With a total of more than $24 billion allocated over the next five years, the Quebec provincial government released its budget for 2023 yesterday afternoon (March 21st, 2023). This year’s budget includes a series of measures aimed at addressing the province’s fiscal challenges. Among the highlights of the budget are tax increases on high-income earners and large corporations, as well as a tax credit for low-income workers.
Want to learn more about other provincial and federal budget updates from 2023? Check out our 2023 budget highlights page for a collection of reviews.
With these new budget plans, the government of Quebec is investing in infrastructure, innovation, digitization, skilled trades, immigration, agriculture, tourism, and more. While seeking to reduce the province’s debt burden, there is also significant funding allocated for healthcare and education.
Overall, the Quebec Budget 2023 reflects the government’s intention to balance economic growth with fiscal responsibility in a time of ongoing uncertainty and economic challenges, while continuing to provide much needed support for individuals, families, and businesses in the Quebecois community.
“Building on the trust that Quebecers have placed in us, we are presenting a committed plan to meet the needs of the population while developing our economy to its highest potential.”Eric Girard, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for Relations with English Speaking Quebecers
A Better Economy
Quebec has identified potential opportunity losses due to lower than desirable productivity as a particular point of interest in this year’s budget. To address this concern, QC Budget 2023 is diverting almost $900 million over five years towards investments that will generate additional private investment, as well as encourage businesses to innovate, grow, digitize, and export.
- Over the next four years, Québec will allocate $40 million to attract large-scale projects. These programs are intended to provide funding for land characterization studies, engineering, and pre-project work, as well as ensure that industrial sites are developed in a sustainable manner; and
- $135.5 million will be invested in an infrastructure plan for the development of industrial land as part of this project.
Research, innovation, and commercialization are key to achieving the province’s economic objectives. Quebec is devoting $272.7 million over the next five years to support the creation and accelerate growth of innovative businesses.
- $100 million over five years to create innovation zones that will promote the commercialization of innovations, export growth, and business productivity in local and foreign markets;
- Supporting innovation in the transportation sector with a $55 million investment over the next three years;
- $30 million will be invested over the next three years to help businesses adopt clean technologies and practices to reduce carbon emissions from the economy;
- To promote the commercialization of Québec discoveries in the life sciences while encouraging participation of private and foreign investors, the BioMed Propulsion program will receive $12 million over five years to fund businesses serving the life sciences sector; and
- $15.4 million over the next seven years to support the FinTech Station, a center that provides startups in the fintech ecosystem with modern workspaces and connects them with a network of decision-makers to help accelerate their development.
The 2023 Quebec provincial budget includes several initiatives totaling $201.9 million over five years aimed at helping businesses digitize to support growth and export capabilities. In a time of labour shortages, digitization has proven to be an effective way to increase productivity.
- $75 million for Montreal Port Authority’s expansion of the Contrecœur terminal. This project will improve competitiveness and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in North America by reducing travel distances and electrifying the terminal;
- To counter the increasing number of cyberattacks targeting public institutions, starting in 2024-25 and continuing for three years, $70 million will be allocated to the Cybersecurity Enhancement Program (PRC) to launch cybersecurity projects in public bodies;
- $50 million will be allocated to the Digital Shift Offensive over the next two years to support initiatives that assist companies in their digital transformation efforts;
- Over the next two years, $25 million will be allocated to the marketing and export support program, which assists Québec companies in the integration of global supply chains and the expansion of their presence on foreign markets; and
- $116.9 million will be provided over a five-year period to help businesses and individuals meet their tax obligations more easily thanks to the rollout of project VISION.
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Greener Food & Agriculture Grants for Quebec
Investing in a green economy, including the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, is included in the Quebec Budget 2023. With the additional funds of $1.4 billion for the 2023-2028 plan, nearly $9 billion will be allocated to the plan. Over the next two years, the Quebec government is expected to increase its investment in combating climate change by more than $2.3 billion, a 35% increase since the first implementation plan was launched two years ago.
To support more businesses and promote sustainable agriculture, the Sustainable Agriculture Plan will receive $23.2 million over the course of two years. This program helps businesses go beyond regulatory requirements and develop environmental practices that promote biodiversity by reducing the use of pesticides.
Quebec’s Bio-food Sector
The government of Quebec has committed to investing $813.1 million over the next five years into the bio-food sector, one of the most important sectors in Québec’s economic development and one that contributes to the enhancement of the land in Québec as well as the development of the region.
