Tag: Policy Priority

Oakville Chamber policy recommendations for infrastructure become key priority for the Ontario Chamber

 The Oakville Chamber’s policy recommendations for infrastructure spending were approved this weekend at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting, in Sarnia, Ontario.

The policy resolution, and the recommended actions, will become one of a number of key priorities identified by the Ontario Chamber and form part of the framework for the advocacy efforts undertaken by the organization at the provincial level. The resolution submitted to the Ontario Chamber states that Ontario’s infrastructure deficit is delaying recovery in all parts of the province.  Meanwhile, congestion in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) costs the region an estimated $6 billion in lost productivity each year. With Ontario’s population expected to grow approximately 30% by 2041, infrastructure needs will justifiably grow with it. “Infrastructure funds need to be allocated effectively and efficiently to the right types of projects. It is vital that investments are made strategically into projects that support the long-term growth of our economy” stated John Sawyer, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. Sawyer also notes that “According to the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (CIRC) almost 60% of Canada’s core public infrastructure is owned and maintained by municipal governments and the total value of core municipal infrastructure assets is estimated at $1.1 trillion dollars.  While most of our infrastructure challenges are the responsibility of local governments, both the federal and provincial government have committed renewed investment to tackle our infrastructure needs.  Successful distribution of this funding will be achieved by the co-ordination, communication and collaboration of all levels of government.” According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), every $1 billion invested in infrastructure generates between $1.20 billion and $1.64 billion in real GDP growth; a proven multiplier effect guaranteed to boost the economy. Similarly, every $1 billion invested in infrastructure creates approximately 16,000 jobs which are supported for one year across multiple sectors. The resolution prepared by the Oakville Chamber and co-sponsored by the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce is driven by Chamber member opinion obtained through advocacy surveys which revealed that congestion continues to be an obstacle for success for businesses and that infrastructure priorities need to be transportation related.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce 2016 Policy Resolutions

Every year the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, along with Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from across the country, are invited to submit resolutions of a national scope to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s policy process. This process culminates in a democratic vote on the floor at the Annual General Meeting. This year our submitted resolution, Tax Fairness for the Sports Entertainment Industry, passed.

For many years, the Federal Tax Code has discriminated against claiming golf memberships and related entertainment amounts as a business expense. You are aloud to take a client out to a hockey game and write off 50% of the cost as a business expense for tax purposes, but the same does not apply to golf. In a 2014 study, the golf industry employed just over 300,100 Canadians and contributed about $8.3 billion to the economy in household income, $1.4 billion in property and other indirect taxes and $2.2 billion in federal and provincial taxes. Based on direct, indirect and induced impacts, Canada’s 2013 golf cluster economic impact accounts for about $14.3 billion of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up from $12.2 billion in 2008. Our recommendation is that the Federal Government amend the Tax Code to permit golf as a business expense similar to other business entertainment expenses, and that the cost of green fees and meals at a golf course be an eligible business entertainment expense.

Learn more about the Tax Fairness for the Sports Entertainment Industry Resolution.

Highlights from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce attended the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) this past September in Regina Saskatchewan. The Canadian Chamber’s Annual General Meeting focuses on the latest issues important to the Canadian business community and brings together Chambers of Commerce from across Canada to find solutions to address the challenges that Canadian businesses face. The Canadian Chamber network works to set its policy agenda for the upcoming year during its annual general meeting.  Resolutions submitted this year covered a broad range of topics that were successfully endorsed by delegates on issues such as Employment Insurance (EI) Reform, Bridging the Broadband Gap, Pension Reform, Enabling More Canadian Firms to Scale Up, Tax Fairness for the Sports Entertainment Industry and the Increase of GST/HST Filing Threshold. These issues are important to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its network of chambers of commerce and boards of trade across Canada who represent 200,000 Canadian businesses. These resolutions are now policy positions of the Canadian Chamber and its members and will be pursued with the federal government over the coming months. The Oakville Chamber will continue to support the Canadian Chamber’s efforts and these resolutions in its daily operations to help ensure that Oakville continues to maintain a competitive businesses climate, and maximizes the potential of its business community and membership.