Éric Girard, Quebec’s Minister of Finance, delivered the second budget speech of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government on March 10. This budget reflects the government’s focus on making the turn to a green economy by launching a major 10-year project. The themes of electrification, the fight against climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) were prominent and confirm the upholding of Quebec’s 2020 GHG emission reduction targets (37.5% reduction). These goals will be reflected in the upcoming “Electrification and Climate Change Policy Framework”.
For the industrial sector, this green economy means concrete action to support businesses in the fight against climate change. In fact, more than $1.3 billion will be allocated to the continuation of the EcoPerformance program. Quebec holds an exemplary place in North America with lower per-capita GHG emissions than other Canadian provinces and 50 U.S. states… a ranking that Quebec wants to keep.
The first implementation plan for this policy framework will be financially supported with $6.2B by 2026. To the $4.2B in total carbon market revenues expected, the government is increasing the plan by $2.1B in additional credits, an effort that is twice the size of the 2013-2020 action plan on climate change.
Priority on Electrification
- Strong engagement to achieve electrification of the economy by prioritizing transportation.
- By 2030, the transportation sector alone will account for 57% of the economy-wideGHG reduction potential… 70% of the resources allocated to the implementation plan are devoted to transportation.
- $1.4M for the Drive Green program through rebates for the acquisition of electric vehicles and the installation of charging stations.
- $15.8M for mass transit in the 2020-2030 plan.
- Continuation of the Heating with Green Power program (switching from natural gas to electricity).
- Building a green economy also means helping to decarbonize the industrial sector with resources of nearly $1.3B by March 2026.
- More than $1B by 2024-2025 to improve business productivity and competitiveness.
- A new innovationtax credit (C3i). Businesses in all industries will benefit from a tax credit of 10, 15 or 20% of their purchases of manufacturing and processing equipment, computer equipment and management software ($526M over 5 years).
- Over $300M for innovation and marketing by 2024-2025.
- An action plan for foreign investment and export growth (a $100M foreign investment and export growth action plan by 2024-2025).
- Enhancement of the St. Lawrence, with a new maritime vision for Quebec to make the St. Lawrence a successful and intelligent economic corridor and the reclaiming of our river ($172M by 2024-2025).
Over the coming months, the parameters for these funding programs will be known and shared with our association’s members.