The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber Network are seeking grassroots data on the impact of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, which amended the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. How has the increase to the minimum wage, new scheduling provisions, expanded personal emergency leave, equal pay for equal work, and other changes impacted your business?
This information will be summarized in a document to be shared with the government in order to advise them on how to bring balance back to labour legislation in Ontario.
The Oakville Chamber is looking for specific, statistical information about the financial, legal, and administrative impacts of Bill 148 on your business since January 1, 2018. Your name or contact information will not be collected, and all data will be presented in aggregate.
To share how Bill 148 has impacted your business, please use this form.
Your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
With the legislative session resuming today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Network wrote to each provincial Cabinet minister, outlining a blueprint to execute over the next four years that will help make Ontario open for business. The Network’s blueprint includes both policy asks where immediate action is required to support business and foundational recommendations for long-term prosperity.
A key tool to making this province competitive is reducing red tape. The Ontario Chamber Network believes Premier Ford’s step to create a separate Deputy Minister for Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction is an excellent start in lowering the administrative burden felt by Ontario businesses.
“We are providing all Ministers with a blueprint for steps that can be taken to ensure we are growing Ontario’s economy and building shared prosperity for all,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Each ministry has a fundamental role to play in making Ontario open for business and we look forward to working with Premier Ford as well as his cabinet in achieving the policy commitments that support businesses across the province.”
The themes that emerged in the Ontario Chamber Network’s blueprint for making Ontario open for business include:
- Fiscal balance: fundamental to economic growth is ensuring that the Government of Ontario’s own fiscal house is in order
- Business competitiveness: the most powerful tool in making this province competitive is reducing red tape; we ask that the government prioritize lowering the administrative burden on business and ensure that regulation is streamlined and effective
- Investment growth: investing in Ontario through strategic spending is essential to fostering job creation and building healthy and productive communities across the province.
- Government accountability: Poor implementation of government initiatives in the past has led to resource waste, mismanagement, and disruption for both businesses and residents.
“To ensure Ontario’s economy has a strong foundation, business and government must work together to support evidence-based policies. As Ontario’s business advocate, the OCC is committed to working with the Ontario government to ensure the public policies introduced contribute to a competitive business environment as well as the economic and social well-being of our province,” added Rossi.
On July 12th, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Speech from the Throne laying out the priorities of the new PC government.
Yesterday’s Speech from the Throne officially opened the first session of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario, with the new government calling itself “Ontario’s government for the People.” Many of the commitments made were previously announced by the PC Party during the election campaign.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has provided a synopsis of the Speech from the Throne below with key highlights most important to business. Throne speeches provide a general overview of the government’s policy commitments rather than specific details.
Job Creation and Business Competitiveness
The Ontario government is committed to reducing the regulatory burden businesses are facing. Some specifics include reducing gas prices, lowering taxes for business, reducing the regulatory burden, and making things easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The government reiterated its commitment to creating and protecting jobs, including the thousands of jobs that will be protected through the continued operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.
The government has committed to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the federal government on trade, standing up to U.S. tariffs and ensuring Ontario’s best interests are represented in NAFTA renegotiations.
Energy and the Environment
The government has committed to reducing gas prices and lowering hydro bills as well as “restor[ing] public confidence in Ontario’s electricity system” by implementing management reform at Hydro One.
The government reiterated its commitment to cancel Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and oppose all other carbon tax proposals. It also indicated it will be ending all green energy contracts.
The government indicated its commitment to addressing the transportation needs of Ontario’s urban centres, with an intention to partner with Toronto and other GTA municipalities to improve transit services. The provincial government did not provide specific comments on transportation needs in rural or Northern communities, or the Ring of Fire.
Government and Fiscal Accountability
The government intends to take immediate steps to “restore faith” in Ontario’s public institutions, beginning with a Commission of Inquiry into the Province’s finances and a line-by-line audit of all government spending to eliminate duplication and waste. The government also committed to returning Ontario to a balanced budget on a timetable that is “responsible, modest and pragmatic.”
The government intends to work in collaboration with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners to ensure the health care system puts the interests of patients first. Its commitments include long-term and stable funding, including a promise for 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and an investment of $3.8 billion in mental health and addictions services (including supportive housing).
Read the Ontario Government’s Throne Speech
In light of the upcoming municipal election on October 22, 2018 the Oakville Chamber wants to hear from you on local issues that matter the most to you. Tell us what you think.
This survey consists of 8 questions and should only take 5-10 minutes to complete.
The responses to this survey will be used by the Oakville Chamber of our advocacy efforts in the upcoming municipal election. Be assured that all answers you provide will be kept in the strictest confidentiality.
The survey is now closed. Thank you to our members for taking the time to complete the survey.
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce congratulates Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on being elected in the ridings of Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington. The Chamber looks forward to working with the new MPPs on key issues such as government accountability, small business development, and infrastructure. Making these policies a priority will create an environment that will encourage business and economic growth.
The Oakville Chamber also extends its congratulations to Premier-Designate Doug Ford and the Ontario PC Party on winning a majority government.
“We congratulate Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on their successful campaigns” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “The Oakville Chamber wants to thank all of the candidates for putting their names forward this election and for discussing our Vote Prosperity platform during the campaign. We also thank Kevin Flynn for his years of service as MPP for Oakville.”
Read it online now!
In October, the Ontario Chamber Network released Vote Prosperity, a platform for the 2018 provincial election campaign on June 7. The release of the platform nine months prior to the election was intended to ensure all parties have an opportunity to address the most important issues to business within their own platforms.
On April 16, 2018, Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath announced the NDP’s 2018 Election Platform Change for the Better. Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis.
On May 14, 2018, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner announced his Party’s 2018 Election Platform, People Powered Change. Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis.
On May 26, 2018, the Ontario Liberal Party released their platform for the 2018 election, Care Over Cuts. Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis.
On May 30, 2018, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leader Doug Ford announced his party’s 2018 election platform, Plan for the People. Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis.
With the election just a week away, we are encouraging Ontarians to send a letter to their local candidates asking them to support the Ontario Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity platform.
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:
- 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.
- Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure economic impacts receive appropriate consideration in decision-making while preserving necessary protections.
- Increase federal leadership in eliminating internal trade barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
- Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
- 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.
- Make overly prescriptive regulatory frameworks more flexible to better accommodate rapidly changing business environments by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
- 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.