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Press release
25 March 2020

Opposition Parties Taking Action to Support Small and Medium Enterprises

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Aware of the urgency for quick action to support Quebec’s SMEs, the opposition parties in Quebec are working together to present the government with possible solutions to financially assist workers and entrepreneurs who are having difficulties.

The Quebec Liberal Party, Quebec Solidaire and the Parti Quebecois have begun discussions with the Minister of Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, to create awareness about the distress that many PMEs are experiencing following their abrupt closure.

This economic slowdown is necessary to fight the spread of Covid-19. However, it will have significant impacts for our businesses, which is why it is so important for the State to offer them support. The assistance offered to them thus far is not sufficient.

Our political parties share a common desire to work effectively to reduce this health crisis’ consequences to a minimum for all of Quebec’s regional economies.

At our request, a meeting has been scheduled with Mr. Fitzgibbon, just like last week, so that we can discuss options. We will therefore remain open to discussions and offer our full collaboration to develop an emergency plan for our businesses.

I am really proud of this movement of solidarity that is emanating from within the population as we work together to fight the spread of Covid-19. Our SMEs have answered the Premier’s call and understand the magnitude of the situation. Many companies will face liquidity problems and workers might have a hard time paying their bills. The government needs to quickly announce adapted measures to reassure them. The realities of thousands of people have changed from one day to the next. They need support to face this new reality.

–Dominique Anglade, Liberal Critic for Economy

It’s a time of anguish and uncertainly for our businesses. Not just for today, but for the future as well. We have had a number of exchanges with Minister Fitzgibbon to talk about this distress. Many solutions have been suggested and the discussions are ongoing. We do hope that over the coming days measures will be announced to reduce the pressure on our businesses and our workers.

–Monsef Derraji, Liberal Critic for SMEs and Innovation

The situation we find ourselves in is exceptional and so the State’s reaction must be exceptional too. Tens of thousands of very small businesses (under ten employees) are facing possible extinction because of this crisis and we cannot stand idly by as we face this catastrophe. Solutions exist, we have suggested some to the government.

–Vincent Marissal, Quebec Solidaire Critic for Taxation and Economic Justice.

The exceptional situation that we are experiencing merits exceptional consideration and that is just what the parties represented at the National Assembly are doing. We are witnessing huge sacrifices made by our SMEs, but we’re also hearing their call for help. They are demonstrating a deep sense of humanity by closing their doors and laying off their precious workforce. Let’s show them the same humanity by supporting them at the level that the circumstances require. The government can count on us to be inventive, attentive and proactive. Our SMEs and our workers are important vectors of Quebec life, we will be there for them during, and especially after, this crisis.

–Martin Ouellet, Parti Quebecois Critic for Finance and SMEs and Third Opposition House Leader

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