March 21, 2023

The Quebec Intellectual Disability Society (QIDS) participated in the 2023-2024 provincial budget closed-door session and is disappointed with the measures announced by the Quebec government. The government is already having difficulty meeting the growing need for public services. By lowering taxes, the Quebec government has completely missed its objective of presenting a “committed” budget.

Indeed, the situation is brutal for the disability community: no substantial measures have been announced while the very real emergencies experienced by people with intellectual disabilities and their families are not about to be addressed. Here are the Society’s main findings:

Tax cuts amidst crumbling public services

The Quebec government has announced a tax cut of more than $9 billion over 6 years. Lowering taxes at a time of increasing cutbacks in services, exploding system costs and inflation, and when families are increasingly being pushed to the private sector to compensate for the shortcomings of the public sector, is inconceivable. For the Society, lowering taxes is an aberration that risks threatening the government’s ability to provide universal, high-quality and sufficient services in the long term. It should be noted that this tax cut will primarily benefit the richest and not the middle class. This tax cut will also do nothing for low-income households.

Cost of the tax cuts: $9.165 billion by 2027-2028.

Health and Social Services

In the area of intellectual disability, budgets have increased by 4.12% to $1,337,943,000. This increase represents less than the rate of inflation. In sum, it does not seem likely that there will be an improvement in services in the coming year.


50M to create respite care services for parents of children with disabilities over the next 5 years. These spots will be used to support parents of children with disabilities, whether they are minors or adults. This is good news.

The budget of the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec has increased. It will be $22,829,200 in 2023-2024, an increase of more than $3M.

25M for the implementation of “new projects” to relieve overcrowding in rehabilitation centres “for young people in difficulty”, including those with a physical or intellectual disability. It is not clear how these budgets will be used.


On a positive note, an additional $75.5 million over five years will be used to strengthen the fight against elder mistreatment and to promote the good treatment of seniors, while $21.2 million over three years will be used to improve support for caregivers.

It remains to be seen what the real impact will be, but the government’s commitment to fighting abuse and supporting caregivers is significant.


In education, the picture is not much more positive. While the last four years have been marked by massive funding for specialized classes, no significant measure aimed at including students with disabilities in regular classes has been announced. Only $66.3M has been announced to support students with special needs.

As the number of students with disabilities or special needs explodes, it is unlikely that this amount will be enough to meet their needs. It should also be noted that a “4-year kindergarten for disabled children” will be created. This is another missed opportunity to promote inclusion in regular classrooms.

However, the good news is that $3.5M will be invested over five years to provide supervision for students with disabilities outside of school hours during the school year and during the summer months. This was a request from disability organisations and it is good that the government has decided to act on this issue.

Adapted transport services

Nothing substantial has been announced to improve the network of paratransit services in general. However, the crisis is real, in all regions of the province. It is imperative that the Quebec government react in the course of the year in order to stop the bleeding and to allow people to travel at their convenience.

A mere $18 million has been announced over five years to “diversify the supply of transportation for people with reduced mobility”. This measure aims to “improve financial assistance for the acquisition of an adapted collective vehicle or the adaptation of a collective vehicle”.

Funding for the adaptation of vehicles for people with disabilities remains stable at $12.25 million per year. This amount has not been indexed since 2020-2021, and is lower than in 2019-2020.

Poverty alleviation

The issue of poverty alleviation has been a priority for the Society in recent years, notably through the collaboration with the Government of Quebec in the implementation of the Basic Income Program. This budget contains very few announcements, despite the demands of the disability community and poverty alleviation organizations.

15.4M for 2023-2024 will be allocated to the prolongation of certain measures of the current Government Action Plan for Economic Inclusion and Social Participation (PAGIEPS), which is due to expire in 2023. While work on the renewal of PAGIEPS has been announced, no money has been allocated in the budget to conduct consultations. This issue will need to be monitored closely next year.

The only other poverty alleviation measure is a meagre increase in the housing component of the solidarity tax credit. This measure should provide a few dozen dollars per year to those receiving the tax credit.

No additional measures on the Basic Income Program were announced.

It should be noted that the Quebec government is expected to launch the process of renewing the Government Plan for Economic Inclusion and Social Participation in the coming weeks. A reform of the Individual and Family Assistance Act has also been announced. It is therefore likely that announcements will be made in the 2024-2025 budget. w

Budget for last resort financial assistance programs: $3,043,053,400 (up $200M)

Employability of persons with disabilities

The employability of people with disabilities is in poor shape in Quebec. With employment levels significantly lower than the rest of the population, people with disabilities still experience a great deal of discrimination and programs aimed at their economic participation are inadequate. This budget does not improve matters.

Only $3.1M over 3 years was announced for “employment integration and participation in employability measures for persons with disabilities and social assistance recipients”. Of this amount, $2.1M will go to extend certain measures of the National Strategy for the Integration and Retention of Persons with Disabilities 2019-2024.

It is disappointing to see that the Quebec government is investing massively in immigration in order to respond to the labour shortage without taking into account the potential of people with disabilities in Quebec. Making last-resort financial assistance programs more flexible by allowing recipients to work part-time could greatly help solve the labour shortage. It should be remembered that more than 300,000 Quebecers are recipients of these programs and are not allowed to work, even part-time.


The situation of housing and residential resources is critical in the intellectual disability community. The aftermath of the pandemic is severely affecting housing and there is a trend towards a resurgence of small institutionalised living environments. For their part, alternative living environments have access to little support and funding. No budgetary measures have been taken to meet these needs.

Only 200 million for seniors’ homes and alternative living facilities have been announced. Of this amount, it is not clear how much will be allocated to alternative homes for people with disabilities.

Community action

There were many requests from organizations representing community organizations and it does not appear that the government has addressed them.

40.8M will be used to extend for three years the funding for the mission of 69 community development corporations and 344 community advocacy organizations receiving funding from the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale.

The Fonds d’aide à l’action communautaire autonome of the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale will have total expenditures of nearly $51.1M for 2023-2024.

An increase of $194M by 2027-2028 will be allocated to the budgets of the Programme de soutien aux organismes communautaires du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux.

2024-2025 budget

2023 and 2024 mark the end of two crucial government strategies for people with disabilities: the Strategy for the Integration and Retention of People with Disabilities in Employment and the Government Plan for Economic Inclusion and Social Participation.

These plans will be up for renewal during 2023 and 2024. It will be vital that these new plans are accompanied by substantial investment.

Similarly, the crisis in adapted transportation deserves immediate investments to stop the hemorrhaging that is taking place throughout Quebec. It is important to act quickly so as not to make the crisis worse.

The Society expects – and hopes – for better news next year.