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Barrie Chamber tells Federal Government to Prioritize Ontario's Economy

Monday, March 21, 2016

Today, the Barrie Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its 2016 Federal Pre-Budget Submission, highlighting key priorities the federal government must address in its upcoming budget. This includes keeping its infrastructure commitments, eliminating Ontario's federal fiscal gap, clarifying the small business tax cut, and deficit reduction.

According to recent polls, half of the OCC membership agrees that their business is suffering from a lack of public investment in infrastructure. The Ontario Chamber Network is therefore calling on the federal government to address the province's infrastructure deficits through targeted, trade-enabling investment in projects that help Ontario firms do business and grow the economy.

"The federal government has committed to investing in infrastructure and, in order for Ontario's economy to thrive, we need the federal government to deliver on its commitments in the near future," said Barrie Chamber CEO, Rod Jackson.

Barrie's infrastructure needs are not just roads and transit. Half of BCC members surveyed say that internet speed or connectivity hinders their ability to do business. This is especially noteworthy, as 82 percent of Ontarians agree that high-speed Internet is critical to their work and/or way of life.

The Barrie Chamber's submission also calls on the federal government to work more closely with the Government of Ontario to address the current inequality in federal EI funding. As a result of these inequities, Ontarians contribute between $9.1 and $12.5 billion more than what they get back in services.

Jackson added that "the Barrie Chamber and its members remain concerned about the federal deficit and debt levels."

"You can't spend your way out of debt. Running a large or long-term deficit ultimately harms businesses by slowing economic growth," cautioned Jackson.




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