Quebec Premier delivers inaugural speech:
an ambitious plan that calls for quick action
Montréal, February 23, 2011 – In response to the inaugural speech delivered by Quebec Premier Jean Charest today, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal hopes that this highly ambitious statement of intention will quickly translate into concrete measures to further the economic development of Montréal and Quebec.
“Montréal’s business community has high expectations of the Quebec government. Although we emerged from the recession relatively intact, we are still facing monumental challenges. The government will have to show determination where economic development is concerned and lucidity in order to put our public finances back on track. We want a Quebec that’s open on the world, richer and more productive. From the Premier’s speech, it looks like he understands this. Let’s now hope that these statements will quickly translate into actions,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
“Among the measures to expand our labour pool, namely, by integrating immigrants into the workplace, the announcement that an international component would be added to the “Online Placement” program is good news for Montréal. We welcome most of the immigrants who decide they want to stay in Quebec. That’s why the Board of Trade feels that the recruitment of foreign talent is a crucial issue, one that we’ve been actively working on for years. Given the huge demographic challenge we’re facing, the needs of the labour market must be better aligned with the way we select, welcome and integrate newcomers,” added Michel Leblanc.
“The ambitious Plan Nord will tap into the extraordinary potential of our natural resources, which will benefit all Quebecers. At the Board of Trade, we believe that the development of Montréal and the regions is inter-related. Responsible resource exploitation that reconciles economic and sustainable development can only have a positive impact on Montréal. We must leverage our diversified economy, which means taking advantage of both our natural resources and high-tech sectors,” continued Mr. Leblanc.
“Lastly, the government’s reiterated promise to balance the budget as soon as possible and to do so in a disciplined manner is consistent with our pre-budget recommendations. We are shouldering a massive debt and therefore feel that the government must show that it can properly manage its finances. This will allow the province to maintain its credit rating, reduce debt service payments and free up money for other things,” concluded Michel Leblanc.
Premier Jean Charest will speak at the Board of Trade’s RBC Headlines business luncheon at noon on Friday, February 25.
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.
Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, extension 4015