Today, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland presented the Federal Fiscal Update. It was forecasted that Canada’s deficit will be $381.6 billion as a best-case-scenario, attributed to reduced revenues due to the economic shut down and additional, unexpected, stimulus spending to support residents and businesses.
“The Federal Government is spending $100 billion to recover the economy,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Economic stimulus is needed, but we need an immediate and clear pathway towards infrastructure investments to create jobs, new business and reduce federal government debt.”
What we need:
1. A strategy to manage the disease itself; different as we look across provinces, and,
2. A coherent economic strategy: short term assistance is good, but also need a strategy to move away from an economy that relies on subsidies (businesses and people).
“Many jobs are not returning – especially for tourism/hospitality, retail, restaurants, and other small businesses. It is time to pivot and commit to infrastructure -transportation, energy, resources- and workforce investments in collaboration with educational institutions across Canada to instigate economic activity. Many industries such as manufacturing, technology, and healthcare have indicated a skills gap for years. It is time for structured, sustainable, and ongoing investments into upskilling and reskilling.”
“New time-limited spending measures that support hard-hit industries such as hotels, airlines, and restaurants are welcomed by the Surrey Board of Trade, as is the support for getting women back into the workforce as well as childcare investments. The announcement of stimulus spending for infrastructure projects is necessary but the Surrey Board of Trade asks that the Federal Government commit to the oil and gas industry and expedite approval of projects such as the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion.”
“When examining the overall debt to GDP ratio, we are still on par or better off than many other countries affected by the pandemic such as Japan and the United States. Though the Federal Government has been doing a good job at protecting and providing for most Canadians, there needs to be a path forward towards reviving Canada’s economy. We wanted to hear about spending and recovery plans 2, 3, even 4 years down the line, not just the immediate future.”
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org