Ontario Budget embraces plans to grow Toronto as Financial Services Hub:
Toronto Financial Services Alliance ready to move forward with its partners

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - The Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) welcomed the endorsement in today's provincial budget for plans to grow Toronto to be one of the top 10 financial centres in the world.

"Having the Ontario government's support as a partner is key if we are to achieve this objective," said Janet Ecker, President, TFSA. "The government's willingness to work with us to set up a Global Integrative Risk Management Institute is an important step.

"We look forward to working with the federal and provincial governments and the sector to make this a reality," she added, and thereby build on Canada's reputation for the safety and soundness of its financial sector.

Ms. Ecker also noted that the budget's educational and training initiatives are important to Ontario's ongoing competitiveness. "Our talent advantage is apparent when it comes to financial services," Ms. Ecker said. "As the government rolls out its plans to create more spaces in colleges and universities, to attract international students to Ontario, and to retrain Ontarians through the Second Career Strategy, we hope they will include financial services as a vital area of focus."

Similarly, the TFSA believes the existing apprenticeship program should be defined broadly enough to include skill sets that are important to the financial sector and its affiliated service providers.

The TFSA applauded the province's continuing support for the creation of a national securities regulator, and encouraged the province to continue to press to have Toronto selected as the site for the principal operations of the new organization.

"As Canada's financial services capital, with the greatest concentration of financial services businesses, Toronto is the logical place to establish the bulk of the operations for this oversight agency," said Ms. Ecker.

Ms. Ecker also noted that the business environment in Canada has been steadily improving as governments, provincial and federal, continue to improve the tax environment. She said a competitive tax environment is a key factor when trying to attract highly mobile financial services jobs to Toronto, and she encouraged the provincial government to continue to take steps to improve our tax competitiveness.

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 www.tfsa.ca.

SOURCE Toronto Financial Services Alliance

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Brian Smith, tel. (416) 822-3130, bsmith@tfsa.ca

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