What the Québec Spring Legislative Session Meant for Innovators

June 14, 2024

By Jean-François Harvey
CCI Director of Québec Affairs

Last week, the National Assembly officially wrapped up for the summer. MNAs will resume their legislative work on September 10, 2024. With an ailing economy and housing crisis, all eyes will be on the Québec government to propose a convincing game plan for the next two years of its mandate.

The Minister of Finance emphasized in the 2024 Québec budget that his priority is to restore order to government finances and balance the budget sooner rather than later, focusing primarily on Health and Education.

On the bright side, the budget introduced important tax changes that should benefit Québec’s most innovative companies. The harmonization of the e-business and multimedia production tax credits and the abolition of the salary cap will shift tax support in Québec to more impactful activities and dynamic firms while saving the government money. Minister Girard also announced a review of all tax and spending policies, and we will engage with the government to ensure this exercise considers the needs of Québec innovators.

There are still many elements of Law 14 that present challenges for innovators, but the announcement of a $320 million investment to help companies adjust to new French language requirements was a welcome relief. We hope this will help Francisation Québec address some challenges and allow workers to access resources to improve their French proficiency. This is a strategic priority for CCI and its members, and we will continue to engage with Minister Roberge and Minister Fréchette’s offices throughout the summer.

Québec’s Innovation Council published a report titled "Versun Québec innovant", proposing numerous ideas to rethink and retool how Québec supports R&D in the private sector. The report contains great ideas, and we hope the government implements as many as possible, especially since most come at zero cost.

One disappointing area in the budget was procurement. Modernizing the procurement process is, in our view, the biggest economic development tool the province can use to grow its domestic tech sector. Québec’s "Stratégie gouvernementale des marchés publics" is a step in the right direction, and we hope it goes further by integrating more innovation considerations.

The capital gains saga has been heavily publicized, and we’ve pushed against this anti-business policy that could set back innovation across Canada. Québec had an opportunity to differentiate itself from other provinces, as it could have chosen not to harmonize with the federal government. Instead, Minister Girard quickly announced the intention to align Québec's capital gains tax with the federal government.

Québec’s economy really is at a crossroads. The decisions taken by current policy makers could impact the province for decades to come. All the pieces of the puzzle are right there for innovation to become an actual social project. The CCI will keep pushing the government to go in this direction.

To learn more about CCI's work in Quebec, get in touch with Jean-François Harvey at jfharvey@canadianinnovators.org.

 About the Council of Canadian Innovators

The Council of Canadian Innovators is a national member-based organization reshaping how governments across Canada think about innovation policy, and supporting homegrown scale-ups to drive prosperity. Established in 2015, CCI represents and works with over 150 of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies. Our members are the CEOs, founders, and top senior executives behind some of Canada’s most successful ‘scale-up’ companies. All our members are job and wealth creators, investors, philanthropists, and experts in their fields of healthtech, cleantech, fintech, cybersecurity, AI and digital transformation. Companies in our portfolio are market leaders in their verticals, commercialize their technologies in over 190 countries, and generate between $10M-$750M in annual recurring revenue. We advocate on their behalf for government strategies that increase their access to skilled talent, strategic capital, and new customers, as well as expanded freedom to operate for their global pursuits of scale.


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