On Thursday, December 5, 2019, the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette delivered the Federal Government’s Throne Speech. The speech communicated the Federal Government’s priorities.
The Surrey Board of Trade advocates, evaluates and monitors the priorities and actions of local, regional, provincial, and federal governments to ensure meaningful investments that will enhance opportunities for businesses.
“The Throne Speech sets the tone of the new Canadian Government; however, we won’t know what economic actions will actually happen until the federal budget is released,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
The Surrey Board of Trade wants to see the following actions:
1. National Unity: The Surrey Board of Trade calls that the Federal Government tear down inter-provincial barriers to trade. Effective movement of products and people across our provincial and territorial borders needs to be resolved. Working with the Premiers and business stakeholders are a necessary part of greater fluidity of inter-provincial trade.
2. Taxes: The Surrey Board of Trade applauds the Federal Government’s intent to cut taxes but notes that this can’t come at the expense of businesses. Canada’s tax regime is no longer competitive with the United States. The Surrey Board of Trade calls for a comprehensive re-haul and simplification of the current tax system. Additionally, the Government of Canada should look to diversified revenue streams to enhance the Federal coffers.
3. Climate Action: The call for a net-zero Canada is ambitious. Any plan for this must include stakeholder consultation, including business. The call to end single-use plastic has been announced for almost a year without a reasonable plan. Many municipalities were waiting for federal guidance before implementing a plan but have now decided to initiate an action plan on their own. The Federal Government must work with provincial, regional and municipal governments when creating a ban on single-use plastic. Additionally, there needs to be a balanced approach that will see new emerging technologies flourish.
4. Indigenous Reconciliation: Surrey has the largest urban Indigenous population in British Columbia. We require governments to work concurrently in an effort to ensure full economic participation in the economy. The BC Government has already passed their own UNDRIP legislation – we ask that the Federal Government works with the Provincial Government in their development of UNDRIP legislation to ensure that they are aligned.
5. Transportation and Infrastructure Investments: Surrey needs a comprehensive and long-term transportation plan. The current initiative to build a SkyTrain to Fleetwood is insufficient to move people throughout Surrey. The Federal Government must engage stakeholders and the City of Surrey to provide funding for a comprehensive transportation plan to serve our local economy, not only between Langley to Vancouver, but also within Surrey connecting and revitalizing all of our town centres.
6. Childcare: The Surrey Board of Trade applauds the Federal plan to improve access to childcare.The Surrey Board of Trade will monitor this in the next federal budget.
7. Red Tape Reduction: The Surrey Board of Trade has released Red Tape Reports over the last 3 years, which highlights the main issues businesses face that undermine bottom line productivity.
8. Pharmacare: The Surrey Board of Trade calls for universal pharmacare.
9. Technology: Canada needs to become competitive in various new emerging transactional technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.
“The Federal Liberals won a minority government in October and that means that relationship building with federal government committees, in addition to MP’s, will be more important than ever to instigate change and action.”
“Additionally, the Government of Canada will need to work together, with all other parties, to ensure that Canada has a robust economic agenda, locally, nationally and globally.”
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, Anita@businessinsurrey.com