Focus spring legislative session on strategic infrastructure and lowering business costs to foster confidence: Milton Chamber of Commerce

MILTON, ON, February 16th, 2016: Today, the Milton Chamber, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), formally released its 2017 pre-budget submission containing recommendations to the Ontario legislature as it looks to begin its spring 2017 legislative session. The submission outlines four key budget priorities and 13 specific recommendations for Queen’s Park to adopt in order to restore fiscal balance and spur economic growth. Specifically, the Milton Chamber is looking for immediate support for expanded broadband access and for government to demonstrate fiscal prudence and sound budget management.

The Milton Chamber has been calling on the provincial government to allow businesses, particularly in areas underserved by internet access, to compete in the technology-driven economy through expanded broadband access. This issue was originally raised and passed as a policy resolution at the OCC’s Annual General Meeting.

“Many parts of Milton, especially our rural areas, do not have adequate internet service and this compromises the ability for our businesses to compete in today’s digital economy”, said Teresa Fujarczuk, Chair of the Milton Chamber of Commerce.

In the submission, Ontario’s Chamber Network is also calling on the government to send a clear message of fiscal stability by balancing the provincial budget by 2017-2018. Such action would result in a more attractive environment for business investment and growth as well as confront the challenge of mounting input costs, such as electricity prices. As signalled last week in the OCC’s Ontario Economic Report, businesses are maintaining their operations and holding onto cash rather than expanding production or investing. This indicates that industry sees the Ontario economy as high-risk.

“The Government of Ontario must ensure that it utilizes the budget as a tool for economic growth to support Ontario businesses,” said Allan O’Dette, President & CEO of the OCC. “Government must do more to reduce the costs of doing business in Ontario, support strategic infrastructure development and strengthen its efforts to bolster business competitiveness that allows communities to thrive.”

Addressing the current fiscal context and achieving a balanced budget is an underlying theme throughout the pre-budget submission. Ontario’s Chamber Network is committed to working with the Ontario Government to ensure the future economic success of the province. The submission is largely comprised of policy recommendations that are supported by resolutions passed by Ontario’s Chamber Network at the OCC’s most recent Annual General Meeting.

Read the OCC Provincial Pre-Budget Submission