Category: What’s New

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!




A Roadmap for Business Success: Oakville Municipal Election 2018

A Roadmap for Business Success

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce provides recommendations to drive economic development to the forefront of the municipal election

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce released A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election. A Roadmap for Business Success builds off a recent advocacy survey conducted by the Oakville Chamber and provides all candidates running in the municipal election with the key issues and priorities facing the local business community. A Roadmap for Business Success, is built on four pillars:

1. Business Competitiveness

Oakville Chamber members identified the top issues impacting business competitiveness as;
  • Taxation
  • Red Tape
  • Cost of Housing
Strengthening the competitiveness of the Oakville Business Community must remain a priority for all candidates during this campaign.

 2. Transportation

The Oakville Chamber encourages the Town to work with local business to better understand and track employee commutes of those entering Oakville through the GO network for the last mile of their journey.
  • 75% of survey respondents stated that congestion on Oakville roads is a barrier to their business.

3. Recruit and Retain Talent

Oakville is home to a world class educational institution and over 300 national and international corporate head offices. We must leverage the talent and opportunity we have in our own backyard.
  •  3 in 10 respondents highlighted that recruiting and retaining talent in Oakville can be a challenge for their business.

4. Innovation

The Chamber encourages innovation by partnering with the business and tech community to pilot projects that drive smart city initiatives. The Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project presents an opportunity to lay the foundation for Oakville to be one of the most connected and innovative communities in Ontario. Oakville must leverage the new technology and infrastructure on Lakeshore to enhance the connectivity across the entire Town. Prioritizing data collection will enable the Town to analyze the opportunities to foster innovation and increase efficiency.
In partnership with YourTV and Sheridan College, the Oakville Chamber will be hosting a Mayoral Debate in October. In the four weeks leading up to the debate, the Chamber will be releasing Mayoral Candidate statements highlighting the candidates’ vision on how they would address each of the four pillars.

Nominations Open for the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

 The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE), hosted by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oakville West, is now accepting nominations for the 24th Annual Awards. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 28th at 4pm EST.

The OABE is dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses. “We encourage members of the business community and general public to nominate any Oakville-based business with whom you’ve had consistently great experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to formally acknowledge their dedication, hard work and contribution to our community” stated Peter DeGroot, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West.

The 24th Annual OABE award categories open for nomination are:

  • RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of more than 20 employees and/or primarily serves the provincial, national and international markets and/or generates approximately $10 million or more in revenue annually.
  • Bell Mid-size Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 5-20 employees and/or primarily serves the regional/provincial markets and/or generates between $2 million-$10 million in revenue annually. 
  • Small Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 1-5 full time equivalent employees and/or primarily serves Oakville and district and/or generates up to approximately $2 million in revenue annually.
  • Professional Services Provider of the Year: This award recognizes a person or employee team with a professional designation and whose practice is regulated by a provincial regulatory body within Canada.
  • The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award: This award recognizes a business that primarily earns revenue through providing products and services. Nominees will be considered from the following industries but not limited to: retail, food service, health & wellness and education.
  • KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year:This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary entrepreneurship, energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits.
  • Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award): This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits. Nominees must be under the age of 40 (as of December 31, 2018).


“The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence celebrate the many contributions our business community makes to the outstanding quality of life we enjoy here in Oakville,” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “This year we are excited to introduce a new award, The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award to recognize the service-based businesses in our community. We are also pleased to have the Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award) return for a second year, which recognizes the leadership and innovation driven by Oakville’s young professionals.”

All nominations submitted will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges rating them against criteria set for each category.The Judges are individuals from the professional community who bring a wealth of professional expertise and unique business experiences, having made significant contributions to their own professions.

The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence culminates in a gala dinner and award ceremony in March 2019. The proceeds from the evening, including the considerable support from our Partners, provide funds for the Rotary Club’s youth and academic programs.

