Monday's speech from the throne offered few details about the provincial government's plan to help businesses recover from the pandemic. With case counts climbing over the last few weeks and the rapid spread of variants of concern, our economic recovery remains precarious one week before the province unveils its 2021 budget.
Aside from urging ongoing vigilance and a spirit of resilience, the throne speech promised that the April 20 budget will invest in capital projects and infrastructure to create jobs and boost local communities. There will also be money to help people disproportionately hurt by the pandemic, including gig workers and people working face-to-face with customers in retail and the hospitality industry. Many of those most affected are women, people of colour and young people.
"The Chamber is looking for next week's budget to reassure businesses struggling to get through the pandemic," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "We want to see investments that help employers find and keep workers. We need accessible child care so that parents can stay in the workforce, and we need training programs that ensure workers have current skills for the many jobs that are in demand but are going unfilled."