Quebec business leaders call on minority PQ government to review election plans

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MONTREAL - Quebec's business leaders are calling on the new minority Parti Quebecois government to review election promises they say risk slowing investment and the province's competitiveness.

The Quebec Employers Council says it supports the party's proposals to improve the education system, modernize public transit and balance the provincial budget.

But the powerful lobby group says business is concerned about PQ proposals concerning regulations, public finances and the imposition of higher taxes on the wealthy.

Council president Yves-Thomas Dorval is urging incoming premier Pauline Marois to meet with business as quickly as possible to reassure that she will seek "to maintain winning economic conditions in Quebec."

Business is particularly concerned that proposed changes to Bill 101 would extend provisions of the French language Charter and increase operating costs for smaller companies.

Dorval says Quebec doesn't have the financial flexibility to pay for all the election promises amid a slowing economy.

He points particularly to cancellation of increases in tuition fees and electricity rates, abolition of the health premium and higher taxes and natural resources royalties.

The Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters Association says the minority legislature's sole priority must be to advance Quebec in an uncertain global economy.

President Simon Prevost says there is too much uncertainty about how politicians will help the Quebec economy to grow and prosper.

He says the government must recognize that supporting the manufacturing sector will grow the economy and create good jobs.

The Montreal Board of Trade says the new government must adopt concrete plans to strengthen the province's largest city as the economic engine of Quebec.

President Michel Leblanc welcomes the PQ's commitment to appoint a minister responsible for Montreal and invest in public transit.

But he says other proposals to over tax businesses and harm their competitiveness in North America.

Organizations: Parti Quebecois, Quebec Employers Council, Quebec Manufacturers Montreal Board of Trade

Geographic location: Quebec, MONTREAL, North America

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