Toronto—Small business owners lack of confidence in the provincial government’s ability to balance Ontario’s budget, according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
The survey asked business owners about the current state of Ontario’s finances and the Drummond report by the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services on how to eliminate the province’s $16 billion deficit.
Here are some additional results from the survey:
• 91% agreed that Ontario faces more severe economic and fiscal challenges than most Ontarians realize
• 88% agree that without action Ontario faces a series of deficits that would undermine the province’s economic and social future
• 87% agree that we can no longer assume Ontario’s traditional strong economic growth and continued prosperity on which the province has built its public services
• 82% agreed that reforming public services is the best course of action to reduce the deficit
While 78 per cent of respondents want the government to act now on the Commission’s findings to balance the budget by 2017/18, most have no faith in the current minority parliament to meet that target.
“Despite putting all parties on probation by electing a minority parliament in the recent election, Ontarians are seeing very little evidence of politicians, regardless of political stripe, putting the public good ahead of their own,” said CFIB’s Ontario vice-president Satinder Chera.
Chera says many small businesses have dealt with fall out from the recession by cutting their own salaries, freezing wages and reducing overhead expenses and they expect their politicians to make the same sorts of difficult decisions.
CFIB wants the province to legislate spending limits that balance spending with revenues.
CFIB is an association of small- and medium-sized businesses with more than 109,000 members.