Develop, represent, and promote the next generation of business professionals
22 March 2023

Reaction to the 2023-2024 budget


Quebec, March 21, 2023 - The Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec (RJCCQ), the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (JCCM), the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Québec (JCCQ), and the Aile jeunesse de la Chambre de commerce et d'industrie Saguenay-Le Fjord are reacting to the 2023-2024 budget of the Quebec government presented, for the fifth time, by Eric Girard, Minister of Finance.

In a context of economic uncertainties, the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, and businesses, who are the engines of innovation in Quebec, are immense. However, the young chambers of commerce of Quebec applaud the government's awareness of the labor shortage.

The budget plan: the focus is on individuals at the expense of businesses.

The government presents a cautious budget with the objective of creating wealth and increasing Quebec's economic potential by focusing more on individuals than on businesses. However, young chambers of commerce remind that the challenges facing entrepreneurs are immense (lack of successors, declining investments, etc.).

The government acknowledges the issue of labor shortages but could do more.

The government's recognition of the labor shortage issue is a step in the right direction, according to representatives of the young chambers of commerce and youth wings, in order to rebalance the job market in the medium term and help regions attract and retain workers. However, this action will have limited short-term impact on the entrepreneurial environment and intentions to start a business. For example, it would have been relevant to support growing startups in future sectors by creating interest-free loans for two years to support investments in research and innovation, as mentioned in our pre-budget memorandum. The improvement of export assistance measures is certainly welcome to take advantage of the attractiveness of the Canadian dollar internationally due to its depreciation.

A truly sustainable Quebec needs significant investments.

Finally, the challenges are immense for business transfer and the decline in intentions to start a business, and measures should have been taken to address these issues directly. The investments of $30 million over three years for clean technologies are absolutely insufficient if we want a prosperous and sustainable Quebec.

The JCCM welcomes the provincial budget tabled today in Quebec City, particularly the $2.4 billion announced to diversify and consolidate actions for the environment. It is a step in the right direction, but it will be critical to move quickly to implement the next steps as the window of opportunity to limit global warming under critical thresholds is rapidly closing. Among the other investments announced today, the JCCM wishes to highlight the $2.3 billion planned by 2027-2028 to develop the potential of young people, particularly by promoting their academic success. This measure will contribute to the training of the next generation of leaders in our society. The JCCM fervently hopes that it will be implemented with a concern for equity in order to first benefit communities that are currently underserved by the education system.

Habi Gerba, présidente et porte-parole, Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal

"The government finally recognizes the labor shortage affecting businesses and the need to expand the pool of skilled workers. We welcome efforts to promote growth and exports as we have called for. However, we observe that young successors and entrepreneurs are very concerned about the economic context. Quebec must create incentives to ensure a dynamic entrepreneurial economy in the medium and long term."
-Pierre Graff, CEO, Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec.

"The JCCQ views the government's position on labor issues positively. Indeed, it is more than necessary to prioritize what we know to be a pressing need not only for our members, but also for most economic actors in the province. Innovation is more necessary than ever to find solutions to this problem. Finally, I would also like to highlight the initiatives put forward in terms of sustainable development and mental health in the 2023-2024 budget, but I remain unsatisfied with their scale."
-Maxime Page, President of the Young Chamber of Commerce of Quebec.

"PME leaders in Saguenay are facing the challenge of recruiting personnel, whether in terms of attraction or retention. In order to truly increase economic vitality, we need investments in public transportation and housing to strengthen the attractiveness of employment in the region. Young chambers, as a driver of local economic dynamism, contribute to equitable development throughout Quebec."
-Simon Mc Nicoll, Youth Vice-President, Chambre de commerce et d'industrie Saguenay-Le Fjord.

About the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec

For 30 years, the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec has supported a network of about forty young chambers of commerce and youth wings throughout Quebec, representing over 10,000 young professionals, executives, self-employed workers, and entrepreneurs aged 18 to 40. In addition to having a wide geographical scope, it includes 12 organizations from cultural communities among its ranks.

About the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Québec

Founded in 1987, the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Québec is an organization that brings together over 750 members of the business community in Quebec City. Through events and training, the JCCQ creates networking opportunities and contributes to the growth of young entrepreneurs, professionals, and self-employed workers. With a vision for the future, its vast network of members participates in promoting the greater Quebec City region.

About Aile jeunesse de la Chambre de commerce et d’industrie Saguenay-Le Fjord

Since its creation in August 2018, the Youth Wing of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie Saguenay-Le Fjord (CCISF) has generated a lot of enthusiasm. The Youth Wing is a committee created by the CCISF board of directors. Three seats are reserved for those under 35 within the board, in addition to nine members, including the outgoing Youth VP, to form the Youth Wing committee. Although its primary mandate is to represent the interests of the business community aged 35 and under, the Youth Committee sets broader goals, such as increasing intergenerational exchanges, enhancing skills, and promoting entrepreneurial culture. Through its activities, the committee encourages opportunities to dialogue, learn, and create links between people of all ages and sectors of activity.

Journalist :
Gaudérique Traub
Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations
Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec (RJCCQ)