Highlights from Quebec's budget for 2021-22 fiscal year

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Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard tabled the 2021-22 provincial budget Thursday. Here are some highlights.

- Operating deficit of $9.2 billion, which jumps to $12.3 billion after a deposit of $3.1 billion into a fund dedicated to paying off the province’s debt.

- GDP growth estimated at 4.2 per cent in 2021 and 4 per cent in 2022.

- Debt service jumps by 12.4 per cent in fiscal 2021-22, for a total of $8.6 billion.

- Quebec spent about $12 billion on COVID-19-related costs in 2020-21 and estimates it will spend another $4.3 billion in 2021-22.

- Total expenditures are $131.8 billion – including program spending, COVID-19 measures, provisions for economic risk and $8.6 billion in debt service.

- Including COVID-19 spending, health-care spending drops by 2.6 per cent, to about $52.4 billion.

- Including COVID-19 spending, education spending rises by 3.9 per cent, to about $18.3 billion.

- Net debt-to-GDP ratio as of March 31, 2021, will be 45 per cent, up from 39.9 per cent at the same point last year.

- Quebec’s gross debt stands at $219 billion, or 49.5 per cent of GDP, an increase of $20.2 billion or 6.3 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press