B.C. chamber gives federal budget green light

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce is lending its support to the latest federal budget.

“We’re pleased to see a prudent, fiscally-conservative budget that nonetheless supports two key B.C. priorities: skills development and infrastructure,” said John Winter, B.C. chamber president.

Winter commended the budget’s focus on skills training, including measures to better match young workers with the skills needs of business and the creation of the Canada apprentice loan to encourage trades training.

“We applaud the federal government for its efforts to tackle Canada’s skills gap. We would, however, urge the government to continue to work hard to ensure the Canada Jobs Grant is palatable to businesses and the provinces, so that it achieves its goal of triggering new investment in training.”

The B.C. chamber also welcomed continued focus on funding major infrastructure.

“Investing in infrastructure is key to our national economic growth,” said Winter.

“We look forward to further details regarding the Building Canada Fund, which we trust will help fund B.C. infrastructure projects that fuel our province’s economic growth.”

Winter noted that there’s a strong link between the investment in core public infrastructure, such as roads, transit and utilities, and the productivity performance of all sectors of the Canadian economy.

He added that the consequences of under-investment are equally clear.

“The success and competitiveness of Canadian business depends on modern and efficient infrastructure.”

Another aspect of the budget being endorsed by the chamber is  supporting economic growth in rural areas.

Ottawa will invest $305 million over five years to extend and enhance broadband Internet service for Canadians in rural and northern communities.


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