Last week, with the throne speech the federal government revealed the path it wishes to follow to lead the country through COVID-19 economic recovery.
“There are sectors of the economy that have been hard hit such as hospitality and the performing arts, so we were glad to hear supports coming to those industries,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “We also think of broadband as critical infrastructure to people doing business so it was positive to see the acceleration of the Universal Broadband Fund.”
Here are a few more details:
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) also echoed many of our initial sentiments including the desire to learn more details about the various programs for business and workforce.
OCC President & CEO Rocco Rossi released the following statement in reaction to the federal government’s Speech from the Throne.
"Businesses across the province have been hard hit by the pandemic. In the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, it is difficult for Canadians to look beyond confronting the immediate effects of COVID-19. However, even as we continue supporting each other today, we must also start planning how our communities and economy can emerge stronger.
We are not out of the woods yet, and must be careful when planning for new, permanent programs when we still have considerable uncertainty to navigate.
The OCC is also concerned that commercial rent assistance was noticeably absent from the speech, especially considering the established need for improvements to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program.
The speech indicates unprecedented spending from the federal government. We will need strong
economic growth to generate revenues to pay for these investments, as austerity measures and tax increases are not the paths to recovery. Instead, there should be a focus on funding the key determinants
of growth: education and training, R&D and innovation, and infrastructure (particularly broadband internet).”
And here is a portion of the release from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Hon. Perrin Beatty, who also offered areas for improvement:
“What we need is more than a patchwork of disconnected initiatives. We must have a national strategy to manage and defeat the virus.
The government also has other opportunities to help businesses grow and hire. We had hoped for a pledge to:
Finally, the Canadian Chamber has significant concerns about the debt levels that Canadians will be burdened with for decades to come, without a plan as yet for how to pay for it. Making sure Canadians were supported during the pandemic was necessary and right, but we must move from an economy that is based on subsidies to one where families and businesses can be self-sufficient again and where we don’t burden future generations with a crushing debt load.
[The] speech was a beginning, but much more needs to be done to help the more than one million Canadians who lost their jobs get safely back to work. The most direct and efficient route to do so is to enable the only group that can create jobs: Canadian businesses.”