Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard says his government would stimulate the province's economy by investing $160 million in small and medium-sized businesses.

"[Small and medium businesses] are vital to the recovery of our economy and the creation of jobs ... Small and medium businesses need to breathe, and the Quebec Liberal Party's plan would give them the oxygen they need," he said.

Couillard unveiled a number of initiatives for the province's business owners, including:

  •  $12 million per year in tax credits (up to 50 per cent) for travel expenses linked to international and interprovincial exports.
  • Streamlined interaction between the government and small and medium businesses to reduce administrative costs by up to 20 per cent by 2015 .
  • A $150 million Créativité Québec program that would offer financial aid to support innovation and creative projects.
  • A tax break for salaries in order to facilitate the hiring of specialized employees.

Couillard made the announcement at the École d'entrepreneurship de Beauce, in Saint-Georges this morning.

PQ would support 300 high-growth businesses

The Parti Québécois stopped off in Lévis on Thursday to unveil its own plan for Quebec's business owners.

Pauline Marois said a PQ government would implement a program to support a total of 300 small and medium business with high growth potential.

She said her government would also establish an economic development fund for the province and work to ensure that business owners benefit as much as possible from the oil exploration project on Anticosti Island.

Media mogul and Saint-Jérôme candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau joined Marois for the announcement.

"My political engagement is motivated by a desire to contribute to Quebec's prosperity. We must help our businesses to grow, export, to conquer the world," Péladeau said.

"In the world of business, Quebecers must become the best in the world," he added.

CAQ wants to reduce administrative health care jobs

Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault unveiled his party's health platform today, and said his government would re-organize Quebec's health care system to cut down on bureaucracy.

Legault said the current system is inefficient and too bureaucratic, with 46,000 out of a total 248,000 personnel working in administration.

"A mountain of paperwork is accumulating, and during that time, patients are waiting," Legault said. 

Legault said a CAQ government would get rid of health and social service agencies and spread those resources across the regional CSSS, leaving it up to the regional facilities to re-distribute those services across their individual territories.

The CAQ leader said there would be no job losses; instead, he said his government would eliminate administrative jobs after people retire.

Legault said they would also increase the number of people who offer "real services" in roles that deal directly with the population.

Québec Solidaire commits $130M to Outaouais health care

On Thursday, Québec Solidiare made a $130 million commitment to health care in the Outaouais region. 

The party said it would invest $60 million over the next five years to hire more health care professionals, and ensure that patients in the region had 24/7 access to CLSCs.

The rest of the funding — $70 million — would go towards the creation of a faculty of medicine at the Université du Québec in Outaouais.

"More and more residents in the Outaouais are going to Ottawa to receive treatment, because of a lack of access," Mercier candidate Amir Khadir said. 

"It's unacceptable for the government to under-finance the Outaouais region because it's close to Ontario.Gatineau is not a suburb of Ottawa, it's part of Quebec," Khadir said.