Category: Government Relations

What the Oakville Candidates Are Saying: 2019 Federal Election

As part of the Oakville Chamber’s advocacy efforts leading up to the federal election on October 21st, we invited candidates to share with our members their vision with the Oakville business community.  Specifically, how their party’s policies and/or platform would strengthen Oakville’s business competitiveness.  

Their responses are included below in alphabetical order by last name (as seen on the Elections Canada ballot). 

To learn more about the Canadian Chamber of Commerce priorities for this election, check out Vote Prosperity. 


Jerome Adamo

New Democratic Party of Canada

The NDP expresses disappointment in recent disproportionate trade deals affecting Canadian businesses and workers. As a labour activist, I’ve always sought, the best interests of workers and my inclusive activism deciphers no difference between employee; union; non union; owner; manager.

As your Ottawa representative, whether opposition or ruling party, I’d thrive as your Oakville watchdog. My focus either way, is for average families and small business owners while pushing legislative change in every area affecting people’s daily lives. Health; workplace; education; safety; trade and/or barriers; wages; taxation; workers compensation; greener economics and pension security. The umbrella issue being the commitment to end a system catering to insiders.

Our Infrastructure vision is one where communities can afford to build infrastructures needed to thrive, from roads and bridges to community centres; child care centres, and telecommunications broadband access, an issue as close as Milton.

To help Canadian small business’s world stage ambitions, a New Democrat government will streamline access to government export services making it simpler to break into foreign markets, achievable for small- and medium-sized businesses through a single point of contact easing regulatory processes. You’ll have more time to invest in business growth.

And finally as MP, I would not oppose recommendations of a royal commission to conduct a tax system review, in fact every party should be committed to this. For too long our tax system has been working for the wrong people, the wealthy elite while average hard working families and small business owners pay the price.


Anita Anand

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party recognizes that small and medium-sized businesses are the drivers of Canada’s economy. That is why the Liberal government cut the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% — the lowest in the G7. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to support business owners by:

· Cutting fees and reducing red tape
· Eliminating the swipe fee on HST and GST for credit card transactions.
· Cutting the cost of federal incorporation by 75%, to $50 from $200.
· Eliminating all fees from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Export Development Canada (EDC) and Farm Credit Canada for business advisory services, such as mentorship and training.
· Implementing a voluntary payroll system to automate records of employment, eliminating the requirement for small businesses to submit detailed records to Service Canada.
· Lowering taxes for clean tech businesses
· Cutting corporate taxes in half for businesses that develop technologies or manufacture products that have zero emissions.
· Helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses
· Creating the Canada Entrepreneur Account to provide up to 2,000 entrepreneurs per year with as much as $50,000 to launch a new business. The program will be run as a pilot project for the first three years.
· Making it easier to do business online
· Providing every new business with a $250 voucher for support services, such as web or e-commerce development, from leading Canadian service providers.

These measures will increase our business competitiveness by making it easier and less expensive for business owners to start and grow their businesses.


James Elwick

Green Party of Canada

Business competitiveness depends on consumers’ trust that the rules of the economic game are fair for everyone. But are they fair?

Let’s take the case of taxes. Any taxation system is based upon a moral contract. When people pay taxes to a government, they trust that it will use their money to deal with problems too complicated or too expensive for each individual to deal with on his or her own.

But our trust that each Canadian is indeed paying his or her fair share in taxes is declining. It’s partly because of tax avoidance. But one crucial problem is hiding in plain sight: the Canadian tax system has not been systematically reviewed since the 1960s. It means the government doesn’t even have information about how the tax system can be made fairer and more effective. Think of all the enormous technological, social, and financial changes that have occurred since the 1960s.  

Therefore the Green Party proposes a wide-ranging Federal Tax Commission as a wise investment in our economy. We’ve costed it at $10 million over two years. It’s money well spent if we can make the tax system more efficient while identifying loopholes we should close. Such a review would help restore Canadians’ trust that our tax system works for everyone. It would help restore people’s faith in the rules of our larger economic system, boost consumer confidence, and lead to greater economic participation.


JD Meaney

People’s Party of Canada

Canadians face many challenges and corrective action is needed. The interest payment of $25 billion on a debt approaching $1 trillion is unstainable.

I present to you our economic plan. The People’s Party government will do the following:

Balance the federal budget in 2 years and remain fiscally responsible towards tax payers.

Set the federal income tax at two rates. Personal exemption will be set at $15,000. $15,001 – $100,000 will be set at 15% and $100,001 onwards will be set at 25%.

Set our corporate tax rate at 10%.

Encourage reinvestment in Canada by ending capital gains tax.

Promote an environment for a thriving economy of entrepreneurship and small businesses.

Not pick winners and losers in business. We will end corporate welfare to businesses who have relied on government subsidies for many years.

Solve Canada’s energy crisis by building pipelines and repeal bills C-48 and C-69.

Prioritize our immigration levels on skills and merit.

Review the equalization formula for provinces, making it fairer for the provinces who really need it.

Eliminate interprovincial trade barriers making it easier for provinces to move goods and services across our vast nation.

End supply management on farming commodities such as dairy, poultry and eggs, making basic groceries more affordable for our poorest Canadians.

I believe in individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness and respect.

I look forward to honourably serve the people of Oakville as your next Member of Parliament.

It’s our future.


Terence Young

Conservative Party of Canada

If you believe the Liberals, our economy is in great shape. Employment is high. We have 4% growth. 

Trudeau and Morneau claim we should add another $100 B in debt over the next four years, after adding $76 B in the last four, and planning to add debt yearly forever.

To be clear, they have no plan to ever balance the budget.

Is this spending and economy sustainable? 

International investors don’t think so. They are fleeing Canada. Direct foreign investment has crashed by 80% in the last five years.

Canadian investors don’t think so either. Canadian investment abroad has tripled.

Our exporters are losing billions. Entrepreneurs are leaving Canada to avoid paying 53.5% tax rates.

Justin Trudeau’s international antics and costumes have embarrassed Canada, hurting trade relations with key trading partners. 

We can’t grow our economy and increase markets for GTA businesses when capital is deserting Canada, new trade deals are frozen, major infrastructure projects are on hold, and taxes are driving out entrepreneurs.      

Under my Conservative government we had a balanced budget by 2015 and the lowest business and personal taxes in 50 years. And we will do that again.

We will balance the budget in 5 years, by cutting corporate welfare and reducing unneeded foreign aid; consult properly with First Nations to get pipelines and other infrastructure built in a national energy corridor, put more money in the pockets of ordinary people with tax cuts, reset trade relations, and kill the ineffective and punishing carbon tax.



What the Oakville North-Burlington Candidates Are Saying: 2019 Federal Election

As part of the Oakville Chamber’s advocacy efforts leading up to the federal election on October 21st, we invited candidates to share with our members their vision with the Oakville business community.  Specifically, how their party’s policies and/or platform would strengthen Oakville’s business competitiveness.  

Their responses are included below in alphabetical order by last name (as seen on the Elections Canada ballot). 

To learn more about the Canadian Chamber of Commerce priorities for this election, check out Vote Prosperity. 


Pam Damoff

Liberal Party of Canada

Oakville’s businesses drive job creation, and government can support their efforts to create jobs. Since 2015, unemployment has fallen to historic lows, and our community has a strong record of economic growth. Canadian families now have one of the lowest effective tax rates in the OECD and the lowest in the G7. A re-elected Liberal government will make it more affordable for businesses to move forward, grow and create more good jobs.

 
We will eliminate the “swipe fee” on HST and GST that merchants must pay to credit card companies every time a credit card is swiped, saving businesses $500 million a year in fees.
 
We will cut the cost of federal incorporation by 75 per cent, eliminating fees for federal business advisory services, and automating records of employment. We will create the Canada Entrepreneur Account, providing up to 2,000 entrepreneurs a year with as much as $50,000 to launch a new business. We will slash corporate taxes in half for companies that develop products that have zero emissions as we move forward with an ambitious and achievable plan to combat climate change.
 
We will build on the work we’ve done over the last four years to lower taxes for small businesses from 11% to 9%, safeguard our trading relationships, grow our exports and help businesses seize new opportunities at home and abroad. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to make sure that our community’s entrepreneurs have the support they need to succeed.

Nicolas Dion

New Democratic Party of Canada

No response received.


