The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is asking the next federal government to promote the competitiveness of the Canadian and Montreal economies by reducing the debt and taxes, controlling expenses and investing in research
Normand Legault, president, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Montreal, October 24, 2000 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is asking the future Canadian government to stay the course on the competitiveness of the Canadian economy and on increasing its productivity.
"To enhance the competitiveness of our economy, the government must resist the temptation to increase its current expenditures. Spending on programs, employment insurance, national defence, external affairs, international trade, transportation infrastructures and equalization should not exceed the inflation rate.
"Only the areas of R & D and scientific innovation should benefit from new government investment because they make a substantial contribution to the productivity and vitality of the economy. For Metropolitan Montreal, which boasts a concentration of universities, research centres and technology companies, these types of investments are particularly wise," stated Normand Legault, president of the Board of Trade.
The Canadian government must keep spending growth within the inflation rate, currently at 2.7%.
Surplus: paying down the debt and reducing taxes
Moreover, the Board of Trade believes that reducing the tax burden should top the list of the government's concerns. "We believe that 50% of the Canadian government's operating surplus should be allocated to reducing the tax burden, while the other half should be used to reduce the national debt."
Mr. Legault also stated that the federal government should avoid all centralization initiatives. "The next government should refrain from intervening in areas of provincial jurisdiction, among others, labour and education," he added.
For the past few years, like many Canadian business organizations, the Board of Trade has promoted a decentralized government that respects provincial jurisdiction so as to encourage harmonious coexistence between Canadians and the various levels of government.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the public and influence towards government and decision-makers.