The federal budget released on Thursday in Ottawa received a qualified thumbs-up from the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce.
“Overall, we are pleased with the federal government’s approach to fiscal responsibility through debt management, long term economic stability, and plan to return to a balanced budget,” said president and CEO Peter Dukakis.
“However, we are extremely disappointed in the proposed plan to increase the value of goods that may be imported duty and tax-free by Canadian residents returning from abroad after a 24-hour and 48-hour absence from $50 to $200 and $400 to $800, respectively.”
Dukakis said the government believes this measure will facilitate cross-border travel by streamlining the processing of returning Canadian travellers who have made purchases while outside Canada effective June 1, 2012.
“We believe this may have a negative impact for small and medium sized businesses and discourages Canadians to shop locally,” he said.