STABLE BUDGET FOR THE BC ECONOMY - Surrey Board of Trade would like further clarity for Surrey investments
“The Surrey Board of Trade applauds the BC Government for delivering a balanced budget in an unstable economy. The surplus of $878 million and the forecast of increasing surpluses for the next three years will serve the Surrey business community and our residents well,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “Now the government needs to clarify their strategic investments in Surrey.”
GOOD FOR BUSINESS - GOOD FOR COMMUNITY
Fiscally responsible, a good foundation for future growth.
Support for International Trade
The establishment of the Renminbi Trade Hub will facilitate increased trade with China and the potential for increased jobs in BC. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recognizes the potential for $6.2 billion in transaction costs savings over the next 10 years. Surrey and British Columbia will benefit greatly as a result.
Last year we saw some progress in terms of budget support to BC families. The Surrey Board of Trade supports the exemption of Child Support Payments from income assistance calculations. Further, Surrey families will appreciate the increase in tax credits for sports equipment.
The Surrey Board of Trade recognizes some progress to reducing poverty in this budget such as the Early Childhood Tax Benefit and Community Living BC investments. However, we would like to see a more comprehensive strategic approach around reducing poverty in BC as, unfortunately, BC remains the leader in child poverty for Canada. A title we should plan to remove.
AREAS WHERE CLARIFICATION IS NEEDED
Will Surrey be the beneficiary of new investments in the areas of health care, post secondary education, skill and trades training capital spending? The Surrey Board of Trade, given Surrey’s growing population of 1500 people a month, would like to see greater detail on the BC governments infrastructure and investment plans for Surrey.
The Surrey Board of Trade’s Environment Advocacy Team will be reviewing the economic impact of the new water Sustainability Act, which will be in force in 2016.
We appreciate the funding of North Clayton Secondary School and the investment in Surrey. As the fastest growing large city in BC, we are looking forward to further funding announcements to address the overwhelming number of students being educated in portables.
Crime & Justice
We note that there is no discussion of the provincial Blue Ribbon Panel Report on Crime Reduction in this budget. The Surrey Board of Trade contributed to the study and supports the recommendations, which require strategic investments to strengthen crime prevention in Surrey.
The Surrey Board of Trade appreciates the concerted fiscal responsibility shown by the government in these uncertain economic times. We look forward to hearing more detail regarding how the budget will impact Surrey’s economy.
For more information on BC's Budget go to: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2015/default.htm