Regulatory efficiency and tax competitiveness vital to businesses and our prosperity



    MONTREAL, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - A competitive tax and efficient regulatory
environment are key to helping businesses throughout Quebec and the rest of
Canada compete in today's global economy and to ensure the long-term
prosperity of all. That is the message that Nancy Hughes Anthony, president
and chief executive officer of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA),
delivered today in a speech to the International Finance Club of Montréal.
    In her speech, entitled "Building a Competitive Advantage in Canada:
Everyone's Concern", Ms. Hughes Anthony said that Quebec and Canada, in order
to compete, must ensure that their corporate taxation rates are competitive,
and preferably lower, than other jurisdictions.
    "We all know that global competition reaches into every community across
the country. This means that if we are to give our businesses a competitive
tax edge, then all levels of government need to participate and contribute to
achieving this goal," said Ms. Hughes Anthony. "The Quebec government's
decision to eliminate the capital tax is a positive step in that direction."
    Canada ranks 16th in the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness
index, behind the largest of the G-7 countries and also rates poorly in terms
of tax rates and regulations. Moreover, the C.D. Howe Institute's 2007 Tax
Competitiveness Report noted that Canada has the 11th highest effective tax
rate on capital among 80 industrialized and leading developing countries.
    The CBA is recommending that the scheduled reductions in the federal
corporate income tax rate should be accelerated and then reduced even further
to 16.5 per cent by 2012. Relief in personal income tax, particularly in the
lowest income tax bracket, will also help attract and retain a viable labour
force and encourage a strong work ethic through economic rewards.
    Ms. Hughes Anthony also pointed out the coming labour shortage and
regulatory efficiency as two other areas that could have an impact on our
competitive advantage.
    She said there are several up-coming opportunities for the federal
government to increase Canada's competitiveness, including the Speech from the
Throne, the economic and fiscal update, and the panels reviewing tax fairness,
a common securities regulator and competitiveness.
    Ms. Hughes Anthony outlined the benefits for Canada to become one of the
world's most competitive jurisdictions: "It means creating quality jobs,
attracting investment and talent, encouraging innovation, and building a
strong tax base than can support the social programs we hold dear. The success
of business, no matter the size and regardless of location, is important to
the success of our economy and ultimately the standard of living of every
individual across the country."

    The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 54 domestic chartered
banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada
and their 249,000 employees to advocate for efficient and effective public
policies governing banks and to promote an understanding of the banking
industry and its importance to Canadians and the Canadian economy.

    The full text of Ms. Hughes Anthony's remarks is available at www.cba.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Christelle Chesneau, Canadian Bankers
Association, Tel: (514) 840-8722, E-mail: cchesneau@cba.ca

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Canadian Bankers Association

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