03/28/2013 04:54 EDT | Updated 05/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Quebec budget on track despite $565M shortfall

Despite an unexpected $565-million shortfall due to an economic slowdown, Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau said the province is on track to balance the budget.

He said this year’s gross domestic product has been downgraded to 1.3 per cent from last November’s budget, which had forecast 1.5 per cent.

The reduction in government revenue will be paralleled by a reduction in debt services due to a low interest rate.

The Parti Québécois will also limit program spending to 1.9 per cent, up slightly from the budget tabled in November to account for additional spending in student financial aid.

Coalition Avenir Québec and the provincial Liberals asserted that it’s the PQ’s fault the economy’s slowing down in the first place, saying that its flip-flopping on certain policies has pushed away foreign investment and jobs.