December 8, 1987 (33rd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Donald James Johnston


Mr. Johnston:

Mr. Speaker, it might be somewhat difficult to thoroughly examine the issue in a few sentences. It is clear, however, that every elected representative will seek to promote the interests of his or her region, just as I do promote the interests of the city of Montreal. That is why I managed to convince my Cabinet colleagues at the time to set up in Montreal a biotechnological centre.
What would a financial centre bring Montreal? It is very important, if we want to sell this project to Montreal businessmen, that they should know exactly what it is all about.
As someone who has a lot of expertise in that area, I fail to see any benefit being derived from such an institution. While I remain dedicated to the promotion of my city's interests, I feel that the main concern of Montrealers, whether they are businessmen, workers, or ordinary citizens is to have good jobs requiring better training which will contribute to the economic development of the region.
When I compare the scientific centre with a financial centre which will provide about a dozen jobs for computer operators-that is what I am told; if I am wrong, so be it, but this is exactly what I have been told to this day-I cannot see any great advantage to it. I think the Government is promoting
something without a thorough knowledge of what is involved. As we say in English, this may not be a pig in a poke, but this is certainly not the greatest windfall of the century either, Mr. Speaker.

Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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