Sault Ste Marie Chamber Of Commerce

Your Recognized Voice of Business in Sault Ste Marie

MEDIA RELEASE - Budget 2019 puts businesses on the sidelines, misses chance to fix fundamental flaws in our economy: Sault Chamber

Budget 2019 puts businesses on the sidelines, misses chance to fix fundamental flaws in our economy: Sault Chamber
March 20th, 2019
Yesterday’s federal budget fails to address the fundamental issues undermining the ability of Canada’s business owners to create more jobs and economic prosperity for all Canadians, according to an analysis by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC).
“The path to economic prosperity is still unclear for local businesses and job creators,” says Don Mitchell, president of the of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “While the Budget delivers on some of our advocacy priorities, particularly in the areas of skills and infrastructure, it fails to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burdens on businesses. Until these issues are addressed, we will struggle to grow our economy, create meaningful employment for more Canadians, and generate the revenues we need to sustain our roads, healthcare and education systems.
The SSMCOC is the voice of local businesses in Sault Ste. Marie with the federal government. It is part of a network of over 450 chambers and commerce and boards of trades representing over 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy across the country. On behalf of this network, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce had outlined several public policy priorities for the government in advance of the 2019 Budget.
The Budget did deliver on some of the policy proposals outlined in the CCC 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.
Some Budget 2019 proposals require more consideration and details before determining the impact on businesses:
  • The Budget identified funding programs to develop “regulatory roadmaps” to address stakeholder issues and irritants. While these efforts align with the Sault Chamber’s interest in reducing the regulatory burden on Canadian businesses, the Budget proposals unfortunately maintain a lackluster, made-by-government solution to a made-by-government problem.
  • The new Canadian Training Credit and EI Training Support Benefits to support the up-skilling and re-skilling of Canadians align with the Sault Chamber’s recommendations. However, the potential impact on small businesses remains unclear. The Chamber needs more information and wants to see a commitment that business is consulted.
  • The Budget offered little new information regarding the national pharmacare plan. The Chamber supports focusing on the 10% of Canadians that are uninsured or underinsured.
  • The Sault Chamber supports making the Global Talent Stream program permanent. It would like to see the program include a focus on bringing skilled immigrants to rural communities, where they are often most needed.

“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. Without addressing the underlying, structural problems in our economy, we will not see the growth needed to create greater prosperity for Canadian families,” said the Honorable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Chamber network will continue to engage with Federal representatives to focus on reducing the overall taxation and regulatory burden and as critical priorities for Canadian businesses and SMEs to maintain competitiveness and prosperity for all Canadians.
About the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of 700 plus business and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and has been serving the needs of this community since 1889. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce will lead the way as the voice of business, advancing economic prosperity for its membership and the business community. Learn more about the SSMCOC at
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For more information or comment, please contact:
Rory Ring
Chief Executive Officer
Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
Phil Taylor
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613-238-4000, x2231