Michael Houghton

Green Party of Canada

No response received.


Gilbert Joseph Jubinville

People’s Party of Canada

People’s Party of Canada free and open market policies are based on 4 core values.

     Personal Responsibility
     Individual Freedom
     Respect, fairness

Taxes:

  • Balance the budget within two years
  • Cut federal tax to 15% on income between $15,001 and $100,000, and 25% tax rate on income above $100,000
  • Abolish the Capital Gains Tax.

Regulatory

  • We will consider creating a Minister of Regulatory Efficiency responsible for regulatory oversight at the Treasury.
  • Establishment of individual property rights on reserves.
  • Phase out the supply management system over a number of years
  • Allow Canada’s dairy, egg and poultry farmers to sell their products internationally.
  • Reduce the total amount of equalization payments to provinces.
  • Establish a parliamentary committee to review and make recommendations on a new formula

Trade

  • Reassert the authority and leadership of the federal government on internal trade.
  • Use section 91(2) of the Constitution, which gives Ottawa exclusive power to regulate matters of international and interprovincial trade.
  • Appoint a Minister of Internal Trade

Small and mid size business

  • Permanently expand the accelerated capital cost allowance to all sectors
  • Drop Corporate Income Tax to 10%
  • Abolish the Carbon tax and no Cap & Trade. 

Connected Canada

  • Abolish the CRTC. Open and Free Markets will increase competition

Skills

  • Reform the immigration point system and the related programs to accept a larger proportion of economic immigrants with the right skills

Sean Weir

Conservative Party of Canada

Small and medium sized businesses are the bedrock of many communities.  As I have been knocking on doors, speaking to the residents and business owners of Oakville North–Burlington, one thing has remained clear, life is more expensive and complicated under Justin Trudeau. Trudeau’s never-ending tax hikes and new regulations are making it harder to operate and grow local businesses. His job-killing carbon tax, increased CPP and EI premiums, and changes to the small business tax regime all negatively impact thousands of local businesses.

The Liberal government attacked local businesses to pay for their out-of-control spending. Despite a massive backlash across the country, including in Oakville, Justin Trudeau steamrolled ahead, claiming that business owners were just rich tax cheats. The Liberals complex tax grab would penalize family businesses for sharing earnings and work with family members.

A new Conservative government will understand the critical role you as a business owner plays in our community and we will help you get ahead.  Specifically, we will:

  • Repeal Trudeau’s tax increases on small business investments
  • Exempt spouses from tax increases on small business dividends
  • Make it easier to navigate Canada’s tax system and the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Reduce federal regulations by 25 per cent
  • Implement a 2-for-1 rule for new regulations
  • Assign a Minister to lead red tape reduction efforts
  • Champion Canada’s small businesses to the world

I am running to champion the residents and businesses of Oakville North – Burlington so they can get ahead, not just get by.



2019 Federal Candidates Debate

On Tuesday, October 1 the Oakville Chamber of Commerce partnered with Sheridan College and YourTV to host 2019 Federal Candidates Debate for the Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington electoral districts.

Questions were drawn from the Oakville Chamber membership, the Canadian Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity Platform, and the Oakville Chamber’s Roadmap for Business Success

Both debates are being broadcasted on YourTV until Election Day (Monday, October 21st). View the schedule.

You can also watch the debates on their website.

For voter information, please visit Elections Canada.

Addressing Regional Imbalances Critical to Ontario’s Future

Industry report outlines strategies to unlock the economic potential of communities across the province

Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber Network, released a new report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies. The report outlines how government of all levels can work with industry to unleash the potential of Ontario’s regional economies and reinforce the competitiveness of the province as a whole.

“We are only as strong as our weakest link and our ability to prosper depends on the strength of our different regions. Economic and population growth rates in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Ottawa have far surpassed those in other areas of the province,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Our communities – and the province as a whole – risk falling behind if we do not leverage the rich and diverse competitive advantages of our local economies.”

The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies examines the opportunities and challenges faced by different communities across the province and offers a framework for thinking about the present and future of Ontario’s regional economies.

“We urge policymakers to take a modern and comprehensive approach to economic development by leveraging the existing competitiveness advantages of Ontario’s regions, and implement deliberate strategies to support long-term growth in communities across the province,” added Rossi.

