Retail Council of Canada's Reaction to 2007-2008 Federal Budget



    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) welcomed the
prudent budget outlined by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty yesterday. RCC
recognizes that the October Economic Statement included timely stimulus that
will help the Canadian economy weather the uncertainties of the economic
outlook. Given the generous tax relief given to Canadians last fall, the
targeted tax relief outlined in this measured budget is welcomed.
    "On behalf of Canada's retailers, Retail Council of Canada welcomes the
announcements made by Minister Flaherty yesterday," says Diane J. Brisebois,
President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. "RCC was extremely pleased with
the focus the government placed on labour shortage by allocating funds to
modernize the immigration system and to stimulate the retention of mature
workers in the economy."
    The Federal Government announced that it would inject an additional
$90 million to extend to 2012 the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers to
help older workers stay in the workforce and that it would remove
disincentives to work for seniors by raising the current Guaranteed Income
Supplement earned income exemption to $3,500 from its current maximum
exemption level of $500.
    In addition, the government announced that it would modernize the
immigration system with a $22-million investment over two years, growing to
$37 million per year, including legislation to speed up the processing of
permanent resident applications, ensuring shorter wait times and making
Canada's immigration system more competitive.
    "Overall, the targeted measures announced by the Federal government
yesterday will be a good complement to the measures announced last October in
the Fall Economic Update," Brisebois added.
    RCC also noted that the Minister had failed to move on the elimination of
import tariffs on goods not produced in Canada. RCC will continue to impress
upon the government the importance of reducing the cost of consumer goods
entering Canada.

    About Retail Council of Canada

    Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail.
It is a not-for-profit association representing more than 40,000 stores of all
retail formats, including independent merchants, regional and national mass
and specialty chains, and online merchants. As the Voice of Retail, RCC speaks
for an industry that employs more than two million Canadians and contributes
approximately $390 billion in annual sales to the Canadian economy.





For further information:

For further information: Kim Furlong, Retail Canada of Council's
Vice-President, Federal Government Relations, is available for interviews and
can be reached at (613) 751-4442 or at kfurlong@retailcouncil.org. For more
information, contact: Mitchell Brown, Retail Council of Canada, (416)
922-0553, ext. 286, e-mail: mbrown@retailcouncil.org


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