To be eligible for nomination, businesses must be physically located in the Town of Oakville and cannot have won in any category in the last five years. A complete list of category criteria and eligibility rules can be found at www.oabe.ca. Nominations can be submitted online at www.oabe.ca. Alternatively, forms are available at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  For assistance, please call Karen Pomfret at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.  



Regulatory burden undermining business competitiveness, new Chamber report finds

Regulate Smarter


Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government. A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, calls on governments to modernize their regulatory frameworks and give businesses in Canada room to thrive.

“Inconsistent and unpredictable rules and processes are making it difficult for businesses—whether large or small—to keep up and comply. This leads to our businesses being less competitive and Canada becoming a less attractive place to invest, start or grow a business,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Regulations are designed to keep us safe and to create a level playing field. But when they start to smother businesses, that becomes a real problem.”

As the U.S., our largest competitor and trading partner, has recently implemented significant corporate tax and regulatory reforms, Canada cannot afford to fall further behind. Today’s report identifies opportunities to increase public and investor confidence in Canada’s regulatory systems and provides clear recommendations to government on how it should be done.

“The Oakville Chamber partnered with the Canadian Chamber to release this important report” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “It supports the results from the latest Advocacy Survey we distributed to our members, in which over 70% stated that regulations are unreasonable and excessive. I look forward to meeting with our local elected government officials to discuss how we can work together with regulators and businesses to improve the competitiveness of our regulatory systems.”

Some of the recommendations to improve regulatory competitiveness include:
  1. Immediately convene a government-business regulatory competitiveness working group. The working group would develop recommendations for the federal government to measure and reduce cumulative regulatory burden. It would also develop recommendations for governments to ensure a consistent application of regulatory guidelines across jurisdictions and ensure the adoption of best practices by regulators.
  2. Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure economic impacts receive appropriate consideration in decision-making while preserving necessary protections.
  3. Increase federal leadership in eliminating internal trade barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
  4. Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
  5. Improve regulatory consultations through earlier engagement with stakeholders while ensuring processes are transparent and evidence-based. Project-based public consultations should be time-limited and focused on projects, not other policy issues.
  6. Make overly prescriptive regulatory frameworks more flexible to better accommodate rapidly changing business environments by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
  7. Increase regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners by integrating regulatory cooperation into free trade agreements and design new regulations with alignment by default where it is in Canada’s economic interest to do so.

Read the full report. 

Learn more at regulatesmarter.com

Concerns of Business Cannot Be Ignored This Election Campaign: Oakville Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario’s Business Advocate mobilizes around election priorities in 135 communities across the province

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are mobilizing this election to bring their recommendations in Vote Prosperity to political leaders and local candidates across the province. Over the course of the campaign, local chambers and boards of trade will be boldly pushing the Vote Prosperity message through local debates, events and stakeholder meetings.

“The Oakville Chamber of Commerce, along with Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across the province have been advocating tirelessly with local candidates and elected officials, highlighting business priorities for this election,” said Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “During this election campaign, we will continue those efforts, calling on our local candidates’ political party leaders to adopt our economic plan that will help strengthen businesses competitiveness, foster job creation, build healthy communities and improve government accountability.”

Since October, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Oakville Chamber of Commerce have been meeting with local candidates, elected officials at Queen’s Park and senior public policy leaders, to advocate for the recommendations for a strong Ontario outlined in Vote Prosperity. As leaders in their communities, during the campaign period local chambers and boards of trades will be hosting all candidates debates and events, with a focus on the Vote Prosperity message.

With industry feeling the impacts of the increasing cumulative burden, the Ontario Chamber Network has also warned that Ontario’s next government must be committed to taking bold action in providing pro-growth policy solutions.

