The Globe And Mail

Corporate Quebec wary of PQ victory
The Globe And Mail

Quebec’s business community is holding its breath ahead of Tuesday’s election, with the prospect of a Parti Québécois victory and perhaps another referendum adding to the uncertainty that faces the province’s already-suffering economy.

“No one is talking about moving their company outside Quebec [like in the seventies],” said Yves-Thomas Dorval, the president of the Quebec Employers Council, which is the main lobby group for big business. “But as CEOs see an increasingly uncertain business environment, they are putting off investments.”

The investment chill comes at an inopportune time for a province that is already lagging behind Ontario and Western Canada. Quebec’s economy grew at just 1.7 per cent last year and is likely to continue at that pace this year and next, according to Toronto-Dominion Bank forecasts.

Quebec’s relatively high level of taxation for small businesses and high-income people has long been viewed as a drag on investment, as has the province’s tougher regulatory environment. The PQ’s willingness to increase the taxation of the highest-paid Quebeckers will hurt companies that are already struggling to attract talent, which is highly mobile.

L’élection du 4 septembre sera la plus importante de cette génération. Si le PQ prend le pouvoir, même si c’est à la tête d’un gouvernement minoritaire qui ne dure que 6 mois, les dommages à l’économie québécoise se feront sentir durant les 20 prochaines années.

N’importe qui sauf le PQ !