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Budget admirable, but lacking detail: Vernon Chamber

Con: lack of debt relief for COVID-impacted businesses; Pro: child care investments and skilled trades training
Minister of Defence Anita Anand reaches to congratulate Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland after she delivered the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Liberal Members of Parliament look on, Thursday, April 7, 2022 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce welcomes aspects of the 2022 federal budget but concerns remain about economic growth and strengthening communities.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented budget 2022 in the House of Commons Thursday, April 7.

“The budget document is subtitled, ‘A plan to grow our economy and make life more affordable.’ While admirable, significant detail was lacking on how the government gets there. Businesses need to know how these policies will directly impact them and their ability to operate,” said Robin Cardew, chamber president.

Among the budget components that will not stimulate economic growth are:

• A lack of debt relief for businesses that accessed COVID support programs such as the Canada Emergency Business Account

• Only a partial review of the Canadian tax system

“If Canadian businesses are to be competitive on the global stage, then there is an urgent need for a comprehensive review of our tax structure that encourages investment. As an example, there is a need to amend the excise tax so distilleries, cideries and wineries have the financial resources needed to expand,” said Cardew.

In terms of housing, the budget indicates that housing construction will be doubled across Canada over the next decade, while Canadians can access assistance to purchase their first home.

“A significant challenge is a lack of housing inventory for all income levels. First-time home buyer incentives are great, but the budget won’t prevent the rising cost of housing from keeping many middle income families out of the market,” said Cardew.

Positive aspects of the budget include:

• The gradual phase out of the small business tax rate when taxable capital reaches $50 million instead of $15 million

• $625 million for child care investments, including new facilities

• Funding towards a trusted employer program for temporary foreign workers

• Funding for skilled trades training

“The Chamber will continue to advocate for its members and the business community in a way that works with government at all levels. It’s hoped by being the voice of business, our efforts are heard and input is sought on important matters. We appreciate many of the initiatives and hope transparency and additional information come to businesses during post-pandemic recovery,” said Cardew.

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1897, and it currently has 600-plus business and non-profit members.

READ MORE: Federal budget will have the support of the NDP but will also face opposition

READ MORE: Budget 2022: Feds add measures to curb speculation as housing gets $10B boost


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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