Federal budget - What benefit for the West Island?

    The West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce hopes that the federal
    government's stimulus plan will promote regional development, support
    major industries and provide a solution to the chronic transportation
    problems that plague its territory.

    MONTREAL, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - It is with great interest that the West
Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce (WIMCC) welcomes the budget measures
announced by the Minister of Finance to stimulate the Canadian economy, and
hopes they will have some concrete impact in the areas of regional
development, assistance to small and medium enterprises as well as big
business, and improvements to the major road arteries in its territory.
    "It is crucial that our retail outlets, small and medium enterprises and
large, regional industries such as the pharmaceutical, aeronautics and high
technology industries maintain their competitiveness and continue to create
jobs in the West Island," stressed David Pecho, President of the WIMCC. "We
fervently hope that these measures, as exceptional as they are urgent, that
have been presented to the Canadian parliament, will have some impact in the
short term," he added.

    The lion's share

    The 12 billion dollars earmarked for infrastructure spending constitutes
the lion's share of the federal budget, and Mr. Flaherty particularly favors
projects that are ready to go. These investments can only benefit the West
Island's transportation network, whose chronic problems have long been having
repercussions on regional economic development and the environment. "For the
WIMCC, this is the top priority. Improvement to the flow of people, vehicles
and goods in our region is urgently needed, and the funding that has been
announced is excellent news," said Andrée Bélanger, Executive Director of the
    Another avenue of investment that is of interest to the West Island is
the education spending aimed at colleges and universities. Here again, it is
to be hoped that the two campuses in the WIMCC's territory - John-Abbott and
Gérald-Godin - will benefit from Ottawa's financial efforts to maintain and
improve the quality of education, so they can educate the best.
    Like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trade of
Metropolitan Montreal, the WIMCC notes the scope of the planned deficit - 33.7
billion dollars - after more than eleven years of budget surpluses. The
spending announced by the federal government, representing 1.9% of GDP, is
close to the 2% recommended by the International Monetary Fund for overcoming
the crisis. Finally, the WIMCC believes that a return to a balanced budget is
desirable for a sustainable boost to the economy, and to restore consumer

    As the West Island of Montreal's primary business organization, The West
Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization whose
mission is to represent the interests of all 5 575 businesses within the
region and to encourage and promote, through services and activities, the
economic well being of its members.

For further information:

For further information: Andrée Bélanger, Executive Director, (514)
697-4228; Source: WIMCC

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