April 21, 2021 – A statement on the 2021 Federal budget budget from Minister Chrystia Freeland makes critical investments needed to usher the economy through the pandemic recovery. The Board would like to applaud advancements made in four key pillars.
Yesterday’s budget from Minister Chrystia Freeland makes critical investments needed to usher the economy through the pandemic recovery. The Board would like to applaud advancements made in four key pillars.
Supporting business through recovery
As businesses enter the final stages of the pandemic, maintenance of operational liquidity will be critical to their ability to maintain pace with the recovery. Directed relief, such as further funding announced for the Regional Recovery Relief Fund, BDC, and other regional development agencies, will be of tremendous value.
Connecting the digital divide
The pandemic has seen the digital needs of the region’s businesses advance in one year what would have normally taken many. The budget acknowledges this through investments in digital connectivity and technology adoption; and with the announcement of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, which dovetails with the work our Recovery Activation Program has done in helping over one thousand companies go digital. These investments will prove integral to the region’s continued global competitiveness and help business of all sizes ‘digitize’ their value offering in preparation for the post-pandemic new normal.
In the Board’s pre-budget submission, we called for investments in transit, workforce development, and digital connectivity; and the 2021 Budget delivers, with key improvements for low-carbon infrastructure funding, apprenticeships and work-integrated learning, childcare, and broadband development. This budget has also re-affirmed long term commitments to reducing inter-provincial trade barriers and the regulatory burden, which the Board will continue to advocate for.
The pandemic has affected all industries in different ways and to varying degrees. Once COVID-19 transmission rates and infection levels have subsided, the leisure and business tourism sectors, also know as the visitor economy, will be one of the industries in greatest need. Continuation of wage subsidies, rent assistance, and funding to reboot cultural events and visitor destinations will be critical to not only maintaining Toronto as a global city, but also supporting the continued vibrancy of the region’s many business districts.
Though this budget makes significant use of deficit funding to finance its valued expenditures, the Board recognizes that economic growth is the most sustainable and competitive lever to meet fiscal imperatives.”
About Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.
Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager