Regulatory efficiency and tax competitiveness vital to Saskatchewan businesses and the province's prosperity



    SASKATOON, SK, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - A competitive tax and efficient regulatory
environment are key to helping businesses throughout Saskatchewan 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 this morning in a speech to the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of
Commerce.
    Ms. Hughes Anthony said that Saskatchewan and Canada, in order to
compete, must ensure that their corporate taxation rates are competitive, and
preferably lower, than other jurisdictions since a competitive tax regime can
be a key factor in encouraging investment.
    "All levels of government in Canada need to participate and contribute to
achieving the goal of a competitive tax policy," said Ms. Hughes Anthony.
"Progress has been made on the reduction of corporate income tax in
Saskatchewan, but more needs to happen, particularly on the capital tax on
financial institutions."
    Removing the capital tax on financial institutions would create a level
playing field for all businesses in the province since, starting next year,
capital taxes will be eliminated for all businesses except for financial
institutions. It would also put Saskatchewan in a good position to compete for
investment with its neighbour, Alberta, which eliminated capital taxes
entirely in 2001.
    "Capital taxes are known to deter investment and Saskatchewan needs more
investment to create careers for our young graduates here at home," said
Kent Smith-Windsor, Executive Director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of
Commerce. "Eliminating capital taxes on financial institutions is an important
step in our quest to build the best business climate in Canada, thereby
creating a city of opportunity," he added.
    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.
    Ms. Hughes Anthony also highlighted the need to address the impending
skilled labour shortage, an issue of concern in Saskatchewan and across
Canada: "There are too many internal barriers within Canada that limit labour
mobility and the establishment of free trade among the provinces and
territories is long overdue. We were pleased to see the federal government
emphasize this in the Speech from the Throne."

    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: Melanie Minos, Canadian Bankers Association,
Tel: (416) 362-6093, ext. 220, Cell: (416) 587-7733, E-mail: mminos@cba.ca


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