Improvement measures for the resource regions
Pursuing and stepping up efforts for the benefit of resource regions
Resource Regions Economic Development Strategy, introduced
in the 2001-2002
Budget Speech, has substantial means at its disposal: the government
mobilized $800 million for this purpose.
The situation resulting from the events of September 11 has also affected regional economies, justifying improvements to the measures implemented.
The 2002-2003 Budget Speech includes the following four measures:
- The 10-year tax holiday for manufacturing SMEs in remote resource regions is broadened, as the size of businesses that can take advantage of the tax holiday is doubled, from $15 million to $30 million in paid-up capital. Consideration of activities carried on outside the resource regions is also made more flexible.
- Changes are made to the refundable tax credits aimed at job creation in processing activities in the resource regions, for Gaspésie and certain maritime regions, and for the Vallée de laluminium.
- Businesses can choose a reference year other than 1999 or 2000, so as not to be penalized by an eventual payroll reduction.
- The formula for determining the tax credit is temporarily modified, so that businesses can avail themselves of this tax assistance for 10% of their existing jobs. This additional help is aimed at supporting businesses that preserve their jobs, despite the current difficulties.
- The refundable tax credit for exploration activity is broadened to encompass the cut stone sector, so as to support the diversification of an industry geared toward export markets. This measure should have a direct impact on the level of exploration activities in the Côte-Nord, Gaspésie and Haute-Gatineau regions.
envelope of the economic project support program (PSPE) is increased
by $2.2 million for the year in progress. This program
is for investment projects of between $500 000 and $2 million.
The improvement will provide additional support for the investment
projects of businesses in the resource regions and in the 20
less affluent RCMs in the central regions, identified in the
- SOQUEM will invest $12 million in the next two years to support mining exploration and development activities. SOQUEM and its partners will thereby carry out additional work worth more than $20 million in the various Québec regions.
Special support for rural regions
The 2002-2003 Budget Speech announces accelerated investments specifically for the rural regions.
- A new program entitled "Villages branchés du Québec" will connect Québec school boards through a broadband telecommunications network. A budgetary envelope of $75 million has been set aside for this purpose.
a village embellishment program, work totalling $36 million
will be carried out in the next two years.
- The government will inject $16 million into the RénoVillage program, under which $45 million in work will be performed in the next two years.
Furthermore, the rurality policy will be tabled shortly. A total of $10 million will be devoted to it.