Chamber Concerned by Continued Lack of Commitment to Business

(Tri-Cities) February 28, 2018 — The federal government released their budget for the upcoming year. It focused on a few keys themes: gender equity, research and innovation, and reconciliation. The gains to cybersecurity are also a win. We applaud the government’s commitment to these priorities.

However, the commitment appears to come with a lack of vision when looking at the long term effects on the economy.  The federal government has yet to address implementing changes to the current tax system to improve business competitiveness and continues to add to the debt load of the country.

The US government has recently made changes to their tax system with an aim to improving their competitiveness. The Tri-Cities Chamber is keen to see Canada follow suit. Not only will this maintain business competitiveness, but it will continue to encourage the highly skilled labour force and job creators not to head south. Our expectation is that the Federal Government would prioritize and focus on modernizing the tax code so that Canada could regain our competitive advantage. Unfortunately, the budget shows that remaining competitive is not a priority.

“With the federal and provincial governments continually increasing the costs to businesses with fee increases, wage increases, and new taxes, it is becoming tougher for businesses of all sizes to remain competitive”, says Chamber CEO, Michael Hind.

Businesses are being hit with these inimicial changes and increases quickly. At this pace, it will prove difficult to keep our economy moving in its current positive direction.

Once again, the federal government has budgeted for a deficit. If the economy is to see a downturn, as many economists have forecasted, there are no funds that can be pulled to adjust for the economic shift. Bringing these factors together shines a light on the need to create a comprehensive strategy aimed at growing the economy.

The economy depends on businesses to grow. With the increased payroll taxes announced in the recent BC Provincial Budget, coupled with the lack of focus on modernizing our Federal Tax system and a widening public debt burden, the Canadian economy will struggle to remain competitive, hurting job creators, their employees, and every Canadian citizen.

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is a proactive network of business-minded individuals that are committed to acting as an accessible, visible, supportive and reciprocal resource to our members and the Tri-Cities at large, communicating their collective voice to help shape a prosperous business community.

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For further information, please contact:

Michael Hind, CEO
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce
T: 604.464.2716