Pauline Marois wants to keep corporate head offices in Quebec
François Legault says Projet Saint-Laurent would create 50,000 jobs
Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois says if elected, her government would amend the law to help keep corporate head offices in Quebec.
Week two of the Quebec election campaign opened with more platform fine-tuning from the province's main political parties.
The PQ focused on Quebec's corporate interests.
“We must retain head offices in Quebec, in particular those companies that are jewels of the Quebec economy,” Marois said.
She said her government would amend the Securities Act and allow corporations to adopt variable voting rights, changes that would give Quebec shareholders and boards of directors more power to block hostile takeovers.
Last year, Marois’s government created a task force that looked into how to protect Quebec businesses from unwanted takeover bids.
The task force released it’s report on Feb. 10. On Monday, Marois said a PQ government would follow through and adopt several of the task force's recommendations.
“What we’re proposing today will not only help maintain head offices, but also support the development of Quebec businesses,” Marois said.
CAQ unveils 'innovation zones'
The Coalition AvenirQuébec kicked off the morning by introducing its Projet Saint-Laurent in Trois-Rivières.
Leader François Legault said the project would create “innovation zones” — meant to attract university research centres and entrepreneurs — in the Lanaudière, the Laurentians, the Montérégie, the Chaudière-Appalaches, in the Outaouais near Hull, in Abitibi and in the Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Legault said the project would create 50,000 jobs over four years and generate $16 billion in investments.
"We are trying to force – gently forcing – universities to work with private enterprises, and we are putting together a set of incentives for achieving that and also some [disincentives]," said CAQ La Prairie candidate Stéphane Le Bouyonnec.
Liberals want to reduce bureaucracy
The Quebec Liberal party focused on its education platform on Monday, pledging to cut down on bureaucracy in the province’s education system.
Speaking from Quebec City, Leader Philippe Couillard said he would cut down on bureaucracy within the ministry of education by 40 per cent.
He said he would cut 500 ministry jobs and 120 other government positions, while also abolishing regional education centres.
Couillard said those reductions would save the province more than $180 million over the next five years.
“As the Parti Québécois continues to prepare … for a referendum, at the Liberal party, we want to prepare for the future and focus on the real issues, and the future education of our children is a real issue,” Couillard said.
Couillard said the savings would invested in programs aimed at tackling drop-out rates.
He said he also wants to ensure the intensive English courses in Grade 6 announced by the previous Liberal government receive adequate funding.