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Randall

2016 Québec Budget

2016 Québec Budget

Print

March 18, 2016

Update for members:
On March 17, Québec Finance Minister Carlos Leitão tabled the provincial budget for 2016-2017.  There were no major surprises or announcements.

It is a balanced budget that promises more balanced budgets to come.  As of March 31, the debt is set to decline by 0.1 percentage point, to 55% of GDP.  The target remains steady at 45% of GDP by 2026.

The increase in consolidated expenses (excluding debt service) was 2.5% for the year that just ended, and the projected growth in expenses is between 2.3% and 2.4% from now to 2021: 

  • 2.4% increase in expenses for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
  • 2.3% increase in expenses for 2018-2019 and the following years.

Education absorbs the largest share
The government’s proposed education plan calls for investments of $1.2 billion over three years, divided between investments in direct services and investments in infrastructure for the education network.

Budget highlights

  • Reduction in the contribution rate to the Health Services Fund (HSF) for all small and medium businesses (SMBs).
  • Creation of a deduction for innovative manufacturing firms, by reducing the tax on income derived from a patent to 4%.
  • Creation of a new refundable tax credit for large digital transformation projects.
  • Several changes to income tax credits.

Details:

Payroll tax for the health services fund:

  • Slight reduction in the contribution to the Health Services Fund for SMBs in the service sector (from 2.7% to 2.0% in 2021) – for businesses with a payroll under $1 million.
  • For businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $5 million, the tax increases linearly to 4.25%.

Payroll tax:

  • The tax rate for small businesses will stay at 8%, while the rate for the manufacturing and primary sectors is reduced to 4%.  Québec’s small retailers will continue to be taxed at 8%, more than double the average in the rest of Canada, which is 3%.

Omnical investment:

  • $28.2 million will be invested in the next five years in several measures, including tax credits and software purchases.
  • Part of this sum will also be invested in the Digital Strategy that will be tabled by May 2016.
  • The tax credit offered on the cost of contracts awarded for the integration of management software packages will now be available to SMBs in the wholesale and retail sectors.
  • A tax credit will be offered for major digital transformation projects, to support the transition to the digitized business processes. The rate will be 24% of salaries paid for certain categories of employees, on the condition that the project creates at least 500 jobs in Québec in the first two years of a contract that lasts at least seven years.

Agri-food:

  • $45 million will be spent in the next five years to promote the development of the agri-food industry (exports, food processing research, use of better agricultural practices, and oversight of the Québec alcoholic beverage industry).
  • The Québec government intends to develop an agri-food strategy in 2016-2017, in cooperation with industry stakeholders.

RénoVert investment:

  • Introduction of a new refundable tax credit for green residential renovations, until March 31, 2017, equal to 20% of eligible expenses, including the replacement of septic tanks, to a maximum credit of $10,000.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact Luc Tremblay, Director of government relations, at 514-982-0267, extension 339, or by email at ltremblay@cccd-rcc.org.

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Pay equity maintenance: March 31, 2016 deadline

Pay equity maintenance: March 31, 2016 deadline

Print

March 17, 2016

By March 31, 2016, no fewer than 4,875 of the 9,000 or so Québec retailers subject to the Pay Equity Act will need to have completed their pay equity maintenance evaluation.

Click here to download the RCC Pay Equity Guide for members (in French).

Unlike the results of the “original” pay equity exercise, which had to be posted by or prior to the deadline provided for under the Pay Equity Act, the pay equity maintenance evaluation and the ensuing posting of results must always be carried out on the same date every 5 years (the “anniversary date”), failing which the posting will have no legal value. This date is March 31, 2016 for most retailers. Basically, the “anniversary date” for evaluating pay equity maintenance is determined by the date on which the new pay equity exercise results were posted or, if these results were not posted by the set deadline, the date on which the posting should have been carried out. To calculate your date, click here or contact the Commission.

Consequences of failing to comply with the obligation to evaluate pay equity maintenance.

