Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce calls for detailed plan to get out of deficit
With the release of the 2016-2017 provincial budget, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has reiterated its messages to the Premier and Minister of Finance – Saskatchewan needs a solid plan to get out of its deficit situation.
“We are facing a different situation than we anticipated. This new deficit escalation has created a heightened level of concern and greater awareness of the province’s situation, and brought to the forefront the need for a clear recovery plan,” said Saskatchewan Chamber CEO Steve McLellan.
The Sask Chamber has provided a list of key considerations for investment decisions to the provincial government, and will continue to advocate in support of them over the next year. The Sask Chamber feels the government must:
- Ensure infrastructure investments provide the best value for money and ensure some immediate stimulus effect; therefore, projects must be “shovel ready” but also “shovel worthy”. A focus on projects that have strategic economic benefit must take priority;
- Consider public sector projects that will trigger incremental private sector investment and which can be completed in the most advantageous timeframe or season;
- Retain focus on the Plan for Growth objectives when determining projects, keeping the achievement of the Plan goals a priority;
- Make investments in the area of trade to enable projects that improve productivity and enhance export capacity; and
- Make sure that clarity is achieved regarding revenue and expense streams, and the surrounding challenges and opportunities each budget decision will create. Transparency and the adherence to a solid recovery plan are key elements for managing the current deficit.
“The government has used the phrase ‘transformational change’ in describing the current situation, and clearly businesses have considerable expertise in transforming themselves to meet the realities of dynamic markets. The expertise and the commitment of Saskatchewan’s businesses will allow us, as a Chamber of Commerce, to bring the clear voice of assistance to the government during these challenging times,” McLellan added.
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of 10,000 businesses across the province through the Chamber Network. The mandate of the Saskatchewan Chamber is to make the province the best place to live, work and invest.