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  • Colleen Green

Scugog officials keeping a sharp eye on the economic situation

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: Scugog Township and the Scugog Chamber of Commerce will keep a close eye on the economic situation across Ontario and Canada, as an economic recession is possible.

In a report, the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) forecasted, in October, “a recession [could] begin in the first half of 2023.”

Scugog Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Karey Anne Large told The Standard this situation is something the local chamber will be keeping an eye on.

“After our businesses struggled through 2 years of COVID-19 restrictions, the possibility of an economic recession is certainly something we are monitoring closely. We are working with our partners, at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Durham Business Alliance, to develop strategies which will best serve our members,” she stated.

In a statement, Scugog Township treasurer Laura Barta explained how the economic climate impacts the annual municipal capital and operating budgets.

“The annual budget process defines the ability to: provide services and programs to the community, ensure our assets are maintained in a safe and economical manner, [see] community priorities are addressed, and [insure] the municipality remains financially sustainable in the long term. In order to make certain the municipality can address these priorities, in our growing community, it is important to look at both immediate and future requirements, during the setting of the annual budget. The economic conditions are always top of mind, when a budget is prepared, as it affects the ability of the Township to provide services to our residents, and this year is no exception,” she explained. “The Township, like any homeowner, is facing many pressures. Changes in the economy, inflation, and the impact of changing government regulations, especially the potential impacts of the recent Provincial legislation, related to building more homes faster, are putting significant financial pressures on Scugog, in addition to the impacts of carbon tax on fuel, supply chain delays or labour shortages.”

However, her statement added, the Township must also “balance the risks of not proceeding with services to our residents, work [which] needs to be done or replacing assets which are failing.”

“Although the impact on our costs is significant, the demand for services and providing well-maintained assets are also high. Council and staff are working to balance the demands of the residents, in the short and longer terms, with the cost of providing services,” Ms. Barta concluded.

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