Big Win for Surrey Board of Trade in Today’s Fall Economic Update by Canada’s Government – Positive Economic Update but Oil & Gas Industry Investments Missing

Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the Fall Economic Statement in Ottawa on November 21, 2018.

“The Surrey Board of Trade’s Policy on export diversification became part of Canada’s international economic action plan that will help small and medium sized businesses access global markets and receive support,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. The strategy adopted today sees a goal to increase Canada’s overseas exports by 50% in 2025. “We need small and medium sized businesses to be aggressive in the global marketplace – they absolutely can do business globally.”

In reviewing the Fall Statement, the Surrey Board of Trade recognized that there was a strong response to the rising competitiveness, investment and job creation challenges with the USA and its tax reforms. Finance Minister Morneau introduced a package of tax write-offs and investments that the government says will effectively reduce the corporate tax rate in Canada from 17 per cent to 13.8 per cent.

The Surrey Board of Trade was pleased with the following proposals:

  1. Improve competitiveness by allowing the full cost of machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing and processing of goods to be written off immediately for tax purposes, and by introducing the Accelerated Investment Incentive to support investment by businesses of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy. These changes will make it more attractive to invest in assets that will help drive business growth and secure jobs for middle class Canadians.

2. Increase investment in the clean technology sector by allowing specified clean energy equipment to be eligible for an immediate write-off of the full cost. This will help achieve climate goals, and position Canada to be more globally competitive.

3. Accelerate support for business innovation by providing a further $800 million over five years to the Strategic Innovation Fund, which will support innovative investments across the country and in all economic sectors. Notably, of this amount, $100 million will focus on providing support to the forest sector.

4. Make Canada a globally connected economy by launching an Export Diversification Strategy aimed at increasing Canada’s overseas exports by 50 per cent by 2025.

5. Remove barriers to trade within Canada by working with provinces and territories to enable businesses to transport goods more easily, to harmonize food regulations and inspections, to align regulations in the construction sector (including the harmonization of building codes across Canada), and to facilitate greater trade in alcohol between provinces and territories.

6. Introduce measures to make it easier for businesses to grow by modernizing federal regulations and encouraging regulators to consider economic competitiveness when designing and implementing regulations, while continuing to protect Canadians’ health and safety, as well as our environment.

7. Support innovative solutions to some of Canada’s big challenges by creating a Social Finance Fund that gives charitable, non-profit and social purpose organizations access to new financing, and connects them with non-government investors.

8. Advance pay equity by ensuring that women and men in federally regulated sectors receive equal pay for work of equal value.

The Surrey Board of Trade is concerned with:

1.     A continued long-term federal debt. A federal debt recovery plan, or revenue and investment plans must be a priority.

2.     A commitment to an overall Canadian tax reform to reduce red tape, CRA audits to small and medium sized businesses and tax competitiveness strategy.

3.     Pipeline infrastructure investments are an absolute necessity to move the Canadian economy.

“The Federal Government, through its Fall Economic Update, is listening to the business community – and yes there is an opportunity to do more, but this is a good start.”