On October 8, 2014, Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, along with Lynda Coache, Partner in Charge of the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu office, spoke to a group of business people during a breakfast conference organized by the Chambre de commerce du Haut-Richelieu.
Nearly 200 people were in attendance to listen to the two experts. Lynda Coache first spoke about the Haut-Richelieu region’s vitality and opportunities. As an individual committed to the firm, her profession and her community, she passionately stated, “I want to be a part of change, I want to make things happen!”
According to Lynda, the region has all the potential it needs to take on its growth challenges successfully. She closed her speech by inviting all region players to contribute to its economic development, “Let’s make the most of opportunities as a community. We’re the 11th largest city in Quebec, but numbers are just numbers. Let’s become the strongest city, too.”
Emilio expounded upon the ideas the firm thinks are key to boosting the province’s economic growth, creating jobs and making our society even more competitive.
He opened his speech by stating, “We sometimes forget just how strong Quebec’s potential is. Our society is bursting with talent. Our labour force is trained and very bilingual. We have experienced entrepreneurs, ambitious decision-makers, plentiful natural resources, and abundant, clean and renewable energy sources. But despite these advantages, Quebec needs to do far more if it wants to take a place among the most competitive, innovative and productive regions in the world. Our public debt is hindering our growth. Taxpayers, whether citizens or companies, are tired of having to constantly dip into their pockets.”
As a reminder, here are the four major ideas outlined by Emilio that include specific measures:
1. Encourage entrepreneurship through tax incentives
- Make it fair from a tax point of view to sell a business, whether selling to family or foreign interests.
- Hold a public consultation to measure the impact of reducing or eliminating corporate taxes for SMEs, and define clear rules without reducing the government’s tax base.
2. Take advantage of export opportunities
- Take advantage of the soon-to-be official free trade agreement with Europe to develop new markets. Canada will be the only country in the world with free access, baring a few exceptions, to the two largest markets on the planet. Including North American consumers, Quebec has a potential market of over 900 million people!
3. Train and attract talent more effectively
- Start teaching basic concepts at the high school level about credit, public debt, the cost of public services, and the importance of creating a budget.
- Improve the process for selecting and integrating immigrants by creating other agreements, such as the France-Quebec agreement, to recognize the qualifications of professionals from other regions.
4. Exploit natural resources respectfully and sustainably
- Develop a framework that supports long-term investments and infrastructures, specifically in terms of ports and railways.
From L to R: Harold Vachon, President of the Chambre de commerce du Haut-Richelieu, Lynda Coache, Assurance Partner at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu office, Emilio B. Imbriglio, President and CEO, and Stéphane Legrand, General Manager of the Chambre de commerce du Haut-Richelieu.
Consult the October 16 article published in Canada Français (article in French only), reporting on the conference.