Employees or their union may submit a complaint should the evaluation of pay equity maintenance not be performed. An investigation will be initiated once such a complaint is filed. Furthermore, to ensure employer compliance with their obligations under the Act, the Commission has introduced a verification program for all enterprises, regardless of activity sector, region or size. A team of investigators is mandated to oversee the execution and compliance of the pay equity maintenance evaluations carried out by those enterprises targeted under the verification program.

Whenever a complaint is submitted or an investigation initiated by the Commission, a decision is ultimately rendered, with which the employer in question must comply. Even when no decision is rendered, an employer that fails to comply with its obligations may be subject to certain consequences:

  • Whenever a maintenance evaluation is carried out beyond the prescribed time period and there are retroactive adjustments, interest at the legal rate will apply. It is always preferable to comply with established deadlines.
  • An employer that fails to comply with its obligation to evaluate pay equity maintenance may be criminally prosecuted or fined. The amount of such a penalty can range from $1,000 to $45,000.

Note that if you have had an average of 10 employees (or more) during a given year, you must first carry out a pay equity exercise and then, a maintenance evaluation.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact Stéphanie Aubin, Director public and government relations, at 514-982-0267, extension 332 or by email at saubin@cccd-rcc.org.

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Web site testing fundamentals

Most marketers understand the basics of putting up a website, but rarely get a glimpse into what is likely the most important part of the process: testing. Done properly, testing is time-consuming. When the schedule (or budgets) are tight, unfortunately, it is the first thing to go. And when this happens, errors creep in that […]

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Insight: Omni-channel experience

How often do you research a product online, and then purchase it at the store?  Or, check out the product at the store, and then use the internet to make the purchase?  If so, you’re not alone.  These newer consumer behaviors are both the new reality for retailers – and a special challenge.  It even […]

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Black Friday

If you are an American, you know precisely all about Black Friday: it is when herds of people get up early, head to the stores, and shop.  It occurs the shopping day on the Friday following Thanksgiving.  If you live anywhere else, you probably have noticed an interesting and recent local phenomenon: Black Friday sales […]

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How great are you? Endorsements and Recommendations

How good are you, really?  While we all may have our own (sometimes inflated) opinions of our greatness, the reality of our expertise – and our personal brand – is always defined by others.  Social Media, for the first time ever, gives us the opportunity to find this out directly. Here are some ideas on […]

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Tech note: SEO

There is no shortage of call centers working hard to sell SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services.  Some of them are small fly-by-night operators, while others work at the venerable Yellow Pages.  Sadly, many organizations (and people) succumb to these pitches, and spend significant dollars each month chasing a top ranking.  “Sadly”, because much of the […]

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Seven Social Media Job Search Steps

Even from the most committed employees, one question comes up over and over again: how to use Social Media to find your next job.  It might be couched in different language (How do I develop professional profile/How do I take advantage of Social tools for support, etc), but the question remains.  How can you use […]

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Audience Assumptions

My recent trip to India has once again sensitized me to an assumption that writers and speakers too often make:  that everyone understands what you mean to say. Test yourself – what do the following three words mean?  Flyover, Subway, and Removalist. If you are in India, a Flyover is a local bridge that “flies […]

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Access assumptions

One Billion.  You may think I’m referring to the number of Facebook and LinkedIn users, but I’m not.  I’m referring to the approximate population of India.  While on a trip there, I decided to take pictures of local businesses, then compare the “real” with their Social Media presence.  Sadly, I was unable to find more […]

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Signalling Your Intentions

After spending a few days in India, I have a new-found appreciation for the horn. Unlike in North America (or Europe), Indian drivers have developed an entire language with this instrument. In a land where lane markings are ignored at best, as each vehicle (autorickshaw, car, motorcycle or truck) approaches from the side or rear, […]

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Five Social Media New Year’s Career Resolutions

1) Resolve to become more proactive:Social media is a great resource for connecting with people, but it is the most powerful when it is used to “amplify” real-world relationships proactively.  This year, get in the habit of checking a connection’s profile before a meeting.  Get in the habit of recognizing others online for work done […]

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What Social Media Tier are you on?

