Federal Pre-budget Submission:
Boost Montreal's Competitiveness
Montreal, March 1st, 2006 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has examined the budget choices the federal government is about to make and is submitting a series of specific recommendations on the important decisions that will be made within the next year.
In this regard, the Board of Trade reiterates its insistence that the federal government take concrete action in the next budget that recognizes the key role business and metropolitan competitiveness plays in boosting the quality of life of Canadians.
Montreal has recognized strengths namely in exports, education and cultural vitality. If we hope to create more wealth, we must leverage these assets. In today's global context, metropolitan regions and businesses are contributing more than ever before to our collective prosperity. The development of the metropolitan regions must not be viewed in opposition to that of the other regions of the country; quite the contrary, we must give our cities, businesses, universities and artists all the right tools to maximize their potential. The additional wealth created will allow us to increase the redistribution capacity of our governments, stated Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
While we recognize that the government has to make difficult budget choices, we believe that some of the available resources must be used for sound, profitable investments without increasing the overall tax burden. It is with this in mind that the Board of Trade is today presenting the 2006-2007 expectations of its members and putting forth constructive proposals apt to improve the economic performance of the metropolitan regions and, by extension, that of Quebec and Canada as a whole, added Mrs. Hudon.
Summary of recommendations
Economic competitiveness of metropolitan regions
- Improve business competitiveness
- Foreign direct investment fund:
The Board of Trade would like to see the creation of a real foreign direct investment fund to allow Canadian businesses, particularly SMEs, to take advantage of this growing area of international trade.
The Board of Trade makes proposals to facilitate the entry of our exports into the U.S. and ensure the growth of this critical aspect of the economy.
- Improve the financial situation of cities
The Board of Trade reiterates the need to remit to cities full payment in lieu of taxes on immovables owned by the federal government and its crown corporations.
The Board of Trade believes that university funding must be increased in order to attract and educate the talent required to develop the metropolitan region's knowledge economy.
The Board of Trade values Montreal's cultural sector and is asking that the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts be doubled over the next three years to support the city's growth.
Structuring projects for the city
The Board of Trade emphasizes the need to carry out the following structuring projects in the near future:
- A rail shuttle between downtown Montreal and the Montreal-Trudeau Airport;
- Development of the Montreal Harbourfront;
- Development of the Old Port;
- Public transit improvement.
We would like to impress upon the government that we are available to work together on concrete measures that will help boost the competitiveness and prosperity of the Montreal economy, concluded Isabelle Hudon.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants and 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 the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015
Hyperlink to the submission: http://www.ccmm.qc.ca/06-federal-budget