Quebec to Give 2013 Budget This Month With Deficit Plan

Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau will present a budget Nov. 20, months ahead of the fiscal year starting in April, to lay out plans to eliminate the deficit.

“Waiting until spring of 2013 would only delay the identification and implementation of actions that are necessary to put Quebec back on track for a balanced budget next year,” Marceau said in a statement from the provincial capital of Quebec City today.

The separatist Parti Quebecois won the Sept. 4 election to return to power for the first time in nine years, and needs opposition support to pass a budget because it failed to win a majority of seats in the legislature. Marceau said Oct. 5 that the deficit this year will probably exceed a prior forecast of C$1.5 billion ($1.5 billion) because of a decision to close a nuclear power plant, reducing the dividend paid out to the government by state-owned utility Hydro-Quebec.

Marceau also said that a delay in meeting the balanced budget time line “would have important consequences for the finances and the economy of Quebec.”

Quebec’s 4.5 percent bonds due December 2017 rose 2 Canadian cents to C$112.42 today. The yield fell one basis point to 1.91 percent.

The budget will be released at 4 p.m. New York time in Quebec City, according to the government statement.

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