Budget focuses on sound public finances, long-term economic growth: CTA

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OTTAWA, Ont. — With fears that yesterday’s announced federal budget might feature slashed government spending, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has expressed satisfaction with the budget’s plans for new spending and a focus “on an agenda that will deliver high-quality jobs, economic growth and sound public finances.” The government did propose modest spending cuts including civil service staff cuts and expects to achieve balanced budget in three years, the CTA noted.

The CTA also noted that while the budget, announced by Canada’s finance minster, Jim Flaherty, included few specifics for the transportation or trucking industry beyond a rehash of the initiatives already underway through the perimeter security agreement, there are some measures which will be of interest to business owners.

These items include a focus on new trade agreements with emerging economies, resources development and changes to the Employment Insurance (E.I.) system, such as limiting E.I. premium rate increases to five cents each year until the E.I. Operating Account is balanced and extending the Hiring Credit for Small Business for one year to help small businesses to defray the costs of hiring new workers.

The budget also proposes to realign the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to better meet labour market demands. However, as it relates to the TFWP, businesses will still have to first look to the domestic labour force before accessing the TFWP, CTA officials noted.

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