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Business leaders in Swift Current took part in a roundtable with Kevin Sorenson, the Minister of State for Finance, this weekend with last week's Federal Budget presentation on the agenda.

Sorenson, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Crowfoot in Alberta, says the budget has a number of things to help business owners and individuals in Western Canada.

"It has measures on increasing our market access abroad," he said. "We've brought forward these free trade agreements in many different countries, and now it helps us brand Canadian products. Around the world, they know that Canada has the safest and highest premium products on the market, now we just have to advertise it, brand it, and break down those barriers.

"We've committed to increase the lifetime capital gains exemption to a million dollars for farmers," he added. "Farmers move into their retirement years, and quite often, they look at their land as their retirement fund, and so this gives them a million dollars without any capital gains, so we've moved that up almost $200,000."

Sorenson says Saskatchewan is one of the bright spots in the nation's economy, and believes if governments keep taxes low and create jobs, it will have benefits.

"I have neighbours and young people in our communities in Alberta that have moved back to Saskatchewan because there's hope again," he said. "It does depend on what kind of governments we have provincially, municipally and certainly federally... Saskatchewan has a good story to tell. I think it's gone from a have-not province to a have province where there's hope, and when you have hope, you have young people coming back because there are jobs."

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