Productivity and return to a balanced budget:
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal presents its pre-budget recommendations to the Quebec Minister of Finance
Montréal, January 25, 2011 – As part of the pre-budget consultations conducted by Quebec Minister of Finance Raymond Bachand, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal presented its recommendations, which are along the same lines as last year, essentially insisting that the government implement some of the measures announced in 2010.
“While less hard hit by the recession than other North American regions, Montréal and Quebec are still facing substantial economic risks. We were pleased that the last budget addressed some of the key challenges for our future. We recommend that the government stay the course and follow through with the many commitments announced in 2010,” stated Board of Trade President and CEO Michel Leblanc.
“It is critical that the Quebec government honour its commitment to return to a balanced budget by 2013-2014. This is an essential measure to maintain investor confidence and allow the government to hold on to its credit rating. Quebec is already highly indebted. Reducing debt service payments would free up funds for other purposes. To balance the budget, the government must streamline its expenses rather than raise taxes,” added Michel Leblanc.
“The government must also prepare Quebec for the future. To this end, we believe that boosting our productivity is a key issue for the economy. It is clear that the aging of the population, combined with a weak growth outlook, will force us to become more productive; otherwise, our future prosperity will be compromised. The government should continue with the committed investments and projects that will provide Montréal and Quebec with strategic infrastructures such as the Turcot Interchange and the rail shuttle, which will have a leverage effect on the economy as a whole,” maintained Michel Leblanc.
“Lastly, we are asking the government to increase the overall level of funding to universities, raising tuition fees by $1,000 per year from 2012 to 2015. This would allow them to catch up to their Canadian counterparts in terms of funding and to improve their performance. At the same time, the government should keep the current level of public funding in real terms and implement measures to maintain accessibility,” concluded Michel Leblanc.
The Board of Trade’s recommendations revolve around three broad orientations:
- Stay the course to return to a balanced budget according to plan and clearly state the spending cuts that will be made to eliminate the deficit;
- Limit new measures that increase public spending to those designed to boost economic and business productivity;
- Carry out the infrastructure projects already announced by the government and postpone new projects.
The Board of Trade’s pre-budget recommendations are available at:
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local 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, extension 4015