The Parti Quebecois is accusing the Liberals of wanting to turn the province into Alberta.
Interim parliamentary leader Stéphane Bédard says the Couillard government's real goal is not to balance the budget, but to bring Quebec's spending in line with other provinces, putting Quebec's more generous social programs in jeopardy.
"What's the plan? It's to transform Quebec into Alberta," says Bédard. "We're all for a balanced budget, but to be the same as the rest of Canada is another question."
Philippe Couillard says he does not intend to reduce Quebec's spending to that level, and he says linking his efforts to Alberta is cartoonish.
"Is it an insult, do you think?" he said with a chuckle.