There is economics and then there is economics. The freshly launched election campaign has allowed several parties to get closer to the first by promising some that they will have more in their pockets. As for broader policies, we risk hearing too little about it, Quebec entrepreneurs in the world of innovation and technology fear.
With five main parties at loggerheads and the “ballot box issue” officially centered on the economy, they say it’s a good time to revisit issues that have been raised in recent months but have fallen in a vacuum of little business news who look elsewhere: productivity, full employment, intellectual property, etc.
Four digital challenges
Through the Canadian Council of Innovators (CCI), in which they participate, about twenty medium and large Quebec tech companies are targeting four policies that affect them in particular: Wage support in the form of tax credits given to the multimedia sector for two decades. the brand new Data Protection Act, the Government’s recently revised local procurement thresholds for technological solutions and the application of the Official Languages Act (ex-Bill 96) .
In the last three cases, companies are wondering when and how these new laws will be implemented and how they will affect their operations. With tax credits in existence for a quarter of a century, one wonders if Quebec’s changing economy shouldn’t lead to their modernization.
“If Quebec loves its businesses so much, why do we sometimes feel like it does more for foreign businesses? asks CCI Director, Governments and Public Affairs, Pierre-Philippe Lortie. It’s well known that the pan-Canadian organization founded by BlackBerry co-inventor Jim Balsillie would prefer provincial policies focused more on boosting corporate profits than raising workers’ wages.
“There are no new jobs being created in techno at the moment,” believes Mr. Lortie. “There is a crowding out of talent. A computer scientist hired by Google for twice his salary, also thanks to government support, is that sustainable? »
“We’re not saying we have the answer,” the ICC spokesman defended. But he adds that times have changed and that enacting policies to encourage job creation amid a labor shortage may not be the best way to create that wealth that would bring Quebec closer to Ontario, as the outgoing Prime Minister François Legault wishes.
“We need more declared profits in Quebec so that the intellectual property developed here can benefit the people here,” concludes Mr. Lortie.
Silent parties… for now
In its demands, the ICC agrees with some of the ideas presented a few days ago.carried by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), which also represents a large group of companies and business people, but from different fields of activity.
In particular, the CCMM calls for a review of immigration thresholds, as for them part of solving labor shortages necessarily requires more new workers from other countries. It would raise Quebec’s annual threshold from 50,000 to 64,000.
She also believes that public services could do better if they made more room for the private sector. “We believe it would be in our interest to be more inspired by best practices from other parts of the world. Indeed, several territories know how to better exploit private sector innovation to improve and optimize the delivery of public services, putting innovation and technology at the service of sound public finance management. , writes the CCMM.
The two business groups note in this process that innovation should be viewed as a whole and not sector by sector, but note that neither party is currently providing answers to each of their requests. Both the CCMM and the ICC hope that more voting platforms are expected in the next few days.
“It’s good that the campaign is starting with the theme of business, but we’re still excited to see how it goes,” concludes Pierre-Philippe Lortie. Because there are more economic problems than just taxes and debt.
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