THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Chamber of Commerce President Charla Robinson says that the Ontario Budget has a lot of spending in it, and a lot of things that many people would like.
Robinson sat down in the Newsroom to discuss the budget in greater depth.
“The budget includes a significant increase in spending and return to deficit for a number of years which is of concern due to our already high debt load and projections of slower economic growth. Of the increased spending there are some areas that will particularly assist Northern Ontario including the increase to Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) by 2020-21 to $150 million per year. NOHFC is a significant support for the local economy and business growth so this increase will be welcomed.
“The continuation of supports through the Forestry Growth Fund and the Northern Industrial Electricity Rate program are also positive for many regional businesses and the new funding for broadband expansion will also be well received.
“I am quite disappointed that the Premier has not made good on her promise to exempt Northern Ontario’s fly-in communities from the 2014 increase to aviation fuel taxes. It is patently unfair for air passengers and cargo to First Nations communities to continue to pay these taxes to support transit expansion in the GTA,” says Robinson.