The Board of Trade asks the Government of Quebec to stay the course on
balanced budgets and to strengthen our economy
Montréal, November 28, 2011 – On the occasion of the pre-budgetary consultations held by Quebec Finance Minister, Mr. Raymond Bachand, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has insisted on the need to stay the course on balanced budgets, while maintaining strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening Quebec’s and Montréal’s economy.
“We are faced with a high degree of uncertainty regarding the global economy and its potential repercussions on Quebec and the metropolitan region. In this context, we believe it is important that the government achieve a zero deficit by 2014 as planned, and do so without resorting to increasing the tax burden. We favour an approach in which the government further rationalizes its spending and increases its productivity in order to ensure a long-term balanced budget,” stated Mr. Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
“The government must continue with the projects and work it has already begun, which contribute to improving our economy’s performance. We are not asking for new projects but simply for work to continue on transportation infrastructure projects, including the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange, and for investments in public transit, as well as the launch of the Quartier des spectacles and investments in the mega-hospitals, and that these come in on time and on budget,” said Michel Leblanc.
“We urge the Government of Quebec to complete its analysis of transportation funding and announce a detailed plan of its strategy in this regard. This strategy should reflect the intentions of all levels of government. Applications for additional sources of funding dedicated to transportation are increasing and are all over the place. This context creates confusion, both for citizens and for business, and adversely affects investment decisions,” continued Michel Leblanc.
“The government must also work towards improving our economy’s productivity to address the challenges relating to our declining labour pool, the fragile global economic context, and a loonie that will remain strong in the coming years. We are asking the government to quickly implement its entrepreneurship, innovation, and export strategies, as well as its recently announced immigration plan,” added Michel Leblanc.
“Finally, we maintain that the increase in tuitions—combined with increased loans and bursaries—announced in last year’s budget, is a step in the right direction since it allows us to better fund our universities so that they may be more competitive. We support the government in this decision and ask that it not look backwards: the debate has already taken place,” concluded Michel Leblanc.
In summary, the Board of Trade’s recommendations are as follows:
- Stay the course on balanced budgets between now and 2013-2014, not by increasing the burden on taxpayers, but by controlling expenditures
- Take concrete action for our economy by remaining on time and on budget with major projects that are already underway
- Immediately implement the various strategies and measures announced to improve our economy’s competitiveness
The Board of Trade’s pre-budget recommendations can be viewed by clicking here.
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.
Interim Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4015