Montréal, February 22, 2021 ‒ The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal today released its recommendations for the next Government of Canada budget to be tabled by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland.
“As the vaccination campaign ramps up, all levels of government now have to align their efforts to accelerate how quickly our economy emerges from the crisis,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “Our near-term prosperity depends on the speed with which the private sector can restore its momentum and reinvest to increase its productivity and production. The key to the Government of Canada’s 2021-2022 budget will be to strengthen the confidence of businesses, investors, and individuals.”
Maintaining aid measures until we fully emerge from the crisis and deploy sectoral measures
“We call on the government to maintain its general aid measures until December 2021 to reassure businesses and support them in the relaunch,” Mr. Leblanc said. “If the government believes it should gradually reduce the level of generosity, it should do so predictably, indicating its intentions several months in advance. We also press the government to finally deploy specific aid measures for the aerospace and air travel sectors, in addition to increasing aid to the tourism sector and cultural and creative industries. Inaction on this front would be a serious failing and would put at risk sectors that are pillars of the city’s economy.”
Confirming financing for three essential transportation infrastructure projects for the city
“The relaunch is the perfect time to begin structuring work for the city’s economy,” Michel Leblanc said. “The federal government has often shown leadership in developing infrastructure projects that stimulate economic growth. We call on it to do so again, by acting quickly to kick off infrastructure projects that are ready to go and that will be growth generators for the city, such as the REM station at Montréal-Trudeau Airport, the connection between the airport and the Dorval VIA Rail station, and a high-speed train between Québec City and Windsor.”
Forging a path back to a balanced budget
“A survey recently conducted by the Chamber of the city’s businesses revealed that 85.5% of respondents believe that the government has to develop a strategy to balance the budget,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Over half of respondents called for a return to a balanced budget within ten years. We ask the government to show discipline in the coming months, to outline a responsible path to reduce the public debt, and to commit to not increasing the tax burden of individuals or businesses to balance the budget.”
“The first step to strengthening commercial development among local businesses is to expand their access to the Canadian domestic market,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The reality is all too familiar: obstacles have long been blocking the flow of trade in Canada. We ask the federal government to show strong leadership to encourage the provinces to adjust their fiscal and regulatory frameworks to open up the domestic Canadian market. This approach will also help achieve the goal of increasing the autonomy of Canadian supply chains for strategic goods, such as the production of vaccines here in Canada.”
“Furthermore, while the current priority must be to contain the pandemic, we encourage the federal government to prepare now for reopening the borders,” Michel Leblanc said. “International connectivity is one of the pillars of our prosperity and the prosperity of local businesses. The next federal budget should devote the necessary resources to put in place a working framework on three fronts: attracting international talent and investors to strengthen our business base, encouraging local businesses, particularly SMEs, to move into international markets, and attracting tourists as soon as health conditions allow.”
Supporting a green, innovative economic relaunch
“The Relaunch MTL movement made it possible to identify six key fundamental principles for a successful, lasting relaunch of the city,” Michel Leblanc said. “One of these principles calls for a greener, more innovative economy. The federal government’s budget must begin this year to foster this transition and create the conditions to increase how we value and commercialize innovations in all sectors, including clean tech.”
The full brief is available on the Chamber website (in French only).
About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)
With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4052
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