“Ontario has the foundation for sustainable and equitable growth. But, bold action and leadership will be required of the newly elected Government of Ontario, whether it is Liberal, PC or NDP,” added Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

 Vote Prosperity is based on four pillars for Ontario:

  1. Strengthen business competitiveness: Rising input costs, especially those costs deriving from government regulation and policy, are the most common and acute concern of the business community in Ontario.
  2. Foster Job Creation: A robust labour market consisting of good jobs is essential to prosperity for all Ontarians.
  3. Build Healthy Communities: Building strong communities through adequate and affordable housing, sustainable health care, and good infrastructure also supports business prosperity and growth, which supports those communities.
  4. Improve Government Accountability: Poor implementation of government initiatives can result in resource waste, political frustration and disruption for ordinary citizens, as demonstrated by a series of policy failures under governments of all political stripes.

The platform provides eighteen unique recommendations that will help bolster Ontario’s long-term economic future, while also addressing the pressing issues the province currently faces.

The full list of recommendations in Vote Prosperity can be found at www.oakvillechamber.com/voteprosperity/


Sold Out Crowd Celebrates Business Excellence in Oakville

Recipients include representatives from iCare Home Health, Florence Meats, Naylor Building Partnerships Inc., Positive Accounting, La Parisienne Creperie, Zarr Tech, Canlan Ice Sports Corp, Piper Foods Inc., Crime Stoppers of Halton and FCT (Absent: Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems).


Oakville celebrated business leaders in their community at the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala on Tuesday, March 27 where over 560 guests gathered at the Oakville Conference Centre. Presented by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West, this annual event attracts business, community, government and political leaders, as well as professionals and entrepreneurs from the local business community.

“The Oakville Chamber is thrilled by the tremendous support shown by the business community at tonight’s gala,” said Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We offer our congratulations to all the finalists and award recipients.”

The Genworth Community of the Year Award was awarded to Piper Foods Inc./McDonald’s Restaurants. John Piper, Owner of Piper Foods Inc.  accepted the award. Known for their extensive support of local organizations including Dog Guides of Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Oakville Hospital Foundation, they recently completed a pledge of $250,000 towards construction of the new hospital. An active partner in the Region of Halton’s hiring program, Piper Foods participates in workshops educating young people to better prepare them to find a job. John Piper takes pride in preparing people of all ages and backgrounds to enter or re-enter the workforce by providing entry-level positions in the community, coupled with a solid training program. Investing in team members’ personal development is key to their business philosophy and each year, the company awards 4 scholarships for a total of $4,000.  Piper Foods Inc. became the first ever double recipient at the Awards Gala, also receiving the Franchisee of the Year Award.

The CN Charity/Not-for-Profit Excellence Award was presented to Crime Stoppers of Halton. Accepting the award on behalf of Crime Stoppers of Halton was Jan Westcott, Vice-Chair of the Board. Since its inception in 1988, the organization has been helping keep Halton Region a safe place to live, work and play. They have received over 18,000 anonymous tips on criminal activity which have led to the arrest of 1,188 individuals. Furthermore, these tips have recovered almost $3 million worth of stolen property, taken $18 million worth of illicit drugs taken off our streets, and seized 92 weapons. Crime Stoppers of Halton has strengthened their presence in our community by attending community events, conducting presentations at high schools through its Youth Initiative Program, its Roadside Sign Program, Community Secure Shred Events, hosting fundraising concerts and leading community awareness campaigns. Crime Stoppers of Halton’s dedication to preventing and solving crime contributes to Halton Region’s designation as Canada’s Safest Regional Municipality for the past 8 years.

This year’s Business Icon Award was presented to FCT. Michael LeBlanc, Chief Executive Officer of FCT accepted the award presented by John Sawyer, outgoing President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. From its beginning as the first title insurer in Canada to revolutionary valuations solutions, FCT has expanded its products and services to support customers across the real estate and recovery lifecycles. With more than 800 employees across Canada, including more than 300 at their home office in Oakville, the company focuses on creating a work culture where every employee has the opportunity to be great. In 2017, FCT launched their new brand identity “we’re invested” – which focuses on how they’re invested in customers, colleagues and the community. “FCT has an amazing business success story and as the Chamber of Commerce, we are so proud that they call Oakville home” commented John Sawyer.

