Montréal, April 27, 2021 – The Association du camionnage du Québec, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) welcome the bill tabled by the federal Minister of Labour, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, to ensure activities at the Port of Montreal resume and continue. We are counting on the support of the opposition parties to quickly pass this bill, which will prevent the recovery of the Canadian economy and businesses from being starved of oxygen.
“At this stage, Prime Minister Trudeau’s and Minister Tassi’s interventions were essential to ensure the efficiency of the logistics chain and the survival of businesses,” said Marc Cadieux, president and CEO of the Association du camionnage du Québec. “While we believe a negotiated agreement would be best, after 30 months of uncertainty and unproductive discussions, the government had no choice but to use the means at its disposal to protect our economy. We hope that the lack of certainty at the Port of Montreal for the past year has not caused irreversible damage to transport companies. We hope that businesses that rerouted their cargo to other ports, employees who were temporarily laid off, and tonnage losses incurred will be addressed with the full resumption of port activities. The domino effect of such a crisis particularly concerns us, because if shipping is expensive, products are also affected, which will inevitably impact consumers.”
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Tassi have shown the necessary leadership to find a way out of this situation that persists,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “A firm hand was needed to maintain operations at the Port of Montreal and limit the impact of recent weeks on businesses and the economic recovery. We hope that the opposition parties will understand the urgency of resuming port activities and back the bill tabled this morning. However, we need to quickly find a longer-term solution to address the climate of uncertainty that has reigned since the end of the collective agreement and that has the potential to compromise a successful recovery.”
“Prime Minister Trudeau’s intervention was inevitable,” said Karl Blackburn, president and CEO of the Conseil du patronat du Québec. “We cannot paralyze the economy of Quebec and Ontario, indeed all of eastern Canada, particularly during a health crisis. While the bill, if passed, would re-establish port activities, it is a temporary solution that does not overshadow the need to find a lasting response to the conflict. For businesses, it is the sword of Damocles over their heads. I call on elected officials, members of parliament and senators, to put an end to the uncertainty.”
“The federal government is finally playing its role to break the impasse, and Quebec’s entrepreneurs thank them for it,” said Charles Milliard, president and CEO of the FCCQ. “After a difficult year marked by the pandemic, it was simply unthinkable that entrepreneurs who have been hit so hard would have to suffer supply problems because of a lengthy strike. A special act is not the ideal solution, but it is the lesser of two evils given the situation. We now call on members of parliament to quickly pass the bill and enable the rapid resumption of activities. The economic health of Quebec and many of our neighbours’ businesses depend on it.”
“SME owners are relieved to see the federal government is not just sitting back after the announcement of the longshoreman’s strike and that today it tabled a bill that became necessary given the circumstances,” said Jasmin Guénette, vice-president of national affairs at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). “Currently, only 56% of SMEs are fully open in the country, and barely 29% have had normal revenue restored. This isn’t the time for a strike to hamper their efforts to overcome the worst crisis ever. We have long been calling for the intervention of Minister Tassi, and it is a positive move given the situation. Failing to act would risk sinking businesses that are trying to keep their heads above water. The CFIB supports this effort, and we hope the opposition parties will get behind the Minister to quickly put an end to the strike.”
“I applaud this necessary intervention by the federal government,” said Véronique Proulx, president and CEO of Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ). “An unlimited general strike at the Port of Montreal will compromise a strong economic recovery by directly affecting logistics and supply chains for many manufacturers and exporters across Quebec and the country. We cannot allow such an economic impact given the circumstances. Now we need to ensure that the bill is passed quickly so activities at the port can resume as soon as possible.”
About the Association du camionnage du Québec (ACQ)
The ACQ brings together public and private carriers and product and services providers in Quebec’s trucking industry. With a fleet of over 20,000 vehicles, it represents 75% of owners of fleets of five vehicles and more. In Quebec, the industry generates revenue of close to $7.6 billion.
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.
About the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ)
The CPQ was created in 1969 as the result of a consensus among businesses, unions and universities. It is made up of close to 100 industry associations and a number of corporate members (businesses, institutions and other employers). It represents the interests of over 70,000 private and parapublic employers of all sizes.
About the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
The CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.
About the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ)
With its extensive network of more than 130 chambers of commerce and 1,100 corporate members, the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) represents over 50,000 businesses involved in all sectors of the economy throughout Québec. As the province’s premier business network, the FCCQ serves as both a federation and a provincial chamber of commerce. Its members share a common goal: to foster an innovative and competitive business environment.
About Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ)
MEQ represents 1,100 manufacturers across Québec. Québec’s manufacturing sector employs close to 450,000 people and accounts for 14% of GDP and 89% of exports. It is growing rapidly and generated total sales of close to $170 billion in 2019.
Marie-Claude Leblanc, Media Relations
ACQ, C. 514 415-9680, email@example.com
Dominique Talbot, Advisor, Media Relations
CCMM, C. 514 969-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Drolet, Press Attaché
CPQ, C. 438 888-3312, email@example.com
Wissal El Alaoui, Press Attaché
FCEI, C. 514 817-0228, firstname.lastname@example.org
Félix Rhéaume, Senior Director, Communications and External Relations
FCCQ, C. 514 912-2639, email@example.com
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MEQ, C. 514 570-5469, firstname.lastname@example.org