Statement by the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in reaction to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s speech at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on November 8, 2011. “The Finance Minister reported today (November 8) on the state of the Canadian economy. Few Canadians will be surprised that the federal government is now anticipating that the books could be balanced two years later than expected. Having just returned from the B20 in Cannes, I can attest that we are seeing an economic slowdown throughout the world. However, we are still anticipating positive growth in Canada. We are looking at a slowdown but not at a recession.
While we understand that the slower economic growth will delay Canada’s ability to return to balanced budgets, we agree with the Minister that the government should not be adding to the deficit by increasing spending at this time. Finally, the [Canadian] Chamber is pleased the government is limiting increases in EI premiums to 5¢ per $100 of insurable earnings for employees (7¢ for employers). That is less than the planned 10¢ increase. The federal government also announced that it is extending the Work-Sharing program. Both of these measures will help to support employment during a time of heightened economic uncertainty.”
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