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Barrie chamber calls for more support in federal budget

'Canada’s 2023 budget must focus on creating a competitive business environment,' says chamber official
Paul Markle is the executive director of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce. | Supplied photo

With the economy facing global headwinds, Canada needs competitive investments in innovation, productivity and sustainable economic growth.

However, growth cannot occur without significant and sustained investments from the private sector — and those dollars will flow where productivity is highest.

Today, the Barrie Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released the 2023 federal budget submission to lay the path for business predictability and competitiveness.

“Businesses across Simcoe County continue to face challenges as a result of labour shortages, health system vulnerabilities, inflation, and the phase-out of temporary government support programs,” said Paul Markle, Barrie chamber’s executive director. “Canada’s 2023 budget must focus on creating a competitive business environment by eliminating barriers to growth, building growth-enabling infrastructure, modernizing fiscal policy, and unlocking the potential of key sectors such as clean technology.”

The 2023 federal budget submission includes recommendations to:

  • Drive economic growth by fast-tracking talent into Canada, reforming employee insurance to reflect the needs of today’s workforce, eliminating barriers to growth such as unfair taxes, and expanding access to procurement opportunities to small and diverse businesses.
  • Build resilient communities by delivering on the promised Canada Mental Health Transfer to support access to urgently needed mental health and addictions supports and services, accelerating investments in digital and broadband infrastructure, building affordable housing, and taking meaningful action on economic reconciliation.
  • Modernize regulation and fiscal policy by removing barriers to interprovincial trade and labour mobility, reforming the tax system, and introducing common-sense regulations for a variety of industries, including cannabis, hospitality, and tourism.
  • Unlock the green economy by incentivizing investments in clean technologies, promoting Canada’s energy on the world stage, recognizing nuclear power as green infrastructure, developing critical minerals supply chains, and supporting clean transportation options.

“We would like to see the federal government present a clear strategy for economic growth in their 2023 budget. Following the turbulence of the last few years, now is the time to see measures that provide businesses with predictability and spur productivity,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO, OCC.

The recommendations outlined in the OCC’s federal budget submission were developed with businesses, associations, post-secondary institutions, and chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the province.