Government embarks on road to fairness

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - The federal government has made progress
towards restoring fairness in Canada in Budget 2007 by implementing a number
of the recommendations of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
    "We're pleased to see the federal government's commitment to per capita
funding of major transfers including health and social programs," says Len
Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Ontarians
deserve the same level of services as their fellow Canadians and that simply
has not been the case in the past."
    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce had advocated for a principle-based
solution, several of which were included in today's budget:
    -   A commitment that provinces receiving equalization will not have a
        higher fiscal capacity than contributing provinces
    -   A commitment to equal per capita cash support for the Canada Social
        Transfer and the Canada Health Transfer
    -   A clarification of roles and responsibilities of governments, and a
        commitment to focus on areas of federal responsibility

    "Overall Ontarians across the province will benefit from today's
announcement," adds Crispino. "Improved federal transfers will trickle down to
services Ontario residents use every day."
    "The Ontario Chamber of Commerce had hoped the government would include a
component of program evaluation for federal transfers, one of the largest
wealth transfers in the world," countered Crispino. "We commit to work with
the federal government to develop a measurement tool so that we can ensure the
program's effectiveness."
    The full OCC pre-budget submission to the Federal Finance Minister can be
found on our website at

    The OCC represents over 57,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of
Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since
1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the
economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance &
taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

For further information:

For further information: Amy Terrill, Director, Media Relations and
Communications, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241, C:
(416) 605-8205

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