Montréal, December 1, 2014 – As part of prebudget consultations by the Canadian Minister of Finance, the Honourable Joe Oliver, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal reminds the government of the need to reinforce the economy of Quebec and its largest city.
“The Canadian Finance Minister’s update on economic and budget projections last month showed that the government is on track to balance the budget and will see a surplus in 2015,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The Board of Trade applauds this judicious, responsible management of public finances.”
“While the government will soon have significant budget leeway, Quebec and Ontario – the most populous provinces which account for close to 60% of GDP – are struggling to consolidate their finances,” Michel Leblanc said. “We ask the Government of Canada to take advantage of its surplus to reduce the tax burden and put in place strategic initiatives to reinforce the economy of Quebec and its largest city.”
Five actions to strengthen Montréal, Canada’s second largest city
Montréal is the second largest city in Canada: it represents around 10% of the Canadian economy and 50% of the Québec economy. Its prosperity is essential for Canada’s economic development. In its prebudget recommendations presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in August, the Board of Trade called for five actions and measures to support the economy of Greater Montréal:
- Use a large portion of the surplus to lighten the tax burden. The government needs to reduce personal income tax and continue to lower corporate income tax rates.
- Effectively support the completion of priority municipal infrastructures by lowering requirements for local cofinancing to reflect the limited financial capacity of municipalities in Greater Montréal.
- Focus on port, maritime and airport development for the city, in particular by supporting the construction of the new maritime terminal at the Port of Montréal and the development of the Old Port, as well as by reducing airport rents.
- Grant the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary the funding required to make the celebrations a success. These celebrations should be the opportunity for the Government of Canada to leave a significant legacy for future generations.
- Reinforce the internationalization of businesses by continuing to support key international trade development organizations and facilitating negotiations with the provinces to improve domestic trade in Canada.
“In addition to these efforts, the Board of Trade asks the government once again to set aside plans to centralize securities regulation,” Michel Leblanc said. “Having a regulator in Quebec is strategic to keeping skilled jobs and attracting direct foreign investment for Quebec’s financial industry.”
The Board of Trade’s prebudget recommendations submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance can be consulted by clicking here.
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.
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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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