"Budget sets game plan: government must deliver" - Canadian Chamber of

OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce today welcomed the federal government's strategy to achieve its recovery plan, to return to balanced budgets and to promote a more innovative and competitive economy.

"Business people throughout Canada are worried about the federal deficit. We're glad that the government responded to the Canadian Chamber's call for a commitment to balance the books, but they must now make it happen. The substantial spending increases of past years are clearly not sustainable and the Canadian Chamber will focus on ensuring that Ottawa reins in spending and improves efficiencies as the recovery takes hold," said Canadian Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty.

The Canadian Chamber strongly believes that the government can balance its books over the medium term without increasing taxes. "In recent years we have made Canada a more attractive place to invest, innovate and create jobs by improving our international tax competitiveness. We cannot afford to erase this hard-earned progress," said Beatty.

"With changing demographics and the need to sustain an aging population, the cost of government programs will be increasingly shouldered by a shrinking percentage of workers. We must get our fiscal house in order to gain the economic flexibility needed to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow and to adapt to future economic shocks. The government must not only recognize this pressing issue, but must also lay out a specific plan to address it" added Beatty.

The Canadian Chamber has long called for a digital economy strategy that encourages businesses to adopt e-commerce technologies. The recognition of the economic clout of our small and medium-sized businesses to innovate and the need to enable them to continue - even increase - their contribution by removing unnecessary, job-killing regulation is long overdue. Holding the line on direct and indirect tax increases and promoting innovation will help Canada compete on the world stage.

"The global economy rewards world leaders and punishes stragglers. It's time for Canada to go for gold," Beatty stated.

SOURCE Canadian Chamber of Commerce

For further information: For further information: Kathryn Anderson, Director, Communications and Marketing, Office: (613) 238-4000 ext.231, Cell: (613) 797-1860, kanderson@chamber.ca

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