QUÉBEC, March 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Economic Plan includes measures to stimulate the private investment that contributes to Québec's vibrant economy. "Among other things, we will be implementing the maritime strategy, which will lay the foundations for the development of numerous communities over the coming years," said Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão.
Stimulating private investment
The government will start by investing $160 million between now and 2019‑2020, in particular to:
- implement a new and improved tax holiday for major investment projects;
- implement the Québec aluminum industry development strategy;
- carry out a new government action plan in social economy; and
- support the aerospace sector.
The Economic Plan also provides for investments of $1.5 billion by 2020 under the Québec maritime strategy. Initiatives include:
- $200 million to accelerate investment in commercial port infrastructure;
- $400 million to promote the establishment of logistical hubs with the support of partners;
- $450 million to attract private investment by focusing on logistical and port infrastructure;
- $77 million to expand marine tourism;
- $55.5 million to extend the tax credit for Gaspé Peninsula and certain maritime regions of Québec and improve it for Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
"The maritime strategy will involve all stakeholders engaged in the development and protection of marine resources and in the development of all maritime industries. The strategy will promote economic growth and revitalize Québec regions while protecting the environment and local communities," Mr. Leitão said.
Plan Nord and natural resources
The Société du Plan Nord will begin operations on April 1, 2015. Accordingly, the government will soon release a five-year action plan setting out its vision for the development of Québec's northern regions.
In the same vein, the government's economic plan also includes measures related to natural resource development, in particular mines and forests. Natural resources are a source of collective wealth that contributes to economic development and job creation in several regions.
Thus, to favourably position Québec to take advantage of an eventual recovery in metal prices, the Economic Plan provides for the implementation of various measures to promote mining exploration, including:
- postponement, for one year, of the increase in the rates for mining titles;
- reduction, for two years, of the minimum cost of work to be done on a claim;
- renewal of the mandate of the Société d'investissement et de diversification de l'exploration minière (SIDEX);
- extension of the SIDEX Action‑Terrain program.
As well, a budgetary envelope of $38 million is being set aside to improve natural gas distribution in the regions. To that end, priority will be given to extending the gas pipeline in the Bellechasse RCM.
Giving value to forests and wildlife
The government will also be allocating $542 million in 2015‑2016 to Québec's forests and wildlife. This amount consists of:
- $225 million for silvicultural work;
- $317 million for forest management and development.
Additional support for the economic vitality of the forest regions will also be provided through investments by the Fonds Valorisation Bois in the pulp and paper sector.
"Québec's forests constitute a collective heritage that generates a significant number of jobs. Sustainable development of this resource is therefore essential to ensure the future of these jobs and the development of the regions that depend on this resource," the Minister explained.
Fostering business succession
The government also plans to allocate $51 million over the next five years to foster business succession:
- by granting $6 million in additional support for business successors and mentoring;
- by providing tax relief on the transfer of a business between related persons in the primary and manufacturing sectors, in order to promote family business successions.
Public infrastructure investment
The government is also announcing the acceleration, for the next four years, of $1.4 billion in public investment projects. The funds come from the $88.4-billion envelope allocated to the 2015-2025 Québec Infrastructure Plan. Accelerating the investments will finance the preliminary work for the refurbishment of the Palais des congrès de Montréal and the widening of Autoroute Henri-IV in the city of Québec.
"In addition to this public infrastructure investment, the government will be allocating another $406 million to stimulate investment over the next five years," Mr. Leitão said in closing.
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre des Finances
For further information: Andrée-Lyne Hallé, Press Relations Officer, Office of the Minister of Finance, 418 643-5270