Board of Trade Acts on Provincial, Federal Budgets

In response to the federal and provincial budgets being released in February, the Burnaby Board of Trade (BBOT) both issued a budget statement and organized an exclusive roundtable discussion with the senior regional Minister for BC on behalf of the Burnaby business community.

Shortly after the 2014 federal budget was presented in Ottawa, the BBOT organized an executive roundtable with the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and MLA for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam on February 17th to discuss the budget’s implications for the local business community. Joined by two dozen Board of Trade members, Paul Holden, BBOT President & CEO, presented Minister Moore with an overview of the Burnaby business profile, emphasizing the industry clusters which are key to Burnaby’s economic success, before kicking off a lively and frank discussion with the Minister.

Roundtable participants discussed a host of issues with the Minister, including the potential impact of the new Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL), the status of the Canada Jobs Grant, and the state of the Canadian housing market. Speaking directly with the participants, Minister Moore emphasized the New Building Canada Plan as an unprecedented infrastructure investment and reiterated the federal government’s plan for a balanced budget in 2015-16.

Following the advocacy efforts of the BBOT this past autumn, including issuing a budget submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and holding the only Lower Mainland stop on the Minister of Finance’s 2014 Budget Conversation Tour, the BBOT was pleased with the provincial budget announced on February 18th. “The Burnaby Board of Trade is happy to see the provincial government’s budget return to balance and was pleased to see that there were no surprises for the business community announced yesterday,” commented Holden in a statement issued by the Board. “We look forward to seeing the provincial government work towards achieving and utilizing the projected future surpluses.”

Previously, the BBOT had advocated for the provincial government to prioritize public transportation and the high tech & film/tv industries in future budgets. While the budget did contain modest measures in regards to these sectors, including the Distant Location Tax Credit and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit, the Burnaby Board of Trade will continue to advocate for these and other matters of importance to its members and to the local business community with all levels of government.