BC positioned to attract investment and jobs -- keeping a firm hold on
finances

VICTORIA, March 2 /CNW/ - The British Columbia Government released the Budget and Fiscal Plan for the next two fiscal years. The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) has reviewed the measures released and has the following comments:

    
    1.  Domestic and foreign investors will applaud the measures in the
        Fiscal Plan. The BC Government re-affirmed the priority for budget
        balance within the next three years. The Government will keep
        spending to an annual average rate of 2.3% and achieve planned
        personal and corporate tax rate reductions. The modest rise in the
        public debt burden will not impair the province's credit rating.

    2.  The province will reduce the corporate tax rate to 10% and eliminate
        the small business corporate rate by 2011. As well, eligible
        businesses under the IFA program have been expanded. Ian Russell,
        President and CEO, IIAC commented, "With the lower corporate tax rate
        and implementation of the HST, BC will have one of the most
        attractive business tax regimes in Canada, laying the foundation for
        future investment and growth. The expansion of the IFA program will
        be a catalyst to attract offshore business."

    3.  The Association supports the harmonization of sales tax. Mr. Russell
        stated "We believe a strong case can be made for HST relief for
        financial services. The increased sales tax will impose a direct cost
        on consumers, increasing the difficulty to save for retirement."

    4.  The Fiscal Plan has focused on stimulating mining investment. The
        decision to extend the flow-through share tax credit to 2013
        recognizes the important contribution the mining industry makes to
        the BC economy.

    5.  The province supports a Canadian securities regulator for domestic
        capital markets. The IIAC commends BC for taking a leadership role in
        building an efficient single securities regulator, with a
        decentralized structure responsive to the regulatory needs of vibrant
        regional capital markets.
    

The Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) advances the position of the Canadian investment industry on regulatory and public policy issues. As the professional association for the industry, IIAC has a mandate to promote efficient, fair and competitive capital markets for Canada while helping its member firms across the country succeed in the industry.

SOURCE Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC)

For further information: For further information: Katie O'Dell, Manager, Public Affairs, Tel. (416) 687-5478, Cell (416) 312-7275, kodell@iiac.ca

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Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC)

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