Toronto Financial Services Alliance concerned Provincial Budget not meeting deficit targets; welcomes critical infrastructure investments

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Government announced today in its budget that it is adjusting deficit targets in the short term. The Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) is disappointed that original short term targets will not be met, although the government says it remains committed to balancing the budget by 2017-18.

"We appreciate the fiscal and political challenges in achieving a balanced budget, but the immediate shortfall raises concerns on how a balanced budget will be met in the next four years," said Janet Ecker, President and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. "In the meantime, this budget will add several billion dollars in additional debt to Ontario taxpayers."

As anticipated, the government announced the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. While welcoming the focus on building savings for Ontarians which also produces additional capital for investment in the economy, TFSA remains concerned about how this plan will interact with existing components of the retirement system and recommends that further analysis be done on the economic impact of this proposal. However, the TFSA is pleased that the government has committed to introduce legislation to implement Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs).

The TFSA is encouraged by the government's commitment to invest in necessary infrastructure that helps support a strong business environment and also welcomes the government's plan to identify opportunities to leverage government assets to support infrastructure initiatives.

TFSA also applauds the province's continued commitment to creating a cooperative capital markets regulator for Canada. "This is another critical building block for Toronto and Canada's reputation as a global financial centre," she said.

The TFSA is pleased that the budget continues to recognize financial services as a key sector for overall economic growth. "We know that growth in this sector is critical to increasing Toronto region jobs and overall global competitiveness," she said. "Ontario employment in the sector grew by more than three per cent in the past year and in the past 10 years its growth was twice as fast as overall employment in Ontario," added Ecker.

About the TFSA:

The Toronto Financial Services Alliance is a public/private initiative whose mandate is to enhance and promote the long-term competitiveness of Toronto as a top ten global financial services centre. Its membership encompasses core financial services companies - banks, brokerages, investment fund managers, insurance companies - as well as partner sectors - accounting, law and education. The TFSA was created in 2001 by the financial services industry, in partnership with the City of Toronto. With the federal and provincial governments now joining the partnership, TFSA has created the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services to leverage the sector's reputation in risk management and the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education to capitalize on the region's talent advantage. For more information, please check our website at www.tfsa.ca.

SOURCE Toronto Financial Services Alliance

For further information:

Marta Andradzka
mandradzka@tfsa.ca