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Ontario Finance Minister presents budget strategy to MBAs

Apr 23, 2019

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Finance Minister Victor Fedeli speaks to MBA students in an Q&A session moderated by Assistant Professor Romel Mostafa.

Ivey MBA students learned first-hand about the impact fiscal policy can have in shaping the business landscape.

Ontario's Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Victor Fedeli spoke to MBA students, and Ivey faculty and staff about the key strategies behind the recent Ontario Budget, and took a number of questions from students after his presentation. These questions ranged from education and OSAP, to child care, infrastructure and immigration.

The event, held at Ivey in the BMO Financial Group Auditorium, was part of Assistant Professor Romel Mostafa's Macroeconomics for Business Decisions (MBD) course, which focuses on understanding how macroeconomic factors and policy shape firms’ competitiveness and regional growth. Students were able to apply their critical thinking to discuss the provisions of the budget directly with the Minister.

From his roots in North Bay to Queen’s Park, Fedeli outlined his background that had a strong influence on the budget.

He then outlined the consultation process that the government went through in preparing the budget, and focused his remarks on the importance of balancing the budget, and running the province in a business-like way.

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Building a policy framework

Alexandra Krolak, MBA 2020 Candidate, said her class preparation enabled her to look at the budget through a more critical lens.

"After taking this class, I developed a good framework for seeing how government policy operates and how the processes behind creating these policies, such as ensuring the business-like approach, can influence future economic and business trends in the province," she said. "As a future leader, that is important to consider, especially if we want to be working in the province, and building these businesses."

Emmanuel Ukposidolo, MBA 2020 Candidate, said he was well prepared for what a budget should look like, but didn’t realize the extensive process that went into it.

"The courses I have taken at Ivey, such as economics for businesses, have given me an even better understanding of how sensitive businesses are to fiscal policy, the budget, and how sensitive the local economy is to the decisions businesses make in response to fiscal policy. Decisions, such as decreasing production, importing as opposed to buying local, or, as was mentioned by Minister Fedeli, considering a move to a lower corporate tax environment," he said. "This relationship highlights the importance of an extensive consultation process in creating the budget. It also highlights the importance of future business leaders staying abreast of fiscal policy in order to ensure they can voice their concerns in the creation of the budget."