A responsible federal budget for Canada that will benefit the city’s businesses
Montréal, June 6, 2011 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes what it considers to be a responsible federal budget, following the example of the March budget proposal. “We are reaffirming our support for the government’s directions: a balanced budget one year earlier than planned, an ambitious plan for spending cuts, competitive taxation for businesses and additional efforts to increase Canadian productivity. While in other parts of the world, workers and businesses are suffering from lax public finances, the decisions made by the Canadian government and the Quebec government in its budget are reassuring for the economy,” said President and CEO of the Board of Trade, Michel Leblanc.
This budget also meets a long-standing request from Quebec: $2.2 billion in compensation for sales tax harmonization. “We recommend that the Government of Quebec use this compensation to immediately reduce the debt and to support transportation infrastructure projects needed to develop Montréal and Quebec,” Michel Leblanc said.
However, the budget contains no mention of three base-building projects for the city’s economic development that are directly or partially under federal government jurisdiction. “The federal budget failed to make commitments regarding the Champlain Bridge, so we expect the government to take action quickly by putting in place a site office responsible for the design and construction of the new bridge,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The government should also announce its plans for the Old Port, an extremely promising federal asset for the city’s tourism offer and for the development of neighbouring areas. Finally, we are still waiting for official confirmation of federal government support for building a railway link between downtown and Montréal-Trudeau Airport. We want to see clear commitments and precise schedules from the government for each of the projects.”
“The upcoming budget cuts must take into account Canada’s economic challenges in innovation, entrepreneurship and international trade to ensure the long-term prosperity of our economy,” Mr. Leblanc said.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec’s leading private economic development organization.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015