- $615.1 million will be invested over a period of three years to support the development of Quebec’s Bio-food Policy, promote food processing and agriculture, and the develop bio-food markets and the development of research and innovation projects;
- $175 million will be allocated over the next five years to the MAPAQ’s program to improve the food autonomy in Québec to increase the productivity of companies in the bio-food sector; and
- The Sustainable Growth Investment Program (SGIP) will receive $15 million over a two-year period for the purpose of supporting sustainable, productive investments by agricultural businesses in projects that aim to increase production volumes, adopt agri-environmental practices, improve profitability, performance, or diversify the company.
Want to learn more about government funding opportunities for the food sector? Watch this video to learn how the Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax credit can be leveraged for R&D projects in the food & beverage industry.
Generating a Robust Workforce with Training Grants
The Quebec government is actively promoting the socioeconomic integration of immigrants so that businesses can find workers more easily as a response to the challenging labour market across the country. Budget 2023 proposes spending $615.2 million over the next six years to integrate immigrants into the workforce and improve matching the skills of workers to the needs of employers with the goal of stimulating economic growth.
For the entire population to develop, it is crucial that immigrants are integrated into the society of Québec as well as into the labor market. A strong knowledge of the French language plays a vital role in the integration of immigrants economically and culturally, as well as in the preservation and advancement of the language itself. To promote learning French through Francisation Québec, accelerate the accreditation process, and match skilled immigrants with sectors experiencing labor shortages, Québec will invest $509.6 million over five years.
Developing Worker Skills
To give businesses an opportunity to train their employees on the job and to improve their workers’ skills quickly, $100 million will be allocated to the Workforce Skills Development and Recognition Fund.
There are many government funding opportunities available for hiring & training activities in Canada. This video outlines how government funding grants can support these workforce-related projects today.
Improving Quebec’s Regions
As part of the Quebec Budget 2023, initiatives totaling over $1.4 billion will be supported over the next five years to develop the economic potential of Québec’s regions, an essential strategy to increase collective wealth in the province.
Tourism in Quebec
A variety of programs intended to improve the tourism sector have been included in the Quebec budget 2023 with a total of $153.1 million allocated over five years. The tourism industry is one of the most important drivers of the regional economy in Quebec, contributing to the vitality and prosperity of the regions, as well as ensuring the development and promotion of the tourist attractions in the province.
The Quebec government will invest in two programs, the Program Supporting the Development of Tourist Attractions (PADAT) and the Tourism Industry Recovery Assistance Program (PARIT). To grow and develop an innovative, evolving, and sustainable tourism industry, these programs are being awarded a combined $75 million, including $45 million for PADAT and $35 million for PARIT.
To improve the harvesting and processing of Québec’s forest resources, $128 million will be dedicated over the next five years. In general, the forestry sector contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions through the replacement of other materials that have a high carbon footprint with alternatives.
Extracting and processing Québec’s minerals maximizes the value of Québec’s subsurface resources to the benefit of everyone. Critical and strategic minerals serve a vital role in Québec’s energy transition and decarbonization of the economy, particularly when it comes to the electrification of the transportation sector.
The Quebec Budget 2023 includes plans to invest $10 million over a two-year period to harness the value of Québec’s subsurface minerals. A significant portion of this funding will be allocated to the strategic and critical minerals sector to support responsible development.
New Quebec Budget 2023 Tax Programs
Quebec is intent on providing tax benefits to businesses operating in the province, as well as personal tax benefits to Quebecers to attract skilled labourers and promote a healthy economy. Quebec Budget 2023 offers a variety of significant tax programs to achieve these goals; read a comprehensive review of these new tax updates with the Ryan Tax Review.
A new “tax holiday” is being implemented to benefit companies that invest $100 million or more in a project in Québec. Contributing businesses will be able to take advantage of a tax holiday on revenue and the employer’s contribution to the Health Services Fund as well as other tax breaks.
Providing more than $3 billion in tax incentives each year to over 20,000 claimants, the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is one of the most significant sources of Canadian federal government support. The program encourages and incentivizes business-led research and development initiatives.
If you want to learn more about the SR&ED program, its eligibility criteria, and how you can leverage this tax credit for your business, watch the SR&ED 101 video.
Learn More About Provincial Government Funding in Quebec
Businesses operating out of Canada have many government funding opportunities available to help them improve operations. To find a comprehensive list of the top programs available today, visit our Government Funding Directory.
Mentor Works believes in each one of the applications that we support. Our detailed pre-qualification process leads to a higher rate of approval when compared to the global approval rates of each government funding program.