard above QUB :

Why is it important to give Quebec such a position?

This is because the Parliamentary Budget Officer (as is the case at the federal level and in Ontario) is a “neutral, non-partisan and independent” body that would report to the National Assembly.

In particular, at the request of MPs from all parties, the PBO would be responsible for providing the Quebec Parliament with economic, financial and budgetary analysis, with the aim of improving the quality of parliamentary debates, transparency and fiscal accountability.

Why are François Legault and his financier Eric Girard now delaying the creation of the position of the DPB that the CAQ itself recommended in 2012 and also in 2015 with the version of Bill 396?

This project was resubmitted in 2019, this time by Québec Solidaire, under number 496. And it was resubmitted in 2021 in the current legislative session.

Do Legault and Girard fear that a parliamentary budget director will question certain decisions and major spending by the CAQ government?


At the end of November last year, the Liberal Party recalled the importance of establishing the PBO's position as sacred. Monsef Derraji, the finance spokesman, and Marwah Rizqy, the government administration spokesman, gave two examples of current issues that deserve independent analysis by a PBO.

  • Listen to the economy part with Michel Girard above QUB :

They discussed the controversial $5 million to $7 million subsidy aimed at bringing the Los Angeles Kings to the Videotron Center. The Eric Girard-sponsored subsidy was described by Derraji and Rizqy as “a gross, inexcusable and completely unjustified waste of public funds.”

The other file that deserves an independent analysis by a PBO is the Northvolt project, in which Quebec plans to invest $2.9 billion.

While François Legault and his super-minister of economy, innovation and energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, spoke of making the project profitable in five to nine years, the parliamentary director of the federal budget believes it would take at least 11 years.