Every organization – and every individual – can find themselves somewhere on the three-tier Social Media Engagement Index.  Where are you? Passive:  At best, passive users have a profile on a few sites, but do very little within Social Media except for responding to the occasional connection request.  Benefit: passive users will be found when […]

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Build It and They Will Come: Social Media Promotion Strategy

While Build It and They Will Come might work in the movies (remember Field of Dreams?), it doesn’t quite work that way in the world of Social Media. Yes, you can put up a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or YouTube channel, but how can you truly attract followers?  And how can you truly drive engagement?  […]

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Consistency

How often have you struggled to show up on time for a meeting, only to be kept waiting as others stumbled in 5-10-15 minutes later? Or have you ever tuned in to your favorite TV show, only to find that it was “rescheduled” for some other time? Or travelled to a faraway store, but finding […]

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Reflections on Steve Jobs and the impact of Apple

Steve Jobs was a visionary:  incredible focus, a market disruptor, a tech genius, a serial entrepreneur, and so on.  All true, but there is also something else – a thread that underlies and connects everything that Apple does: their focus on the empowered customer.  From day one, this was reflected in the user experience. It […]

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Social Media Damage Control

Picture this scenario: you get an email from your manager, letting you know that a complaint (or a picture, or a video) about your organization has gone “viral”.  You check it out, and indeed it is embarrassing… and it is everywhere.  What do you do? In a previous post, I suggested several things to consider […]

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Social Media Stop Sign

How long ago did you (or your organization) start your Social Media “work”?  Likely, a few years ago.  First came LinkedIn: you filled out your profile, asked for (and responded to) connection requests.  Then you asked for (and responded to) recommendation requests, asked (and responded to) questions, and joined a number of groups.  Then you […]

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Viewpoint: Is the Cloud for the Birds?

If you read the business or technology press, you’ve probably heard about “the cloud”.  And if you believe the ad copy, just about any problem can be solved merely by “putting it on the cloud”.  Can this really be true?  Is the hype even close to reality?  And what is this cloud, really? The cloud […]

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Critical Mass

[Special Announcement:  Since 2009, I have hosted a webTV show where I interviewed the nation’s thought-leaders each week.  I am inviting you to a special “sneak peak” at the show’s new beta website.  We’re still filling in the gaps, but with over 115 episodes, guest blogs, and other features, there is quite a bit there.  […]

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Smarter than Google

There is no shortage of  “experts” living in the dank underworld of the business called “SEO”, or Search Engine Optimization.  This is the black art of finding ways to make your web site, Social Media profile, blog, and other web properties appear at the top of the Google organic search results. While there may be […]

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A Better Engagement

There is no question that people think differently from each other.  Proof points abound:  people wear different clothes, choose different hairstyles, hold different jobs, and prefer different foods.  Yet, whenever we write a report, make a presentation, or write a blog post, we often feel challenged by people who voice different opinions.  Some companies are […]

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Pictures from the Masters

Have you ever spent time looking at the European Masters – Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and the many others?  During their era, there were no newspapers, telephones, let alone an internet.  When a subject sat down to be painted, it was often for hours, not minutes.  And the resulting painting was designed to last well into […]

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A New York state of mind

How would you describe a typical New Yorker?  More likely than not, you wouldn’t use the same words to describe someone from Los Angeles, or from a small mid-western town. People are a product of their environment, and often will take on the mindset, attitudes, and perspectives of where they are from.  (They also take […]

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Randall Craig

Post image for Randall Craig

Social Media & Web Strategist

In response to viewer demand, Randall Craig, the usual host of Professionally Speaking TV, steps in as a featured guest in this episode. As a best-selling author, and sought after consultant in the field of social media and web strategy, he shares several best practices on how to successfully bind online activities to a business strategy. With a strong history in developing engaged communities, Randall Craig talks about broadcasting versus engagement, handling “comments”, and developing successful client relationships. With social media being a particular strength of his, Randall Craig offers up avenues of connecting social media with Customer Relationship Management and Search Engine Optimization to create a powerful online presence with an impact on business. Learn about Randall Craig’s coveted Anchors and Outpost strategy. Learn how to mitigate risks in online identity theft. Learn how the 4 P’s of marketing fit into today’s strategies.

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