Scotiabank CEO wants top up for child tax credit, grants for businesses

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TORONTO — The head of the Bank of Nova Scotia is urging Ottawa to top up to the annual Canada Child Benefit, introduce a grant for businesses to make capital investments and eliminating the interprovincial trade barrier.

Chief executive Brian Porter says he wants the benefit topped up by $5,000 and the child tax credit increased to allow parents to fully deduct the cost of preschool child care and to encourage women to stay in the workforce.

He says there should be a one-time, matching grant for businesses to make capital investments in machinery, equipment, and intellectual property, so small businesses can digitize, medium-sized businesses can retool for efficiency and large businesses can become more sustainable.

He also wants the elimination of the interprovincial trade barrier because he says the International Monetary Fund estimates that complete liberalization of internal trade in goods can increase Canada’s GDP per capita by about 4 per cent per year.

Porter says he is making the trio of recommendations because he believes they will have a direct and positive impact on GDP, increase the number of working Canadians and make the country stronger and more prosperous.

He made the remarks at the bank’s annual general meeting, and ahead of the federal budget, which will be released on Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2021.

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The Canadian Press