"Canada no longer responds" to the needs of Quebec's Manufacturers and Exporters - Jean-Luc Trahan, President, QME

    MONTREAL, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Jean-Luc Trahan, President of Quebec
Manufacturers and Exporters (QME), said he is disappointed by the different
measures that were included in the budget announced by Federal Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty.
    "We acknolwedge the fact that the Minister of Finances has decided to
proceed without significantly increasing the government's spending patterns
but we were hopeful the federal government would also recognize the difficult
situation facing manufacturers and exporters. They could have done so by
proposing a pro-active manufacturing strategy that would have generated some
hope and a spirit of optimism at the beginning of the year," said Mr. Trahan.
"We are disappointed to see the government decided not to take into
consideration the specific measures that we had proposed, which could have
gone a long way in terms of improving the competitivity of manufacturers and
exporters across Canada."
    The proposed measures seek to stimulate business investments, encourage
innovation and bring relief in terms of adressing the financial needs of
Canadian manufacturers and exporters.
    "Last January 10th, in the wake of the announcement of a national trust
for community development, we indicated that this initiative must be
accompanied by specific measures for the manufacturing sector in the same vein
as those already introduced by the governments of Québec and Ontario.  It must
be noted that the Federal government already offers special assistance to the
automobile industry, which is largely based in Ontario. Still, the Federal
government has decided to propose nothing for manufacturers in Québec and this
decision fails to take into consideration the realities of an important
component of the country's manufacturing sector," said Mr. Trahan.
    "The current budget proves that manufacturers and exporters do not rank
among the government's list of priorities and that they feel the measures
announced on October 30th 2007 and last January 10th  will sufficiently ensure
the competitivity of the industry. While these measures are a step in the
right direction, we maintain our position that they are insufficient," said
Mr. Trahan.

    The QME's Mandate

    The Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters' mandate is to stimulate the
competitivity of the industry and increase exports. Manufacturing constitutes
Quebec's most important sector of activity and with its 10,000 partners and
close to 500,000 jobs, the industry generates 20% of Quebec's GDP, 86 % of the
province's exports and 75% of private research and development activities.

For further information:

For further information: Robert Davis, Vice-president, Public Affairs,
Research and Analysis QME, (514) 866-7774 (2110), robert.davis@meq.ca

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