In it’s 23rd year, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala continues to grow year over year, recognizing the important contributions of local business to the community. “We received a significant number of nominations from the Oakville community. The judges carefully reviewed all of the nominations and determined a list of 57 finalists, from which the award recipients were chosen” stated Lois Knepflar, President, Rotary Club of Oakville West.

To learn more about the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence, or to nominate a business for next year, please visit www.oabe.ca or contact Karen Pomfret by phone at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are proud to list the award recipients of the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence:

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year

Naylor, Building Partnerships Inc.

Bell Mid-size Business of the Year

Florence Meats

Small Business of the Year

iCare Home Health

KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year

Matthew Zarrillo of Zarr Tech

Young Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year

Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems  

Professional Services Provider of the Year

Positive Accounting

Franchisee of the Year

Piper Foods Inc. / McDonald’s Restaurant

The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year

La Parisienne Creperie

Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award

Canlan Ice Sports Corp.

Genworth Community Builder of the Year

Piper Foods Inc.

CN Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award

Crime Stoppers of Halton

Oakville’s Business Icon Award

FCT




Congratulations to the Finalists for the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence



The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are pleased to present the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE) that will culminate in a Gala Dinner on Tuesday, March 27th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The finalists for this year’s awards were officially announced at the OABE Nominee Reception held on Tuesday, February 6th at the Holiday Inn Oakville – Centre.  

This year, the award recipients will be chosen from finalists in nine categories: Small Business of the Year, Bell Mid-size Business of the Year, RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year, Professional Services Provider of the Year, Franchisee of the Year, The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year, KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award), and Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award.

At the awards gala, the recipient of the Genworth Community Builder Award, Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award, and Oakville’s Business Icon Award will be announced.

  • The Genworth Community Award recognizes a business that has, over time, demonstrated exemplary business practices and dedicated involvement in the community.
  • The Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award honours a charity or not-for-profit organization which is highly regarded in our community and raises funds or provides services to improve the lives of people within our community.
  • The Business Icon Award recognizes a prominent Oakville business which is highly regarded in the business community.

“The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence received an overwhelming number of nominations from the Oakville community. The judges carefully reviewed all of the nominations and selected a list of 56 finalists” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “I congratulate all of the finalists. It is truly an honour to be nominated by your customers and peers and to be recognized for your dedication, business practices, and community service.”

Working in partnership with The Rotary Club of Oakville West, the majority of funds raised from the Gala Dinner will be donated directly to the club’s local youth programs.

“Since its inception in 1995, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence has raised almost $1,000,000 for our youth initiatives including the Oakville Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards” said Lois Knepflar, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West. “We look forward to a fantastic evening to celebrate business excellence, while supporting the youth in our community.”

The Finalists for the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are:

Small Business of the Year

A.S. Security & Surveillance Inc.

Addison Music Learning Centre

Akita Natural Skin Care Products Canada

Caju Multimedia Inc.

DCM Event Management

Expert Island

iCare Home Health

Innovative HR

Oakview Funeral Home

Painters Place

Preferred Muffler, Brake & Auto Inc.

Qi Tranquility Spa

Resultel Technologies Inc.

Speckles Art Studio

Wines Unlimited

 

Bell Mid-size Business of the Year:

Automacs Collision Inc.

Cameron’s Brewing Company

ClubRunner

Florence Meats

JNB Auto Centre Inc.

Mico Systems Inc.

SupperWorks

Total Tech Pools and Leisure Inc.

 

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year:

Caravan Logistics Inc.

D’Orazio Infrastructure Group Limited

Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery

iFLY Toronto Indoor Skydiving

Naylor Building Partnerships Inc.

Rona

 

Professional Services Provider of the Year:

Bazar McBean LLP

Lakeshore Woods Pharmacy

Positive Accounting

The Milley Team (HollisWealth, A division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.)

