A federal budget that meets the expectations
of the Montréal business community
Montréal, March 4, 2010 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is generally satisfied with the budget brought down today by Canada’s Minister of Finance, the Honourable Jim Flaherty. This budget reflects a number of the wishes the Board of Trade expressed on February 8 during pre-budgetary consultations.
The Board of Trade proposed three major directions: maintaining strategic short-term investments in infrastructure, preparing a gradual return to a balanced budget by rationalizing expenditures, and supporting investment that stimulates the long-term productivity and competitiveness of the Canadian economy.
“Overall, this budget meets the expectations of the Montréal business community,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Given that we are beginning the final phase of the federal government’s recovery plan, we have to ensure that major urban centres such as Montréal come out strengthened by the infrastructure investment that will be made in the next year.
The Board of Trade also welcomes the fact that the budget presents a clear five-year plan to balance the budget without increasing taxes. It reiterates that the federal government’s task of absorbing the projected deficit of $53.8 billion is a daunting one and that it should be accomplished without slashing transfer payments to the provinces.
“The budget has a certain number of measures that should stimulate economic development in major urban centres like Montréal, including support to innovation, which will have an impact on long-term productivity and competitiveness in Canada,” Mr. Leblanc said. “We are particularly satisfied with the additional $40 million devoted to innovation and commercialization efforts of PMEs. Plus the elimination of tariffs on imported equipment for the manufacturing sector is good news because it will strengthen that sector’s competitiveness.”
Finally, the Board of Trade underlined the importance for the federal government of contributing right away to construction starts for high-priority, strategic infrastructure in Montréal. “To fully take advantage of the economic recovery that is beginning, Montréal has to be able to count on the federal government’s timely financial participation in its development,” Michel Leblanc concluded.
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 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, ext. 4015