Varcoe: Business groups shut out of NDP pre-budget meetings

Here is a curious way to hold pre-budget consultations in Calgary. Don’t invite major business groups to attend.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci held a pre-budget meeting in the city Friday to solicit ideas for the province’s next fiscal plan.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business weren’t on the guest list. Nor was the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

In other meetings during the past month, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce and the Edmonton Chamber weren’t invited either.

As he prepares for his third budget, Ceci said he decided to change course when hosting such information sessions.