Budget 2018: Canada’s Competitiveness Undermined

Apr 13, 2018

February 28, 2018

The federal government’s 2018 budget contains positive measures, but the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is concerned that it doesn’t address Canada’s eroding competitive position in the global marketplace.

Budget 2018 did not provide a clear plan to restore Canada's competitive advantage in the wake of drastic tax and regulatory reform in the United States. The U.S. is decreasing its corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, compared to Canada’s corporate tax rate of 28%.

“While the U.S. delivers the largest tax cut in a generation, all orders of government in Canada are making it harder for Edmonton businesses to succeed,” said Janet Riopel, President and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “We need the federal government to take action and close the competitiveness gap.”

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce was pleased to see some additional tools to help grow the economy in the budget including measures to increase the participation of women and Indigenous peoples in the workforce, which will help boost Canada’s labour productivity.

Investments in the budget for science and research and new funding for growing businesses through the Industrial Research Assistance Program will support growth in new sectors of the Canadian economy.

“Canada has world-leading research and development,” said Riopel. “This $700 million investment will help businesses scale up and turn that research into innovative new products and services.”

While the $18.1 billion deficit projected in Budget 2018 is a significant improvement over last year’s $28.5 billion deficit, what’s still missing is a clear plan to return to balanced budgets.

“The absence of a clear plan to address the deficit undermines investor confidence, further hampering our ability to compete globally,” said Riopel.

Media contact:
Sheila Keenan
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce