Quebec Premiers and Provincial Government Spending

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Quebec Premiers and Provincial Government Spending
  • This bulletin reviews annual per-person program spending (inflation-adjusted) by Quebec premiers from 1965 to 2021.
  • Real per-person program spending increased significantly from $2,942 in 1965 to $15,562 in 2021.
  • The year of highest overall per-person program spending was under Premier François Legault in 2021 at $15,562. Legault also had the second-highest year of per-person spending (2020) at $15,260. Even excluding COVID-related spending, Premier Legault holds the record for the highest per-person spending levels in Quebec at $14,487 (2021) and $13,705 (2020).
  • Premier Jean Lesage is excluded from this analysis because there is only one year of data available for his six-year term. Lesage aside, Premier Jean-Jacques Bertrand recorded the highest average annual increase in per-person spending during his time in office (10.0 percent), however, this was over a relatively short term of just one year (1969). At 9.4 percent, Premier Bourassa recorded the second highest average annual growth in per-person spending over his first term (1970-1976). François Legault recorded the third highest average increase at 7.3 percent, and Premier Daniel Johnson Jr. recorded the fourth highest at 6.9 percent.
  • During the terms of all other premiers, the average annual increase in per-person spending was below 3.0 percent.
  • Premier Jacques Parizeau stands out as the only premier to cut the average annual change in per-person spending (-0.4 percent).

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