Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MP told, steady as she goes

Businesses polled on economic thoughts as feds work on budget

Daryl Macintosh

Daryl Macintosh

Daryl Macintosh, owner of Maxcraft Avionics, at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport, just wants the government to keep it simple.

Don’t do anything rash and follow a balanced approach to nurture a still-fragile economy.

He was at the meeting last week at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows chamber of commerce office with about a dozen other companies as MP Randy Kamp met small business owners to hear their input on the economic course the government should follow.

“Don’t do anything to rock the boat,” Macintosh told the MP.

People are still worried about the national debt, but not if it means cutting back government spending so much it slows the recovery.

“We want our debt paid down, but not at the price of crippling our economy.”

Vicki McLeod, with Pitt Meadows economic development office, concurred that business is seeking a balanced approach. Economic stimulus can be targeted, “at the same time it’s important not to carry a huge debt load.”

Macintosh moved to the airport in 2009 and put up a $2.8-million building for his aeronautics businesses that services the industry by providing repair and maintenance services for aircraft instruments and electronics.

The following two years, 2009 and 2010, were a struggle as the world recovered from the economic collapse of 2008. But since then it’s improved, with 2011 sales having doubled and 28 people now working there.

He wishes, though, that the City of Pitt Meadows would get more involved and help the airport grow.

“The airport society that runs the place could use a little more support.”

Maple Ridge also has representation on that society.

“Maple Ridge seems to be a little more aware of the asset value of the airport.”

Kevin Evancic, a chartered accountant with Seymour, Evancic, Gardner Associates, shared the same opinion.

Reducing the deficit over a longer period of time could be necessary so as not to impact the economy, he said.

It’s difficult to say how the economy is doing, he added, and that companies are all in different situations.

Kamp said the input he heard, “clearly confirms that businesses want government to stay committed to a low–tax plan for jobs and growth.

“I also noted that many felt that our government can help create an environment for robust job creation by aggressively tackling our country’s debt and deficit while staying flexible enough to respond to unexpected global economic events.

“I am a strong believer that the best ideas to help the economy in our constituency and across Canada come from getting input from people about what works.”

The consultation will be used to shape the upcoming federal budget and is the next phase of the government’s Economic Action Plan, following the stimulus that saw capital projects built across the country.

Kamp said Canada has created 600,000 new jobs since 2009, which he says is the best record of all the G-7 countries.

But there are still problems in Europe and the U.S., he added, so the focus has to remain on the economy and jobs.