Press release Provincial and federal prebudget consultations:
Acquiring the tools to create more wealth
Montreal, January 21, 2005 On behalf of its some 7,000 members, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has examined the budget choices the provincial and federal governments are preparing to make and is submitting a series of specific recommendations concerning the major decisions that will have to be made for the upcoming year. In this regard, the Board of Trade continues to insist that city financing and business competitiveness are critical issues that the governments must address in their next budget.
If we want to be able to create more wealth, we must have the means to make the country's economic engines run at full throttle. And in the current global context, it is predominantly the metropolitan regions and their businesses that are fuelling our collective prosperity. The development of urban centres must not be viewed in opposition to that of the other regions. Quite the contrary; we must provide our large cities with the tools they need to maximize their potential so that they can, in turn, increase the governments' ability to redistribute wealth, explained Isabelle Hudon, interim president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
Preparing a budget invariably involves making choices, often difficult ones, between a series of priorities and emergencies. However, for the Board of Trade, it is not a question of considering solutions that involve creating new taxes but rather of finding ways to better share the available tax base. It is with this in mind that we are presenting our members' expectations of the 2005-2006 budget. We are putting forward constructive proposals aimed at boosting the city's economic performance and, by extension, that of Quebec and Canada . And if we were to pick the most important issue, it would be the vital need to improve city financing by implementingin the very short term!new diversified, predictable and recurring revenue sources, added Isabelle Hudon.
Summary of recommendations
Attract, train and retain talent:
The Board of Trade recommends increased efforts in the areas of higher education and immigration so as to attract, train and retain more talent in Quebec .
The Board of Trade is including a series of proposals to facilitate the flow of exports to the United States and ensure the growth of this critical facet of our economy.
Structuring projects for the City:
The Board of Trade insists on the importance of rapidly executing structuring projects for the city such as the construction of the new CHUM and MUHC university hospital centres and making the investments required to develop the Montreal harbourfront.
The Board of Trade reiterates the need to give cities access to new, diversified, predictable and recurring revenue sources and in this regard insists on, among other things, the need for an agreement between the governments to transfer a part of the gasoline excise tax revenues to the cities and fully refunding the QST paid by municipalities.
In a constructive spirit, the Board of Trade would also like to impress upon the governments that it is available to work together on concrete, fundamental measures that will help grow the Montreal economy , concluded Isabelle Hudon.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary 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 Quebec 's leading private economic development organization.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015
Federal and provincial prebudget submissions for 2005-2006.