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Recommendations for the 2017 federal budget: the Government of Canada needs to take measures to encourage exports and stimulate private investment

Montréal, August 4, 2016 – As part of prebudget consultations by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal calls on the government to be vigilant and strengthen the Canadian economy so that it is able to deal with potential economic shocks.

"There is still uncertainty in the global economic climate," said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “While the American economy continues to show signs of strength, a number of factors are weighing on the Canadian outlook for growth. These include price weakness in raw materials, the transition in the Chinese economy, and, more recently, turbulence on the European market resulting from Brexit. To stimulate growth, the Board of Trade calls on the government to adopt a budget that encourages exports and stimulates private investment. The Board of Trade also asks the government to pay particular attention to metropolitan areas, as the Canadian economy gradually moves toward non-resource sectors."

Encourage the internationalization of businesses
"We need to introduce measures to encourage the internationalization of businesses," Michel Leblanc said. “International trade is one of the main drivers of economic growth, and Canada should focus on it in the coming year. Not only should the government pass the European Union and Trans-Pacific Partnership agreements as soon as possible, it should also enter into agreements with strategic trade partners such as India."

"We ask the government to double the amount earmarked for CanExport and make it available starting this year so that Canadian SMEs can quickly position themselves on export markets," Michel Leblanc said. “A significant investment is required for small businesses to make their initial forays into new markets, particularly since it often takes two or three years before seeing a return."

Make a plan to balance the budget and stick to it
"Canada’s ability to grow and be ready to tackle new economic turmoil depends in part on the state of public finances," Michel Leblanc said. “The business community supports increasing public infrastructure spending to strengthen the economy. However, we need a clear, credible plan to balance the budget to reassure investors and financial institutions and thereby improve the business environment."

Increase the competitiveness of the Canadian tax regime
"We encourage the government to review its tax mix and make greater use of sales tax and fee-based public services," Michel Leblanc said. “We also need to lower payroll taxes and personal and corporate income tax to attract and retain the top talent, private investment and new head offices."

“The business community also asks the government to keep its promise to review tax expenditures and ensure that fiscal aid is predictable, targeted and reflects the needs of sectors and businesses," Mr. Leblanc said.

In addition to these areas of intervention, the Board of Trade calls on the government to:

  • confirm its US$1 billion investment in the Bombardier C Series program by fall 2016.
  • shelve plans for a national regulatory body for capital markets to avoid undermining the city’s financial sector and businesses.
  • respect provincial jurisdiction in carbon pricing and the marketplace created by Quebec and California to avoid duplication or centralization in the area.

The Board of Trade’s prebudget recommendations can be consulted by clicking here.

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration, and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to businesses of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.

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Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca

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