 

Franchisee of the Year:

Liaison College (Oakville Campus)

Piper Foods Inc. (McDonald’s Restaurant)

 

The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year:

Bronte Sports Kitchen

La Parisienne Creperie

Oliver & Bonacini Café & Grill

The Pipes and Taps Pub

 

KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year:

Allie Ochs of Swiss Bionic Solutions

Ayse Kilic of Akita Canada

Dawn Porter-Schofield of Cornerstone Mediation

Jane Wilson of PoleFit Nation

John Thistlewaite of BCIS, Inc.

Matthew Zarrillo of Zarr Tech

Nicoletta Medeiros of Allure Laser Skin Studio

 

Young Professional and Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award):

Derek Lee of Media Rez Studios Inc.

Dr. Denise Handscomb, ND of Abaton Integrative Medicine  

James Montague of James Montague the Event Planner

Morsal Haidary of Lash Out Lounge and Spa

Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems

Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award:

Canlan Ice Sports Corp.

Iovate Health Sciences International Inc.

Mancor Industries

Oakville Honda

Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc.

 

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West thank Platinum Partner RBC for their generous support of the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence and Nominee Reception.

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, March 27th

Time: 5:30pm – Registration & Reception; 6:30pm – Dinner & Awards Gala

Location: Oakville Conference and Banquet Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Road

Tickets: $125 per person; $87.50 per person for Nominees

Purchase tickets online or by emailing info@oakvillechamber.com or calling the Oakville Chamber of Commerce at 905-845-6613.

 

 


Further Offset Measures Needed in Upcoming Budget to Keep Ontario Competitive

2018 Provincial Pre-Budget Submission


The Ontario Chamber Network calls for tax reform, smart spending to support Ontario businesses

Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, provided the Ontario government with 11 recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget that will help businesses manage costs and secure the province’s competitive advantage. The submission, presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, calls on the government to implement taxation reforms and smart infrastructure and transportation spending to maximize growth and benefit all regions of Ontario.

As the cost of doing business in the province continues to increase, and Ontario employers take on one of the largest wage increases in recent history, Ontario’s Chamber Network is recommending the government reinstate the scheduled corporate income tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 10 per cent. The submission also calls on the harmonization of the Business Education Tax across the province, as well as targeted reductions to the Employer Health tax.  

“Employers in Oakville of all sizes are feeling the pressure from rising costs, and more than ever our local business communities are lacking confidence in the future of Ontario’s economy,” said John Sawyer, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “The recent minimum wage and labour and employment standard changes will cost Ontario businesses an estimated $23 billion over the next two years. We need more support for business and the government’s commitments made in last year’s Fall Economic Statement are simply insufficient.”

The pre-budget submission also recommends that the government create additional small business deduction tax brackets, as well as delay taxation on corporate income growth to overcome the scale-up challenge.  Currently, all businesses with an annual income of $500,000 or less are taxed at a flat rate. A bracketed taxation system would give startup and SMEs more room to grow. Currently in Ontario, 71 per cent of private sector jobs can be attributed to the activities of small and medium sized enterprises.

“Ontario needs a competitive taxation system, that encourages investment and minimizes red tape, must be in Ontario’s long-term strategic plan,” said Mr. Sawyer. “As the U.S. pursues tax reform that would lower their federal corporate tax rate by 15 per cent, and with the uncertain future of NAFTA, we must find ways to keep Ontario competitive.”

The Ontario Chamber Network also encourages members of the committee and government to consider how are we leveraging Ontario’s greatest asset—human capital.

The recommendations outlined in the Ontario Chamber’s pre-budget submission all come directly from Ontario’s Chamber Network through policy resolutions at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.

Read the full submission and all 11 recommendations.



Coalition welcomes Senate recommendations, remains concerned with income sprinkling rules

New draft legislation on income sprinkling still raises concerns, says business coalition opposing tax changes

The legislation on income sprinkling released by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, while a step towards clarity, still represents an administrative and financial burden for a number of small businesses and the families that own them. 

The Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness, a unified voice of over 74 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of business owners across the country, remains concerned that the new rules will cause business owners to have to cut through burdensome interpretative red tape in their efforts to prove that they or family members belong in one of the categories that would exempt them from the new sprinking rules. The coalition continues to urge government to create a blanket exemption for spouses.

“The measures announced by Min. Morneau leave many small business owners scratching their heads, especially if they will have to deal with  the Canada Revenue Agency interpretation of reasonableness,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Although there has been some improvement, these are not measures to be rushed. This situation highlights the need for an in-depth overhaul of our tax system, in order to make it more competitive.”

“The measures announced are slated to come into force in two weeks. That’s far from enough time for businesses to adapt,” said Dan Kelly, President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “We continue to urge the government to slow down, and to listen to the recommendations from the Senate Committee on National Finance.”

The Senate Standing Committee on National Finance issued a report that recommends the government withdraw the proposed changes to the taxation of private corporations in Canada, or barring that, to push back their application to 2019. The Senate Committee is also issuing a recommendation to proceed with an in-depth review of the country’s tax system.

Given the complexity of these proposals, more time is needed to ensure that these changes can be implemented and do not harm small businesses, the backbone of the Canadian economy. The coalition stands ready to work with the government to find solutions that won’t adversely affect small business’ ability to grow, innovate and create jobs.

The Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness is encouraging business owners and other concerned Canadians to contact their Members of Parliament and use the hashtags #unfairtaxchanges #taxesinéquitables on social media. For the full list of Coalition members, please visit smallbiztaxfairness.ca.  


#ProtectGrowth : Small Business Tax Changes Update

On October 16, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the federal government’s response to the more than 21,000 submissions it received during the previous three months with regard to the government’s proposed changes to the tax treatment of small business.

The key provisions contained in his announcement and the Canadian Chamber’s messaging with regard to each are summarized below.

In addition to responding to the government’s new proposed tax changes, the Canadian Chamber Network has called on the government to undertake a comprehensive review of
the tax system recommending that it establish a Royal Commission to do so. In light of mounting regulatory compliance costs imposed by all levels of government, proposed carbon taxes, and the prospect of US tax reform, the Chamber will launch its own competitiveness assessment of Canada’s business tax system in 2018. The findings of our review will help to shape the priorities for tax
reform.

Dates to look out for:
  • December 15 – The Senate Finance Committee will release its report on the Small Business Tax changes based on the cross-country consultations it undertook during the fall in which many Chambers took an active role.
  • Sometime before Christmas (our bet is just before Christmas) – The government’s new rules on income sprinkling need to be tabled if the government is to meet its January 1 date for implementation.
  • March – Budget 2018 will most likely contain draft legislation on passive investment.

Key Messages to MPs

1. Chambers are still very concerned about the potential negative impacts the government’s small business tax changes are likely to have on small business investment and growth.
2. Tax changes should be postponed until their full economic impacts can be taken into account.
3. The government must urgently address the broader issue of the competitiveness of Canada’s tax system.
4. The government should establish a Royal Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the tax system.


Changes announced by Finance Minister Morneau

1. The Small Business Corporate Tax Rate will be reduced
The government will reduce the federal small business tax rate from its current level of 10.5% to 10% as of January 1, 2018 and 9% as of January 1, 2019. This measure reinstates the gradual rate reduction to 9% announced by the previous government but halted in Budget 2016. The tax rate reduction was included in a Notice of Ways and Means Motion tabled as part of the government’s Economic Update on October 24. This reduction will save companies earning $500,000 in income eligible for the small business deduction $2,500 in 2018 and $7,500 annually from 2019 on.
The Canadian Chamber Network  has welcomed this move.

