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Government announcement
15 August 2018

Taking action for our workers, our businesses and our farmers

863 Million Dollars to Support Competitiveness for Quebec Businesses

Contrer les mesures protectionnistes de Donald Trump.

Il ne suffit pas de dénoncer.Nous vivons une situation exceptionnelle qui commande une réponse exceptionnelle.Le gouvernement libéral défend encore une fois nos travailleurs, nos entrepreneurs et leurs familles afin de contrer les mesures protectionnistes de Donald Trump.________________________Condemnation is simply not enough. We are experiencing an exceptional situation that requires an exceptional response.The Liberal government is once again defending our workers, entrepreneurs and their families from Donald Trump’s protectionism.

Posted by Philippe Couillard on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Quebec, August 15, 2018.– On June 20, the Premier of Quebec presented a plan to protect Quebecers’ jobs, Quebec SMEs and farmers experiencing repercussions from decisions made by the Trump administration. It concerned two types of action: condemnation and mitigation. Today, the government of Quebec unveiled a plan which includes close to 863 million dollars, mitigating the consequences of economic instability through supporting our businesses’ competitiveness.

The plan is composed of four main sections:

  • Giving businesses breathing room through direct financial assistance and tax relief;
  • Supporting investments to improve productivity;
  • Encouraging training for workers;
  • Encouraging market diversification.

Specifically, the government has taken action to allow affected businesses to free up the liquidity required to continue their operations, namely:

  • By offering assistance to businesses that are subject to tariffs;
  • By offering an immediate reduction in the Fonds des services de santé (FSS) contributions for SMEs.

The plan also aims to encourage investments by providing direct aid and sufficient financing, specifically:

  • By improving productivity in the agricultural sector;
  • By temporarily increasing the investment tax (ITC);
  • By enhancing the ESSOR program for innovative manufacturing and the PME en action program;
  • By encouraging companies access to Quebec’s public procurement.

Finally, the government is also taking action by focusing on workforce training to enhance productivity and support the development of new markets, as well as strengthening Quebec bureaus in other Canadian provinces to enhance interprovincial trade. In total, these measures will allow us to support 3.1 billion dollars worth of investments made by businesses.

Since January 2017, the Premier has been involved in some twenty missions and discussions following President Trump’s election. In total, 42 ministerial missions have been conducted in the last year and a half on American soil. The ministers and the Premier attended 55 meetings with American governors, 21 with American senators, 5 with lieutenant-governors and 18 meetings with mayors.


 Today, Quebec’s economy is threatened by the Trump administration’s protectionist policies and their repercussions on the global economy. Faced with this situation, our government needed to take action for the workers who love their jobs and need to work to support their families; for the entrepreneurs who are full of ambition, but are hesitant to invest; for the farmers who are asking themselves whether what they have spent a lifetime building will still be profitable in a few years; for the young people throughout Quebec who wonder whether they will truly be able to settle and remain in our regions. We are experiencing an exceptional situation which requires an exceptional response. We will continue to unwaveringly defend Quebec’s interests here at home, throughout Canada and across the globe.

– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec

For months now, the increase in American protectionism has been a threat to Quebec’s economy. That is why economic stakeholders have mobilized, with the government at the helm, to defend our businesses’ interests, and in particular those of our SME. With the initiative we announced today, we will be better able to support businesses throughout Quebec so that they can increase their production activities and conquer new markets.

– Dominique Anglade, Vice Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy

The implementation of these measures is possible because of our government’s sound public financial management. Consequently, Quebec’s financial situation is now solid, which allows us to deal with the current context of global uncertainty and threats to trade.  With the measures we are advancing today, the impacts to Quebec’s economy will be mitigated but the risks, the pressure and the uncertainty remain. We must continue to be vigilant.

– Carlos J. Leitão, Minister of Finance

By encouraging workforce training, we are supporting businesses in their efforts to improve productivity and to diversify their products, services, vendors and markets. We are therefore contributing to both the current and future development of our businesses and their workforce.

– François Blais, ministre de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale

The measures our government announced today reflect the need for us to maintain our agricultural businesses’ competitiveness and accompany them as they face the labour shortages they are currently experiencing. The announcement also underscores our government’s desire to maintain a strong agricultural sector on the market and in doing so, stimulate our regional economies.

– Laurent Lessard, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

The government of Quebec has always been proactive when it comes to providing SMEs with the necessary tools so that they can exclusively focus their attention on creating jobs and generating wealth throughout Québec’s regions.

– Stéphane Billette, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development


(in millions of dollars)

  2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 Total
Maintaining liquidity            
Assistance for businesses subject to tariffs 45.0 45.0 90.0
Immediate decrease to FSS contributions 108.3 82.9 47.5 21.4 260.1
Support for investment            
Agricultural Sector 22.5 22.5 45.0
Temporary increase to the ITC 14.3 77.7 129.2 79.7 36.7 337.6
Enhancements to the ESSOR program for innovative manufacturing 20.0 20.0 40.0
Enhancements to the PME en action Program 10.0 10.0 20.0
Workforce Support Measures 25.0 30.0 55.0
Encouraging the Development of New Markets 5.0 10.0 15.0
TOTAL 250.1 298.1 176.7 101.1 36.7 862.7

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