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Chamber of Commerce: record-breaking provincial budget is necessary during pandemic

Our local Chambers of Commerce are reacting to the Ontario government's new $187-billion budget
Stock photo.

The Ontario government is pushing back against the pandemic with a new, record-breaking budget worth $187-billion.

President and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Greg Durocher, says his initial reaction was to worry about how Ontario is going to pay the money back.

"But I think the recognition has to be that we're in different times. We're in a situation that we haven't been in for a hundred years as a society."

Durocher says the government needs to make sure they can keep as much of the economy intact as possible.

"The only thing that is going to get us out of this -- both in from a local economic perspective, but also from a long-term economic perspective, is business."

Durocher says he is glad to see the Ontario government step up despite the financial challenges of the pandemic.

"It is their job to protect and sustain society as we know it and this budget really reflects about as far as a provincial government could probably go."

President and CEO of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, Ian McLean, says now is not the right time to be conservative with funding, because local businesses are in need of help.

"People are trying to keep their doors open and people employed. The province needs to do its part so we can get through the pandemic on the healthcare side, on assisting businesses and individuals."

McLean says making a big investment now is the right move, because it will help people keep their jobs during the pandemic, and potentially create more jobs in the future.

"That's how we're going to get out of the deficit and the spending that's coming, but now is not the time to be pulling back because there are too many businesses and too many individuals that are going into risk and we are heading towards a very difficult season."

He says the hospitality, tourism and restaurant industry will need the most support coming from this new budget.

"We want to have restaurants stay open. We want to have our entertainment and hospitality and tourism sector be around when we get to the other side of the pandemic. We need to support them now."


Aastha Shetty

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