EDMONTON, CANADA - The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce continues to urge the provincial government to hold the line on operational spending in response to the province’s just-released fiscal update, which projected a higher-than-estimated deficit and a shrinking economy.
The deficit is now forecast to be $10.9 billion and the economy is forecast to shrink by 2.7 per cent in 2016.
Given the ongoing economic downturn and the impact of the Fort McMurray wildfire, the government’s fiscal update was not surprising. In the face of the increased deficit, the Chamber calls for government to take a balanced approach which avoids job cuts and supports businesses.
“While we don’t want drastic cuts to services, we urge government to find further efficiencies and curb operational spending,” Janet Riopel, President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “We’re asking the provincial government to make the same kind of tough decisions in their operational spending that businesses have had to make in this economy.”
In the midst of a recession, businesses are facing a piling-on of costs from the provincial government, including the incoming carbon tax, the increased minimum wage, and higher corporate taxes. Government needs to consider what effect all these increases will have on businesses.
“It’s the creativity and productivity of Alberta businesses that will fuel economic growth,” said Riopel. “We’re urging the Province not to increase the cost of doing business further as that will only hamper and delay Alberta’s economic recovery.”
Communications and Outreach Coordinator