Business Tax Reductions will Assist Toronto's Financial Services Sector

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - The Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA)
welcomes the business tax reductions announced in today's Ontario budget.
    "The capital tax is widely understood to scare off investment," said
Janet Ecker, President of TFSA. "By committing to legislation to eliminate the
tax by 2010, the government will finally knock down this barrier to
    "We also welcome the move to reduce business education taxes," said Ms.
Ecker. "These property taxes have added significantly to the cost of office
space everywhere, but especially in Toronto, the country's capital for
financial services head offices. These taxes have made us less competitive
when trying to attract new investment to the city."
    Next week, the TFSA will be releasing a study on the future talent needs
of the financial services sector. The budget's increased investment in
education, post-secondary institutions and immigrant integration will support
the sector's efforts to meet its workforce needs, Ms. Ecker said.
    The TFSA also noted the government's continuing efforts to modernize
business and financial regulation, including its ongoing push to establish a
common securities regulator. TFSA members have worked closely with the
government to update legislation, such as the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and
Administrators Act, and the Securities Transfer Act, and look forward to
working on the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act and the Pension
Benefits Act.
    "There are numerous technical changes that must be put in place to ensure
that our financial services environment remains competitive," said Ms. Ecker,
"and we are pleased that the government continues to move forward on this
    TFSA members have repeatedly urged the government to eliminate budget
deficits, so were pleased to note that the government has forecast a balanced
budget. However, the TFSA remains concerned at the increase in the provincial

    About the TFSA:

    The Toronto Financial Services Alliance is a public/private initiative
whose mandate is to enhance and promote the long-term competitiveness of
Toronto as a premier North American financial services centre. Its membership
encompasses core financial services companies - banks, brokerages, investment
fund managers, insurance companies - as well as partner sectors - accounting,
law and education. The TFSA was created in 2001 by the financial services
industry, in partnership with the City of Toronto and with the support of the
federal and provincial governments. For more information, please check our
Website at

For further information:

For further information: Brian Smith, Tel. (416) 822-3130,

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