The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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2014-2015 Quebec Budget: The city’s business community supports the government’s firm decision to balance the budget through tight spending controls

Montréal, June 4, 2014 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes the budget presented today by Finance Minister Carlos Leitão. “The Board of Trade applauds the government’s decision to balance the budget in 2015-2016,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Mr. Leitão’s budget recognizes the need to regain immediate control of Quebec’s public finances. It introduces a collective effort, calling on the entire community to help review programs and Quebec’s taxation. We support holding these discussions for the future of Quebec and its economy.”

A responsible budget, one that will require diligence and collective effort

“We are pleased to see that balancing the budget on time remains a priority,” Michel Leblanc said. “This was absolutely indispensable, not just to reassure the financial community, but also to seriously envisage reducing our debt. We asked the government to focus on controlling spending to redress public finances, and we are pleased to see that 90% of the effort will be accomplished by reining in government spending. This exercise will require discipline and persistence, particularly in the face of any protests that may result.”

“The 2014-2015 budget outlines only half the efforts involved in balancing the budget,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The work of two committees formed to review taxation and programs will be crucial, as will the government’s determination to follow up on their efforts. The business community’s message is clear: the time has come to review the fiscal regime to reduce taxes and measures that hamper private investment. We also have to improve government efficiency.”

“The budget also includes measures to support our economy; renewing the Plan Nord and implementing the maritime strategy are examples of these,” Michel Leblanc said. “The reduced tax rate for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses will energize this important sector for the metropolitan area. We have also noted the government’s intention to consult the business and financial community to implement the Séguin report’s recommendations about protecting our economic flagships against hostile takeovers. But the budget fails to address two major issues: entrepreneurial succession and integrating immigrants to the workforce.”

A budget that recognizes Montréal’s special role as Quebec’s largest city

“The budget pays particular attention to the city and maintains funding for structuring projects, particularly with respect to road infrastructures, PTI funding for public transport infrastructures and covering the Ville-Marie Expressway,” Michel Leblanc said. “We encourage the government to move quickly on projects that were announced a number of years ago, such as improving access to the Port of Montréal.”

“We particularly welcome the announcement of a bill that will recognize Montréal’s special status as a national metropolis,” Michel Leblanc said. “The budget confirms that $25 million will be earmarked to help the Ville de Montréal deliver services to reflect that status. The business community is also delighted with the intention stated in the budget to mark the 375th anniversary and take advantage of this historic event to invest in infrastructures that will create a legacy for future generations.”

About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local 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.

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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

Twitter: @chambremontreal
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