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Don't lose sight of business needs before spending surplus: executives

OTTAWA - A group representing some of Canada's biggest corporations is urging the federal Conservatives to take a deep breath before making any decisions about spending surplus cash.

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives says it supports Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's efforts to balance the books, but there will be plenty of people with their hands out once he posts a surplus ahead of the next federal election.

It's no secret that the Conservatives want a surplus in 2015 so they can deliver on previous election promises, such as partial income splitting for families, among other tax cuts

Council President John Manley, a former finance minister, says Flaherty shouldn't lose sight of what businesses also need in the run up to the 2015 election.

In a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, Manley says the Tories should take a more active role in designing a labour strategy to ensure workers have the right skills for today's job market.

He says the council would also like to see the Tories work with the provinces and the United States to improve infrastructure.

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