“We are encouraged to see Government of Ontario’s pledge to build 1.5 million homes over the next ten years and their extensive commitment to building highways and public transit. These are valued steps to address some of our members’ concerns.” – Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC)
Niagara, Ontario – Mishka Balsom, CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), today released the following statement:
“Over the past few months, the GNCC conducted extensive provincial budget consultations with businesses across Niagara to determine the key pressure points for our economic recovery and growth. Our members identified significant inflation concerns, labour shortages, ongoing supply chain interruptions amplified by war, red tape challenges, and the housing crisis.
“In looking at today’s (April 28th, 2022) budget, we are encouraged to see Government of Ontario’s pledge to build 1.5 million homes over the next ten years and their extensive commitment to building highways and public transit. These are valued steps to address some of our members’ concerns.
“The substantial investment in an environment for economic growth, with welcome tax and red tape reductions for small businesses, is also key for a Niagara recovery. Spending on the Skills Trade Strategy Program and Better Jobs Ontario will doubtless prove wise, although it will take time for these programs to reach full speed, and employers are aware that labour shortages are likely to remain, at least for the short-term.
“Although a lot of the government’s investments are necessary, we cannot help but be alarmed at another substantial deficit on top of an enormous provincial debt. Projections of growth have been wrong before, and we cannot base our plans on the best-case scenario. If the government plans to ease deficit spending by economic growth, we would also want to see a clear outline of where and how that growth is expected to manifest, and how it will directly affect government revenues.
“In addition, sectors such as tourism, hospitality, and the arts will take years to return to their pre-pandemic levels. An explicit promise of further targeted support for those industries would have been beneficial.”
The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in Niagara, the largest business organization in the region and the second-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,500 members representing 50,000 employees. More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca<https://gncc.ca/>.
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