Budget Girard: The Mauricie economic community expected more

Businesses in the Mauricie region, the community sector and economists expected more from the provincial budget unveiled Tuesday by Finance Minister Éric Girard.

“We would have liked to see tax holidays for experienced workers so that they could come back to work one or two days a week to fill the gaps in businesses. Many entrepreneurs are on the verge of “burnout” and have to reduce opening hours,” explained Charles Milliard, president and CEO of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Trois-Rivières, Cassy Bernier, however, sees positive elements for the regional economy, in particular investments for business automation.

According to the Legault government’s budget, increasing productivity is the main lever for increasing Quebec’s wealth and eliminating its standard of living gap with Ontario. Consequently, the government is providing nearly $2.2 billion in Budget 2022-2023 to support innovation and research, continue the digital shift and stimulate investment in new technologies, entrepreneurship and exports.

The community sector, for its part, obtained more financial assistance. “We are talking about a quarter of what we asked for with the “commit yourself to the community” campaign. We are still satisfied because there is a step forward, but we still expect more,” said Méranie Roy, director of the Community Development Corporation of the MRC de Maskinongé.

For the Mauritian Center for Organization of Services and Popular Education (COMSEP), the government should have done more for single people living in precarious situations. “We often think that being unfit for work is linked to an illness or a physical handicap. However, here, we have people who are illiterate. It is not easy for them to find a job. We never think of them,” lamented Sylvie Tardif, the organization’s coordinator.

Moreover, the $25.7 million announced last spring to improve assistance for victims of pyrrhotite are well and truly included in the budget. Financial assistance will be in place until 2025. However, immediate claims are not expected. “We are suffering the effects of COVID, many people are having difficulty finding a contractor, the costs have also increased; this means that a good number of owners are waiting to know the outcome of the second trial which will take place in May,” said Michel Lemay of the Coalition to help victims of pyrrhotite.

Moreover, this new legal procedure will target damaged buildings, whether repaired or not to date, built between May 15, 2003 and November 30, 2007. The trial should take place during the week of May 2 and from May 30, 2022. Since the project to redevelop the spaces of the Notre-Dame-du-Cap sanctuary has not yet been carried out, this major tourist attraction for the Mauricie region also sees its promise of $15.6 million postponed to this budget. . Last April, the government confirmed its financial participation in this $39 million project, which notably includes the construction of a new reception building, the development of the main square of the sanctuary, the basilica and the sacred gardens and the redevelopment of the bus dock and facilities to give visitors access to the river.

The Quebec Association for the Defense of the Rights of Retired and Pre-Retired Persons qualifies, for its part, the financial year “a missed golden opportunity for seniors”.


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