Fiscal update lacks a plan for sustainable economic growth

by Goldy Hyder – President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Council of Canada

The federal government’s fall economic statement promises hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending but lacks a substantive plan to spur private sector investment and economic recovery, the Business Council of Canada says.  

“Business, not government, is the primary engine of job creation and sustainable economic growth,” said Goldy Hyder, the Council’s President and CEO.

“Right now, the top priority is to fight COVID-19. But we also need a credible plan to move the economy forward and ensure there will be good, well-paying jobs for Canadians when the health emergency ends.”

Some elements of the update reflect calls the Business Council has been making for many months, including measures to enhance access to affordable childcare, expand training and skills development, and provide ongoing support for individuals and small businesses that have been hard-hit by the crisis.

The statement offers long overdue help for distressed sectors such as travel, tourism and hospitality, but glaringly absent is any support for Canada’s leading airlines. Much more support will be needed to ensure that companies remain viable and that their employees will have jobs to go back to when conditions improve.

As the Business Council outlined in its recent paper “Powering a Strong Recovery”, Canada needs a future-focused economic plan that boosts confidence and encourages private sector investment and job creation. It also requires fiscal restraint. The Business Council has been asking for the establishment of a clear fiscal anchor and will continue to do so.