The 2007 Budget: Finally, recognition for Montreal
Montreal, February 20, 2007 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal learned with great interest of the budget presented today and its acknowledgement of the crucial role played by the metropolis in the economic success of Quebec.
Today's budget highlights the crucial role played by Montreal and the need to provide it with special support. This inserts the strategic character of the metropolis into future debate concerning the development and prosperity of Quebec. We particularly welcome the fact that Finance Minister Michel Audet backed this acknowledgement with concrete measures such as the commitment of $140 million, over five years, to implement the Imagining Building Montreal 2025 development strategy, which includes more than 130 projects that will shape the future of Montreal, declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade.
On the eve of an election campaign, recognizing Montreal as a strategic lever is a promising and constructive step forward. This move is part of a growing trend whereby the vital role played by the major cities of Canada and Quebec is increasingly being recognized: just think, for example, of the recent report published by the Conference Board of Canada, or the Ontario Government's decision to grant Toronto new powers. The challenge facing us now is to interest voters throughout Quebec in the development of the metropolis not just from the perspective of Montreal but also with a view to serving the economic interests of the entire province, continued Hudon.
This latest budget presented by Minister Audet could mark an important development in the relationship between Montreal and Quebec: since the threshold of acknowledgement seems to have been passed, we hope this will throw wide the door to in-depth study and discussion of the additional steps needed to optimize the development of Quebec's metropolis, added Hudon.
As for the other measures announced in today's budget, it was primarily the increase in the capital tax credit that caught the Board of Trade's attention. With this increase, the government is in fact reducing the capital tax payable by Quebec's manufacturing sector. Given the major challenges now facing this industry, due primarily to competition from emerging economies, this immediate priority treatment appears to us to be fully justified. That said, the tax on capital is still a hindrance to our economic growth, and we will continue to call for its complete elimination, declared Hudon.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the government on the injection of an additional $3 million in the Placement Culture program a powerful lever for encouraging private enterprise to support the cultural community, concluded Hudon.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal 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 the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015