The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal supports
government measures to stimulate the economy
Montréal, January 14, 2009 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes the economic statement tabled today by Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget.
During this time of economic crisis, the Board of Trade is greatly concerned about the economic health of the metropolis and its businesses. Overall, the initiatives announced by the Finance Minister will stimulate the economy and meet several immediate needs. They will help reduce the financial burden on companies and position them to make it through the crisis, declared Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
The Board of Trade appreciates the government's responsiveness to the financial challenges directly affecting the operations of Quebec companies, particularly the tabling of a bill by Sam Hamad, Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, giving them more time to re-establish the solvency of their pension plans. After the RENFORT program, launched last fall, the additional respite proposed today by Minister Sam Hamad to bail out pension funds is another concrete gesture that will help companies protect their working capital, added Leblanc.
We are also pleased by government measures to increase and accelerate infrastructure work. Such investments are invaluable to Montréal and Quebec. In addition to stimulating economic activity over the short term, they meet real needs, thereby helping to sharpen our competitive edge over the long term. We hope we will soon see a significant increase in the number of construction sites in the metropolitan area, he continued.
The economic situation is of course worrying, and it is important to help successful companies pursue their activities. The financial crisis and the credit crunch in no way affect their know-how and ability to offer competitive products and services. So we must pay particular attention to the situation of small businesses and ensure we also have tools adapted to their needs, especially since the increase in the minimum wage will generate added costs for those firms, noted Leblanc.
Despite these initiatives, it goes without saying that, like all economic players, the government must remain vigilant with regard to the economy. It will be vital to pay close attention to the launch of major private development projects as the Quebec Liberal Party promised to do in its election platform. Montréal is home to many such projects and, just as we must accelerate public investments, we must also take the necessary steps to ensure the credit crisis does not hinder the accomplishment of major private investments, concluded Leblanc.
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 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.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015