Sunday April 20, 2014

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Chamber grades federal budget

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The Weyburn & District Chamber of Commerce has reviewed the 2014 Budget as delivered by the Government of Canada on Tuesday February 11.

The Chamber grades the budget on a number of benchmarks that have been selected to help ensure that all Governments are making sound financial decisions based on growing and securing a prosperous economy.

"This budget didn't contain a lot of big ticket items, or any big surprises," said Chamber Manager Jeff Richards. "We are pleased to see that the deficit is getting under control and that the Government may be able to eliminate the budget ahead of their planned date in 2015. Controlled and responsible spending is key."

The Chamber was very encouraged to see some messages suggesting that there may be relief coming for businesses that cannot find enough staff.

"The new interest free loans that have been announced for apprentices, and funding for new internships where skilled workers are needed, are very encouraging," said Richards, "and we'll be looking forward to that information as it arrives. Also we are curious to see how the Canada Job Grant plays out if the provinces don't sign on."

The Government also announced new legislation regarding cross border price gaps that the Chamber is particularly interested in.

"Our Chamber has been active on this file and we certainly find it interesting that the Government has announced that legislation is coming to address unjustified cross-border price gaps. Along with our partners at the Canadian Chamber we maintain that Government policy should always be to allow market forces to set services and prices for Canadian consumers," said Richards.

The Chamber scored this budget an 8 out of 10 based on responsible spending priorities but felt that more could have been done to assist businesses that are still facing a critical labour shortage.


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