Federal budget: several measures welcomed by the business community and unions

Federal budget: several measures hailed by the business community and unions

The business community as well as the unions welcomed several measures in the federal budget tabled Tuesday afternoon by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. While the 2023-2024 budget has drawn some criticism, the commitments made in terms of a green economy as well as the announcement of a new anti-scab law for businesses under federal jurisdiction have been particularly well received.

The Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce (FCCQ) welcomed “several budget measures presented”, which correspond to its expectations. The FCCQ called in particular, within the framework of the pre-budgetary consultations, for a “responsible federal government in customer service mode”, in order to restore the effectiveness of government action.

The FCCQ says, however, that it notes that while “a full chapter is dedicated to pursuing this goal in the 2023 budget,” she says, further action will be needed to ensure a more effective federal state.

Appropriate measures against uncertainty

For its part, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal said it welcomed the budget, while deploring the decision to abandon the plan to return to a balanced budget in 2027-2028. According to the Chamber, the budget includes “appropriate measures given the high level of uncertainty, while the Canadian economy is experiencing an increasingly pronounced slowdown”.

“The scale of the envelopes aimed at supporting massive investments in the green shift of our economy is very significant, indicated the President of the Chamber, Michel Leblanc. The use of tax credits is strategic to let the market determine the most promising projects. We particularly welcome the measures planned to support the battery sector, as well as the granting of low-cost financing through the Infrastructure Bank of Canada and the Canada Growth Fund.”

The Council employers welcome “flagship measures”

For its part, the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ) says it welcomes “certain key measures”, in particular for the economy and green innovation.

“The budget devotes $80 billion to this out of 10 years, including the creation of tax credits for clean electricity and green technologies, can we read in a press release issued on Tuesday. The CPQ is delighted that Ottawa is taking action to thwart the United States’Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

On the other hand, the CPQ deplores that the budget “does not provide for other measures to increase the productivity of all businesses”.

Reactions from the unions

For its part, the Quebec Federation of Labor (FTQ) says it welcomes the federal government's decision to commit to “clearly modify” the Canada Labor Code before the end of 2023 to ban the use of scabs for companies under jurisdiction Federal.

“Finally! It was time! As a society, we can no longer tolerate companies continuing their operations with scabs, as if nothing had happened, to the detriment of workers who are trying to improve their lot and who come up against employers who prefer to put families on the street rather than negotiate in good faith. Bravo!” declared FTQ General Secretary Denis Bolduc.

The CSN for its part welcomed certain measures announced, such as “the major investment of approximately $20 billion over 5 years for the clean economy”. She also applauded the announcement of new anti-scab legislation for businesses under federal jurisdiction, in addition to the government’s decision to “consider working conditions for clean economy projects.” /p>

The CSN, however, was disappointed to note “Ottawa’s enormous difficulty in delivering the goods, both in terms of employment insurance and drug insurance.”

“After a year of consultations and promises of reform dating back to 2015, we expected more for the reform of employment insurance, launched Caroline Senneville, the president of the CSN, in a press release. With the lessons of the coronavirus crisis and with everyone realizing the importance of federal support to avert disaster, one wonders when the government will dare to move forward on this file that has been dragging on for years. »

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