Montréal, March 26, 2015 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal applauds the budget tabled today by Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão. Overall, the budget reflects a number of the recommendations made by the city’s business community. It makes the tax system more competitive, supports key, innovative sectors, improves alignment between training and employment and maintains investments in strategic infrastructures for the city. “This is a disciplined budget meant to increase business productivity, stimulate investment and ensure sustainable economic growth,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
More competitive taxation to improve the business environment
The government is putting an end to six years of budget deficits and growing debt. “This budget reassures investors and the business community about the viability of public finances,” Michel Leblanc said. “It confirms a change of course and allows us to finally foresee a Quebec in control of its finances and able to take action to correct structural weaknesses in the economy.”
The Board of Trade is pleased to see that the government is announcing measures to reduce the corporate and personal tax burden. “Lowering overall corporate tax rates combined with reducing payroll taxes for SMEs will stimulate private investment, while putting in place a tax shield and improving the tax credit for experienced workers encourages work,” Michel Leblanc said. “These are essential measures to help the city tackle its economic and demographic challenges.”
Concrete, promising measures to increase access to talent
The Board of Trade applauds the measures announced to bring training more in line with employment. This is a major issue for Greater Montréal. “In addition to measures to support company internships, the budget includes a $3 million investment over three years for the Interconnection program,” Michel Leblanc said. “This program has proven its worth, with a placement rate of almost 63% for participating immigrants. With this support, the government is demonstrating the importance it places on integrating immigrants to the workforce.”
Support aimed at key sectors, innovation and entrepreneurship
With this budget, the government is recognizing the need to leverage tax assistance to support promising, high-value-added sectors. “Increasing tax credits for the production of multimedia titles, the development of e-business and the cultural sector is great news for the city,” Michel Leblanc said.
The Board of Trade is also delighted to see the government has listened to the business community’s concerns about supporting entrepreneurship. “Announcements to support business capitalization, in particular by lifting the ceiling on share issues from labour-sponsored funds, will support our venture capital industry and innovative companies,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Furthermore, granting an annual $2 million over the next three years along with changes to rules to expedite the transfer of family businesses will encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Structuring investments for the city
The budget also confirms a number of major investments for the city. In addition to projects for Montréal’s 375th anniversary festivities and legacy, it announces government support for the Port of Montreal’s proposed maritime terminal project and for a study on expanding the Palais des congrès de Montréal. “The Board of Trade is very satisfied with the government’s commitments for the orderly completion of structuring projects for the city,” Michel Leblanc said. “The next step will be to pass a law on metropolitan status to give the city greater autonomy and additional sources of funding.”
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
- 30 -
Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
Follow the discussion: #ccmmqcca