2019 Federal Budget is an “election budget” for the people, but not for business

Mar 22, 2019 | Chamber News, From the Desk of the President, Government News

The 2019 federal budget, “Investing in the Middle Class,” shows very little promise or improvements for the business community, according to Manitoba Chambers of Commerce President & CEO Chuck Davidson.

“The 2019 federal budget fails to address the fundamental issues undermining the ability of Canada’s business owners to create more jobs and economic prosperity,” says Davidson. “The path to economic prosperity is still unclear for local businesses and job creators. While the Budget delivers on some of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s advocacy priorities, particularly in the areas of skills and infrastructure, it fails to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burden on businesses. Until these issues are addressed, we will struggle to grow our economy and create meaningful employment for Manitobans.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce outlined several public policy priorities for the federal government in advance of the 2019 Budget. The Budget did deliver on some of the Canadian Chamber’s policy proposals outlined in its Pre-Budget Submission, including:

  • Multiple funding mechanisms to ensure that high-speed internet access is Canada-wide by 2030, with $1.7 billion specifically earmarked for rural, remote and Northern communities.
  • $631.2 million to expand Work-Integrated-Learning (WIL) programs, with a view to create up to 20,000 new WIL opportunities outside of STEM-related fields.
  • $150 million to create new partnerships between government and industry to create up to 20,000 new WIL opportunities.
  • Multiple funding mechanisms to enhance apprentice programs in skilled trades.

However, the Budget did not address the key issues identified by businesses across Canada:

  • A commitment to a comprehensive review of the taxation system to make it fair and less cumbersome for businesses.
  • A broad-based commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.
  • A renewed commitment to eliminating inter-provincial trade barriers and mobility.
  • Support for SMEs to help them find new export opportunities and expand Canada’s ability to diversify its trade.
  • A clear strategy to move the Trans Mountain pipeline forward, given the significant investment made by Canadian taxpayers.

“The core issues facing our economy that are driving away investment and suffocating our ability to attract top talent are broken taxation and regulatory systems, and an inability to get our resources to tidewater,” said the Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Without addressing the underlying, structural problems in our economy, we will not see the growth needed to create greater prosperity for Canadian families.”

Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Chamber network will continue to engage with federal representatives to focus on reducing the overall taxation and regulatory burden as critical priorities for Canadian businesses and SMEs to maintain competitiveness and prosperity for all Canadians.

Click here to access the 2019 Federal Budget.

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