Rigour and foresight: Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal presents its
pre-budget recommendations to Canada's Minister of Finance

MONTREAL, Feb. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the pre-budget consultation held by the Honourable James M. Flaherty, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal recommends to the Finance Minister to support the economic recovery, pave the way for a return to a balanced budget, and take measures to ensure solid economic growth in the long term.

"The Government of Canada must demonstrate rigour and foresight. It must balance its finances in a context of tenuous growth and an aging population," said Board of Trade President and CEO Michel Leblanc. "The government must therefore maintain strategic investments in order to support growth while at the same time focusing on boosting our economic competitiveness, an essential condition for healthy public finances and optimal growth in the long run," added Leblanc.

The Board of Trade's recommendations revolve around three broad orientations:

    1. Maintain strategic public infrastructure investments in the near term

       The Board of Trade recommends the federal government undertake the
       following initiatives without delay: launch the next phase in the
       development of the Old Port of Montréal; build a rail link between
       Montréal-Trudeau Airport and downtown; define a plan for the eventual
       replacement of Champlain Bridge; and provide financial backing for
       projects aimed at developing sectors of excellence around the research
       centres associated with the future superhospitals.

    2. Pave the way for a gradual return to a balanced budget and streamline

       The Board of Trade recommends eliminating the deficit without
       increasing the tax burden; ending the temporary stimulus measures once
       the recovery is on solid footing; and reviewing and slashing public
       spending by determining which expenditures are necessary and which
       should be reduced without, however, cutting transfer payments to the

    3. Give priority to measures that contribute to the productivity and
       competitiveness of the Canadian economy with a view to ensuring its
       long-term growth

       To this end, the Board of Trade recommends supporting investments in
       human capital; maintaining measures that encourage research and
       innovation; and continuing to support Canadian businesses on
       international markets.

Hyperlink to the recommendations: http://www.btmm.qc.ca/federal_recommendations

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 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.

SOURCE Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

For further information: For further information: Sylvie Paquette, Coordinator, Media Relations, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal, (514) 871-4000, extension 4015, sylvie.paquette@ccmm.qc.ca

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