2. Higher taxes on Ordinary Dividends
In conjunction with the small business rate reduction, the personal tax rate applied to ordinary (non-eligible) dividends will increase. The purpose is to maintain the integrative nature of the personal and corporate tax systems, ensuring that the aggregate level of tax paid on dividends will remain the same regardless of whether income is earned as an individual or through a corporation. However, this change could result in an overall tax increase for some small business owners, which for some might exceed the savings associated with a reduction in the small business tax rate. Personal tax rates will increase on dividend distributions from earnings that were taxed at a higher rate (like distributions of earnings taxed at a higher small business or manufacturing and processing rate or future distributions of passive investment income). There will be no grandfathering of lower personal dividend tax rates on distributions of these accumulated retained earnings.
The Chamber Network has proposed that a grandfathering mechanism be introduced.

3. Rules related to “Income Sprinkling” will be simplified
Widespread and serious concerns were raised during the consultation period with respect to the complex rules the government was proposing to introduce aimed at restricting the payment of income to adult family members unless the amounts were determined to be reasonable. The government also proposed that it would treat some capital gains as ordinary dividends.  The government received thousands of submissions detailing concerns about how these proposed rules could result in nearly doubling the tax rate on inter-generational family business transitions or other legitimate business transfers to related parties. The complexity and uncertainty of the proposed changes was also an issue of common concern, as was the likelihood of the proposed measures unleashing an army of CRA tax auditors working on different interpretations of what reasonableness actually means.

In response to the consultations, the government confirmed that the measures related to income sprinkling would be simplified in order to provide greater certainty for family members who contribute to a family business. No further details have been provided
since October 16.

There are still many uncertainties about these proposals. What does simplification and clarification mean? What does a reasonable contribution to a business mean? Will the conversion of capital gains to ordinary dividends remain in the simplified legislation? And, when will the simplified draft legislation be released? (The previous version was to come into effect January 1, 2018. The government will need to table its simplified version before then if the effective date is to remain unchanged – Look out for the rule changes to be announced just before Christmas.)

The Chamber Network remains concerned that the changes when they are announced will not take into consideration all of the ways that family members contribute to a small business and that the reasonableness test that will be applied by CRA will still be intrusive and complex.
We have called for the government to:
  • Announce its simplified rules as soon as possible and allow ample time for input from business;
  • Consider at a minimum an exemption from the rules for spouses; and,
  • Postpone the implementation of the changes until January 1, 2019 at the very least.
4. Access to the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption will not be changed
The Finance Minister announced that the government will not proceed with its proposal to restrict access for certain shareholders to the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE). The Chamber Network welcomes this change.

5. Rules governing the Conversion of Capital Gains into Dividends will not be changed
The Finance Minister also announced that the government will not proceed with draft legislation tabled last July that would convert capital gains into taxable dividends. The Chamber Network welcomes this change.

6. The government will work to make it easier and less costly to transfer business to the next generation.
The Chamber welcomes the government’s willingness to improve the tax treatment of intergenerational transfers and looks forward to working with the government to this end.

7. Proposals for the tax treatment of Passive Income will be revised.
The government intends to proceed with proposals to increase tax on corporate passive investments funded from after-tax business earnings, effectively double taxing the eventual distribution of passive investment earnings. However, the government now proposes that the new tax increases will only apply to passive income in excess of an annual threshold of $50,000 and will be applied only on a go-forward basis. It is expected that the draft legislation will be tabled along with the federal 2018 budget.

There are many concerns and uncertainties that still surround this proposal. Such as: Will the threshold apply to individual companies or to groups of companies? What is being grandfathered? Investment assets or retained earnings? Current working capital or future liquid assets from the disposal of other assets? How long will the grandfathering be permitted? Are investments in other companies considered passive investments? The threshold will be insufficient for many small businesses saving to make future investments. There are also serious concerns that the taxation of passive investments will be a disincentive to venture or angel capital.

The Chamber’s position with respect to the government’s new proposals to tax passive income is that:
  • The $50,000 threshold is inadequate for small businesses that are saving in order to make larger investments in innovations or business growth;
  • The threshold is too small to provide business owners with long-term earnings security;
  • The government should not proceed with its passive income rules until a full economic impact assessment has been carried out and an approach has been developed that can ensure there will be no unintended negative consequences to business investment.