The Ontario Chamber Network’s report makes 17 recommendations to strengthen the well-being of Ontario’s regions. Key takeaways include:

  • The most cost-effective way to drive economic development is to cultivate talent, trade, and infrastructure. Governments should make it a priority to upgrade transportation and energy networks, modernize their regulations and business supports, offer dynamic education and training opportunities, and encourage labour mobility.

  • Building regional capacity for innovation is fundamental to productivity and growth. This means improving commercialization and technology adoption, strengthening regional innovation centres, expanding broadband internet access, and facilitating cluster development.

  • Modern governance of economic development should empower a wide range of stakeholders including businesses, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations outside government. Regional collaboration, economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and the use of data are all critical to mobilizing local assets.

“In the face of technological transformation and globalization, there is no question that Ontario has what it takes to succeed. We are optimistic that the province can successfully navigate the modern economy if we work together to unlock the economic potential of our communities,” said Drew Redden, President and CEO, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

 

Read the Ontario Chamber Network’s report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies.

Read the Ontario Chamber Network’s full list of recommendations.

 


Unleashing the economic potential of Ontario’s beverage alcohol sector

Ontario Chamber Network Recommends a Comprehensive Approach to Alcohol Reform in Ontario

Today, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a new report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario. This report outlines how the province could modernize the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol and responsibly promote growth across all four categories – wine, beer, spirits, and cider. 

“Ontarians want to see a more modern, convenient beverage alcohol retail system and we are closer than ever to substantive reforms to how alcohol is distributed, bought, and sold in Ontario,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The report finds that, despite public support for modernization, reform is a more complex undertaking than it appears at first glance, due to the complexity of legislation and regulation involved. As the government proceeds with reforms to beverage alcohol sales, the Oakville Chamber and Ontario Chamber Network the need for a comprehensive approach to avoid perpetuating inequities in the taxation and regulation of wine, beer, cider, and spirits that limit growth.

“By removing barriers and levelling the playing field,” Rossi added, “The Province can unleash the potential of the beverage alcohol sector, support regional economic development, meet the needs of today’s consumer, and generate greater tax revenue to fund the public services on which Ontarians rely.”

Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario provides the Government of Ontario with a number of timely recommendations including:

  • Modernizing the sale of beverage alcohol by allowing beverage alcohol producers to sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces and platforms using third parties to process payments.
  • Alleviating tax burdens by reducing taxes on Ontario wines, aligning taxation levels for craft cider with those of craft beer, and applying a graduated tax to the current spirits basic tax.
  • Cutting red tape by reducing the reporting Ontario wineries and cideries have to complete from a monthly to quarterly basis, allowing Ontario spirits and craft beer producers with a retail store to sell their products at farmers’ markets, and providing airports with an exemption to allow for the sale of alcohol 24-hours-a-day.
  • Removing antiquated inter-provincial trade barriers by allowing consumers to purchase alcohol online from other provinces/territories and producers to deliver these products to the consumer’s home.

“The power of the alcohol sector to be a force for economic growth extends beyond just the expected industries. The production, distribution, and sale of alcohol has a ripple effect that benefits agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and retail throughout the province” stated Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  

 

Read the Ontario Chamber Network report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario here.



Vote Prosperity: Federal Election Platform

Vote Prosperity

“Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched Vote Prosperity, the Canadian Chamber Network’s election platform. Vote Prosperity calls on all of the federal parties to support Canada’s job creators by including these seven priorities in their election platforms:

  1. A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern.
  2. A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business.
  3. Access to new markets around the world and the breaking down of trade barriers at home.
  4. Resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses grow and succeed at home and abroad.
  5. Technology that makes Canada the most connected country in the world.
  6. A workforce with the skills, education and training required to prosper.
  7. A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians.

The Oakville Chamber will advocate on behalf of our members on these important priorities. We look forward to working with all of the candidates in the upcoming Federal Election.”

Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce


Visit www.voteprosperityCA.ca to learn more about this initiative.



Oakville Chamber of Commerce gives thumbs up to Draft Economic Development Strategy

The draft Economic Development Strategy being received by the Town’s Planning and Development Council signals that the Economic Development Department is committed to providing a foundation upon which businesses can prosper.

Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce said “The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is encouraged to see that the Economic Development Department has listened to the business community and is making plans to improve the business climate in Oakville.”

“Last fall we released The Roadmap to Business Success highlighting four pillars identified by our members: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruiting and Retaining Talent and Innovation. This strategy clearly addresses many of our member priorities that will foster a business supportive environment while encouraging economic growth for the Town” Redden continued.

The draft Strategy has been developed through research and community consultation of which the Oakville Chamber was part of, underscores key areas of concern to the business community such as reducing red tape, improving transportation services, and the ability to recruit and retain talent.

The document also highlights professional and financial services, digital media, information communications technology film and life sciences as key sectors of growth. 

Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce said “We commend the Town’s Economic Development Department for identifying opportunities where the Town can support existing businesses while promoting the long-term health of our local economy.”

 “As an advocate for the Oakville business community, we look forward to further consultation with the Town of Oakville as it embarks on finalizing its five-year strategy and its commitment to making Oakville the best place to work in Canada.”

Provincial Budget 2019

“The Oakville Chamber has been focusing our advocacy efforts on four key priorities: Transportation and Infrastructure, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent, and Innovation. The Chamber is encouraged to see these member priorities reflected in the Provincial Budget.

The Chamber also welcomes the government’s focus on building a more competitive tax environment. The Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive will provide the needed tax relief for business while promoting investment and job growth. The Oakville Chamber, along with the Ontario Chamber Network, will continue to encourage the government to help small businesses scale-up by creating a variable small business tax rate.

The Oakville Chamber looks forward to seeing more details on the government’s planned investments of $14.7 billion in infrastructure over the next ten years, and will continue to press the government to address the province’s infrastructure deficit.”

-Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce


Read the Ontario Chamber of Commerce analysis.

Read the Provincial Budget 2019.



Federal Budget 2019

“The Oakville Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate that the Government focus on and address four key priorities identified by our members; Transportation, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent and Innovation.

While the Budget delivers on some of our advocacy priorities that will advance the competitiveness of our members, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and housing affordability, it does fail to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burden on businesses.

The Oakville Chamber, along with the Canadian Chamber network continue to look for a commitment from the Federal Government for a comprehensive review of the taxation system to make it fair and less cumbersome for businesses as well as a broad-based commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Oakville Chamber will continue to engage with Federal representatives to advocate on behalf of our members, ensuring the focus remains on increasing overall business competitiveness and fostering innovation here in Oakville and across our Country.”

– Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Read the Canadian Chamber of Commerce analysis.



Canadian Business Associations United To Press For Action On Resources

National Letter for National Day of Action and Senate Committee Testimony

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce, representing 1,200 local businesses, is joining other Chambers from across the country to sound the alarm that Canada is at an economic and social tipping point because of our failure to get energy resource infrastructure built.

The cohesion of our country is threatened by the devastating impact of low oil prices, our inability to get energy resources to global markets and a growing sense of alienation among Canadians who live and work in the resources sector.

Our natural resources should be a source of pride for all Canadians. As producers of some of the cleanest, most ethically-produced energy products in the world, we should be doing all we can as a country to get them to global markets, where they can get a fair price, help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to our prosperity as a nation.

Canada’s economic well-being is at risk and the growing sense that Canadians who live in resource-dependent regions are being ignored is creating deep and serious divisions among our citizens. We need to come together as one country and this letter is intended to deliver a clear message to politicians in Ottawa and across Canada: the businesses in your jurisdictions want you to act and act now.

In order to do so, we are asking Canada’s federal and provincial leaders to:

  • Make amendments to Bill C-69 to bring greater clarity, predictability and transparency to the bill, as outlined in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senate submission.
  • Get our energy resources to tidewater, starting by recognizing that the Trans-Mountain Expansion is in the national interest and by expediting its construction in uncontested jurisdictions.
  • Implement the regulatory changes promised in the Fall Economic Update.
  • Declare a broad mutual recognition of each province’s standards, across all sectors.

Canadians in all regions believe that we can and should get our resources responsibly to global markets.

Canada’s business community is prepared to do its part. We need Canada’s politicians do theirs. Now.

Sincerely,

Drew Redden
President & CEO
Oakville Chamber of Commerce