Federal Budget Offers Little

Prince George, BC, Canada / CKPG News
Federal Budget Offers Little

The federal budget, delivered yesterday, is seen by many as having little to offer rural BC.
The federal government has re-committed $11.9 billion in infrastructure funding, specific to public transit, water and wastewater and affordable housing, early learning and child care.
“We’ve heard the announcements from last and, now, this year. But we looking at details to be able to put together by way of what we can use infrastructure dollars for. We got around four million dollars in infrastructure funding last year.”
There was also a single line in the budget that caught Mayor Hall’s attention and that of the City’s Economic Development office. It reads: “Innovation Canada will develop six Economic Strategy Tables to identify innovation opportunities in advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and clean resources.”
“That directly aligns with what we’re doing from an economic development strategy when it comes to high-tech, technology opportunities, digital-resource opportunities,” says Mayor Hall. “That’s something that the Economic Development office has been looking into very diligently.”
However, Stan Mitchell with KPMG says the resource sector was largely overlooked.
“Truth be told, there wasn’t a lot of anything. And a lot of it was a stand pat budget. If I were to label it, it’s a ‘What are we going to in the future?’ budget,” he says. “In fairness to the Liberals, they’re looking over their shoulder to our friends in the South.”
He says with US President Donald Trump talking about things like border taxes and an, as yet, unsatisfied Softwood Lumber Agreement, there is tremendous uncertainty on the trade front.
However, he warned there may some significant changes coming to small business and the current tax regimes, especially for the ma and pa operations.

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