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Marois Says Quebec to Give C$709 Mln Business Tax Breaks

Quebec will invest about C$2 billion ($1.94 billion) by 2017 on measures such as tax credits and power subsidies with a view to bolstering employment in the province, Premier Pauline Marois said.

Canada’s second most populous province expects the measures to trigger C$7.6 billion in new investments and create more than 43,000 jobs by 2017, Marois said today at a televised press conference in Montreal. Economic output in the province will increase by C$3 billion annually by 2017, according to Finance Ministry estimates.

Among other measures, Marois said Quebec plans to give C$709 million in tax breaks for companies, and spend C$581 million to promote research and development by 2017. The province will also subsidize hydroelectric power to lure investment, and set aside about C$15 million to pay for a feasibility study on a rail line that would allow for the transport of iron ore from the Labrador Trough region, she said.

“These are major actions,” Marois told reporters. “There are measures for the short, the medium and the long term. We think this will generate billions in investments that will increase our tax receipts.”

Quebec had a deficit of C$1.8 billion though the quarter ended June 30, the provincial Finance Ministry said in a monthly report dated Sept. 27. Budgetary balance for the fiscal year “will be achieved,” the ministry also said, adding that the government will present an economic and financial update before the end of the year.

Quebec’s economy shrank 0.7 percent in the April-June period, according to Quebec’s statistics agency, compared with growth of 0.4 percent for the country as a whole, according to Statistics Canada.

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