QUÉBEC, June 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - In presenting Québec's Budget 2014-2015, the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão, announced several measures relating to the government's maritime strategy.
"The maritime strategy aims, in particular, to position Québec as the hub of transatlantic shipping traffic. It is a direct extension of the efforts to strengthen economic links between Canada and Europe. It will develop the potential of the St. Lawrence River and give new impetus to maritime transport, a safe and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. It will spur major investments, supporting a large number of jobs," the Minister pointed out.
He announced the deployment of the Stratégie de mise en valeur du Saint-Laurent touristique. The strategy will present tourists with an integrated offering of tourist attractions that have been developed in the regions along the St. Lawrence in particular.
"In addition, the government is announcing a plan to implement a high-value-added intermodal logistical hub in Montérégie to make this region one of the most favourable locations for the shipment of goods in North America. It will consist of distribution logistical centres, warehouses and regional offices. It will also benefit from fast access to highways 30 and 40, proximity to the Port of Montréal and railway trunk lines. In this regard, the government is considering extending boulevard de l'Assomption to improve access to the Port of Montréal," the Minister added.
To encourage Québec shipowners, including cruise and excursion businesses, to modernize and renew their fleet of vessels, Budget 2014-2015 stipulates an additional capital cost allowance of 50% for the construction or renovation of vessels, and the creation of a tax-free reserve to fund maintenance, renovation or construction work on vessels done in a Québec shipyard. These incentives will help improve the energy performance of vessels whose heavy-fuel oil consumption is a major source of greenhouse gas.
The maritime strategy also includes a component for the development of a sustainable fishery and marine biotechnologies. The Minister announced investments of $800 000 over two years in research and development, particularly in the area of marine biotechnologies. These investments will support the activities of the Centre de recherche sur les biotechnologies marines in Rimouski and the Institut des sciences de la mer in Rimouski.
SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre des Finances
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