The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal unveils its recommendations to the Government of Canada for the 2023-2024 budget.
The global economy is experiencing a slowdown, and Canada, Quebec, and Greater Montréal are not immune. In its Fall Economic Statement 2022, the government forecast a baseline growth scenario of 0.7% for the country and a downside growth scenario of -0.9% for 2023.
Given this unusual scenario of economic slowdown and inflation, businesses and individuals face uncertainty. The government must make concrete efforts to get through this period, while tackling a number of challenges.
With this as a backdrop, the Chamber has proposed five priorities to guide the development of the next federal budget:
- Agility and prudence given the economic uncertainty
- Efficiency in the delivery of public services
- Accelerated innovation and support to businesses for a green transition
- Energizing internal trade and intensifying international trade
- Supporting the relaunch of downtown cores and investing in strategic infrastructure
As such, the Chamber makes the following ten recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Show prudence in managing public finances in a context of economic slowdown and uncertainty by:
- Maintaining the trajectory to a balanced budget in 2027-2028;
- Maintaining the leeway to support businesses and individuals in line with the scope of the slowdown, to stimulate the economic recovery.
Recommendation 2: Allocate the funds required to increase efficiency in government services and closely monitor the disbursement of sums already allocated.
Recommendation 3: Give Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada the financial resources to reduce the backlog of applications and speed up processing to address the labour shortage.
Recommendation 4: Finance an ambitious government strategy to support businesses in every sector – particularly SMEs – in their green transition, in cooperation with organizations on the ground.
Recommendation 5: Finance initiatives to accelerate Canadian domestic trade, including support for trade missions and business development events across the country.
Recommendation 6: Deploy funding to step up efforts to promote the benefits of free trade agreements with SMEs, through aid programs and tools for entrepreneurs.
Recommendation 7: Finance the implementation of a federal strategy for the downtown cores of Canadian cities.
Recommendation 8: Pursue the implementation of permanent, predictable, indexed financing for public transit for 2026-2027.
Recommendation 9: Grant financing from the Invest in Canada program to ensure the completion of the New Vic project.
Recommendation 10: In cooperation with the Minister of Transport, draft a new agreement to enable airport authorities to reinvest funds currently paid in rent into infrastructure.
Download the study (in French only)