Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is meeting with business and community leaders in Victoria today, kicking off the first of a series of pre-budget 2013 talks to be held across the country. Flaherty stressed the governments top priority remains jobs, growth and long-term prosperity before entering formal discussions at the Inn at the Laurel Point on Victorias Inner Harbour.
What I want to hear from Canadians beginning here today is how best to reach this goal, Flaherty told reporters.
I want to discuss real workable ideas on how to solidify our economic recovery and position Canada to compete and prosper over the long term while preserving our fiscal advantage, he said.
In a brief speech, that mirrored an address to the Toronto Board of Trade on Nov. 22, the finance minister confirmed once again the government will balance the budget by the end of this parliament.
In mid November, both Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated there was a possibility the budget could instead be balanced by 2015-16. The moving budget target has been snapped back to 2015.
Going forward, our government will not engage in dangerous and new risky spending schemes, Flaherty said. We will not engage in endless spending to increase deficits, and we will not increase the tax burden for Canadians.
The federal finance minister asked Canadians to offer the government concrete and specific actions that can be taken to strengthen the economy in the face of global economic threats and to offer tangible suggestions on how to further private-sector growth. Those suggestions can be made online at www.fin.gc.ca under pre-budget consultations.
The people meeting with Flaherty today are: Joelle Berdugo-Adler, president and CEO, Diesel Canada Inc.; Yvon Bolduc, president and CEO, Fonds de SolidaritÃ© FTQ; Queenie Choo, CEO, SUCCESS; Bruce Dewar, CEO, LIFT Philanthropy Partners; Dan Goldberg, president and CEO, Telesat; Jeff Keshen, Dean of Arts, Mount Royal University; Pierre LaPointe, president and CEO, FP Innovations.
Also in the consultations with the minister are: Gordon C. McCauley, president and CEO, Allon Therapeutics Inc.; Alex J. Pourbaix, president, Energy and Oil Pipelines, Trans Canada Corp.; Gregg Saretsky, president and CEO, WestJet; Alex Scholten, president, Canadian Convenience Stores Association; Lesley Stowe, founder, Lesley Stowe Fine Foods; Anne VÃ©zina, acting president and CEO, Canadian Cancer Society; Don Wright, president, B.C. Institute of Technology.
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