Category: Federal Government Relations

Statement on the 2019 Federal Election

Congratulations to Anita Anand and Pam Damoff on being elected in the ridings of Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington.

The Oakville Chamber appreciated the level of engagement from all candidates as we had important conversations about the future of the economy and the priorities of business here in Oakville. 

We look forward to continuing those important conversations with Anita Anand and Pam Damoff as we work together to support our local economy and strengthen Oakville’s business competitiveness.

The Oakville Chamber also extends its congratulations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada on forming a minority government.  

– Drew Redden, President & CEO, Oakville Chamber of Commerce



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.

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.



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



Canada is at an economic and social tipping point because of our inability to get energy resource infrastructure built. The business community presses for action from federal government

Canada’s resource sector remains a vital driver of our economy, helping to create jobs and economic prosperity not just for those who work in the sector, but for millions of Canadians across the country.  These resources must be developed responsibly and sustainably and we must support the development of the infrastructure required to ship them to markets across Canada and around the world.   

The oil and gas industry is Canada’s largest private investor, $40 billion annually.  Canada is currently struggling to attract investment to the resource sector. Rising costs from increased taxation, a burdensome regulatory environment, and the lack of pipeline infrastructure is negatively affecting our ability to compete for the capital needed to create jobs and national prosperity.

In an effort to resolve some of these issues, the government introduced Bill C-69, a piece of government legislation titled “The modernization of the National Energy Board Act (NEBA) and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).” It seeks to overhaul both the NEBA and CEAA, changing how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada.  The Bill has been passed by the House of Commons and is now in its third reading in Senate.

Although the Canadian Chamber supports the objective of a review and assessment process initiated by the government, the business community has a number of concerns with Bill C69 as it contains flaws that could seriously disadvantage specific sectors. 

As drafted, Bill C69 could lead to greater uncertainty in the assessment and review processes. The new bill requires assessment and decisions based on broad public policy questions that are beyond the scope of individual projects. It introduces longer timelines, and vague criteria that will increase the risk of legal challenges. Additionally, it gives the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada broad discretionary powers, which could further increase uncertainty for major infrastructure projects

Unless these issues are resolved, the legislation will increase regulatory uncertainty for many of Canada’s resource sectors and their related industries.  This uncertainty will deter investment and undermine economic growth and job creation.  Attempting to deal with the diversity of projects covered by the legislation with a one-size-fits-all legislative solution is doomed to fail.  To achieve its intended purpose, Bill C69 must be flexible enough to address the unique circumstances of all of our resource and infrastructure projects from ports, mining and utilities, to oil and gas, among others. 

Subsequently, the Oakville Chamber is joining other Chambers across the country to call on the government to make amendments to Bill C-69 that will institute a regulatory process that allows for certainty, predictability and transparency to the Bill. This requires clear deadlines, keeping larger national policy discussion separate from the technical project reviews, and respecting provincial jurisdictions.  We are calling on the government to 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. 

Pipeline delays and cancellations, open-ended and expensive consultation processes, and general project uncertainty have already scared off a great deal of investment capital and have put many projects at risk.

If this bill is passed without significant amendments, it will create enormous uncertainty, more red tape and increased court challenges. Not only for the energy sector but for virtually every major infrastructure project in Canada for years to come, threatening our economic prosperity.

In a global business environment, it is critical that our regulatory systems balance economic growth with environmental protection and that our elected government create the conditions for that sustainable growth.

– Faye Lyons, Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy






The Accelerating Pace of Change: Economic, Business and Policy Outlook for 2019

Last night business and association executives, as well as senior public servants gathered at our annual Crystal Ball Symposium to hear from leading experts on how trends in technology, the global economy and international politics will affect Canadian business 2019 and beyond.   

This year’s event featured Linda Mantia, Chief Operating Officer for Manulife.  Responsible for globally leading corporate strategy and corporate development, analytics, technology, marketing, innovation, human resources, regulatory and public affairs, global resourcing and procurement, and the global program office. Ms. Mantia and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist Trevin Stratton discussed topics ranging from the growing economic divide and the national economy to strategies for businesses during this period of change.

In the full report, released today, we lay out what we heard over the course of the last year about the environment businesses expect to be operating in throughout 2019 and the implications that has for policy-makers and business leaders.

Read the full outlook.


10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins: 2019 Election Edition

For the past seven years the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published the 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins (formerly the Top 10 Barriers to Canadian Competitiveness).

This report, which is read widely by decision-makers in government and elsewhere, articulates a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow the economy.

It is key that the 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins reflects the views of our members—businesses big and small throughout Canada—especially in an election year. That is why, this year, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Hill+Knowlton Strategies on this feedback exercise. 

Please participate in this 5-to-10-minute confidential feedback survey.




By giving us your input, you will be:

  • shaping the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 message to the federal government and other stakeholders, and
  • telling chambers of commerce at the national, provincial, territorial and local levels about the priorities that are important to you, both as a Canadian and a business person.

Please provide your input!