The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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The federal budget: positive overall for Montréal’s economy

The federal budget: positive overall for Montréal’s economy

Montréal, March 21, 2013 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is generally supportive of the budget tabled today by the Government of Canada’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable James M. Flaherty.

“We applaud the government’s commitment to stay the course for balancing the budget by 2015-2016 without increasing the burden to taxpayers, while putting in place a new infrastructure plan and proposing measures to support innovation, research and collaboration between businesses and universities,” said Board of Trade President and CEO, Michel Leblanc.

“The budget also has a number of measures to support business startups and small business growth, which is an excellent decision,” Mr. Leblanc said. “But we are concerned about the repercussions of phasing out the tax credit for investments in union solidarity funds, which have made a major contribution to the growth of local small businesses. Also, we do not want the measures announced, in particular with respect to workforce training, to create needless tensions between levels of government. And we are still firmly opposed to creating a single financial market regulator.”

The new long-term plan for infrastructure: a beneficial and essential strategic initiative to modernize infrastructure and increase productivity

“We are delighted with the government’s decision to establish a new Building Canada plan that provides for investments of $53 billion over 10 years for provincial, territorial and local infrastructure,” Michel Leblanc said. “We made this one of our major priorities in our budget recommendations. In the same vein, we are expecting announcements from the federal government shortly about a number of projects that are strategic to the economic development of the Montréal area, in particular a rail connection to Montréal-Trudeau Airport. Once again, we are disappointed by the absence of a national strategy for investment in public transit. Like other major Canadian cities, Montréal needs significant investment to improve the circulation of traffic in the metropolitan area.”

Banking on innovation: essential to our competitiveness

“We also welcome government initiatives to support research and innovation, in particular support for partnerships between industry and researchers, as well as investment incentives for leading-edge research,” Mr. Leblanc said. “These are promising measures for a knowledge economy like that of the Montréal metropolitan area.”

Reinforcing our strategic sectors will help build our resilience and economic performance

“We also support measures to reinforce the manufacturing sector, such as $1.4 billion in tax relief for new manufacturing equipment and machinery,” Michel Leblanc said. “Plus, creating an aerospace technology demonstration program, through $1 billion in financing for strategic initiatives, will contribute to innovation and strengthen the competitiveness of a strategic sector for the city.”

Sound management of public finances will put our economy on solid footing

“Achieving a balanced budget on schedule in 2015-2016 will allow us to maintain financial institution confidence in our economy and regain some budget flexibility,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Given the slowdown in national and international economic growth, we are pleased that the government is targeting a balanced budget through careful management of its spending.”

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.



Sylvie Paquette
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015
Twitter: @chambremontreal
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