In a letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland following the Fall Economic Statement, Goldy Hyder urged the government to deliver Budget 2023 in the first quarter of next year.
Dear Deputy Prime Minister,
On behalf of Canada’s business leaders and the millions of employees, suppliers, customers, and clients they serve, I am urging you to deliver Budget 2023 in the first quarter of next year, ideally no later than the end of February.
In last week’s Fall Economic Statement, you assured Canadians that “significant further measures will be introduced in Budget 2023” to help grow Canada’s economy, create new opportunities for workers, and spur productivity. You also invoked Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier’s remarks to the House of Commons in 1903: “This is not a time for deliberation; this is a time for action. . . We cannot wait, because time does not wait.”
Inflation, higher interest rates, and a looming global slowdown have combined to make this a challenging time for many Canadians. Hence the need for a full budget at the earliest opportunity. In effect we are proposing a return to the federal government’s traditional budget cycle. Over the past 30 years, 18 federal budgets were tabled in February and another five were introduced before the end of March.
During the pandemic you tabled two budgets in late April. I hope you will agree that Canadian investors and workers cannot afford to wait until April 2023 for details of the government’s plans to improve productivity, competitiveness, and economic growth. Moreover, the federal government has set aggressive targets for the green energy transition which require immediate action. Any delay in the budget cycle will make it harder for Canadians to achieve them.
To the extent that you may require the assistance or advice of Canada’s private sector leaders to develop a budget in a shortened timeframe, rest assured that we stand ready to share information, insights, and ideas.
Time is of the essence.
November 8, 2023
November 3, 2023