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ABBOTSFORD CHAMBER VOICES CONCERNS ON 2021 FEDERAL BUDGET AND LACK OF STRONG BUSINESS RECOVERY PLAN

News Releases | Apr 20, 2021

April 20, 2021 – Abbotsford, BC – Yesterday the federal government tabled its first budget in two years and announced $101.4B in new spending. The deficit at the end of 2020 was reported at $354.2 billion, with higher deficit projections through to 2026 than forecasted in the Fall of 2020. Pandemic recovery efforts have entailed a massive spending trend at historical levels and the federal debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to peak in 2021-22 at 51.2%.

Welcome aspects of the budget include to ensure that the hardest hit sectors and small businesses can survive until they can become self-sustaining again, the extension of support programs such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) for individuals not qualifying for EI was also extended to September, with the CRB winding down funding from $500 to $300 per week after July 17.

“Understandably stimulus spending in times of crisis or recession is needed with targeted support for businesses, employers, and employees. However, the solution to recovery as presented by the government has been to largely spend its way out of the situation in an unsustainable way. Recovery must involve strong plans to work with the private sector and industry on major job creating investments and enable private sector wealth creation. The budget’s revenue generation activities include new taxes and constraining tax structures for business and corporations. During a time when small businesses need a break, the federal government is also pursuing increasing the minimum wage,” said Katerina Anastasiadis, Executive Director, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce

The federal budget aims to tighten corporate tax laws rather than reform them and apply rules more strictly and close “loopholes” instead of making wider changes to the tax burden on companies. It most significantly targets multinational corporations and does not entail any major tax changes for the general corporate tax or small business tax rates.

The Chamber supports addressing business related issues and Covid-19 supports included in the budget, however, is concerned with the impacts of current spending and the policy approaches outlined that will negatively impact business and the economy. It urges the federal government to consider what these risks mean for our economy and businesses across the country.

“We were expecting a comprehensive plan to safely reopen our economy; to get Canadians back to work again; to help struggling small businesses back up on their feet; to manage the massive looming financial consequences of this pandemic; and, most importantly, to provide future generations with the hope and confidence that the Canadian dream is still alive and well. My fear is that Canadians will be profoundly disappointed.” Hon. Ed Fast, MP Abbotsford, Shadow Minister for Finance.

“This was the first budget in two years from this Liberal government and it continues the path of unsustainable financial commitments that future generations and small businesses will pay for. Canada will be left with unsustainable debt for years to come. And despite massive deficits, there is no plan to meaningfully address the ongoing housing affordability crisis – nothing that will make it easier for young Canadians and First Time Home Buyers to get into the market.” Brad Vis, MP Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, and Shadow Minister for Housing.

For more information on the Federal Budget 2021: www.budget.gc.ca/2021

Contact:

Katerina Anastasiadis

Executive Director

Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce Communications@abbotsfordchamber.com

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About the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce:

The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is a leading member-driven organization that improves the effectiveness of doing business. We have over 650 members and are the largest Chamber in the Fraser Valley, located in the 5th largest city in the Province. We are an Accredited Chamber of Commerce, meaning that we are a Chamber that is managed strategically and that our operations reflect national standards of business excellence and best practices.

Membership gives access to a variety of benefits and services and a well-grounded organization with quality business people who are focused on the growth and development of the business community. The Abbotsford Chamber is widely recognized as at the forefront of business advocacy and policy development, acting as a strong voice for its members.

In 2020, the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 107th year of service. Created to promote the interests of businesses in the City of Abbotsford, the Chamber has been an integral part of Abbotsford’s growth and evolution for nearly as long as the city has existed.