Ontario Chamber Network calls on Premier Wynne to Prevent Exporting Jobs During the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy
Today the Ontario Chamber of Commerce with the support of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce sent an open letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne calling on the government take action through Budget 2017 to contain the costs of the cap and trade system to better support Ontario’s business community.
At a time of low business confidence across the province, and increasing competition from the United States, rising input costs for Ontario business risk negatively impacting jobs and investment in Oakville and across province. In fact, President Donald Trump’s administration is proposing a 30% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget; eliminating its climate change programs. This means that the cost gap between Canada and the United States will only grow wider, to the competitive detriment of Canadian businesses.
In the letter, the Ontario Chamber warns that the province must measure the impact of cap and trade among other input costs to fully understand the cumulative burden facing Ontario’s business community. Because businesses are directly affected by the costs associated with cap and trade, the Government of Ontario must ensure that the revenue and design of the system is allocated and developed in a way that supports Ontario’s business community.
“On behalf of our members, the Oakville Chamber will continue the dialogue with the provincial government to try to limit the impact on business competiveness. We also believe that it is important to ensure that our members understand the program and what it means for their bottom-line,” said Caroline Hughes, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “Along with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, we are calling on the Premier to take action and support our businesses and local economy.”
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has identified four priority actions that would assist the business community to better navigate the cap and trade system:
“Increased input costs imposed on the private sector mean that Ontario risks losing out on jobs and investment, and risks an economically and environmentally damaging shift in production to jurisdictions that are not taking action to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said Graham Henderson, Chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “More action must be taken. In all policy decisions, the provincial government must consider how we can prevent exporting jobs while importing pollution.”
- Prioritize the allocation of cap and trade revenue for businesses, in addition to other efforts to offset the cost of cap and trade. Making the process to access resources as quickly as possible will be important, especially for smaller businesses who have little time or money to dedicate to program applications.
- Prioritize innovation funding. Many Ontario businesses have already taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Achieving further reductions could be difficult and will often require the implementation of new technologies.
- Create greater post-2020 design certainty. Post-2020 certainty is important for businesses looking to make long-term investments in Ontario.
- Monitor and respond to regional impacts. To ensure the strategic allocation of cap and trade revenues, government should conduct a regional analysis of the impacts.
The letter is aimed at impacting government policy in Budget 2017, and builds on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s meetings with senior government officials. These meetings have emphasized the need to ensure Ontario’s businesses remain competitive and confident in the face of a changing economy.
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and Ontario’s Chamber Network have engaged in significant advocacy on the cap and trade issue since 2015. This letter builds on the Ontario Chamber’s earlier communications to government calling on the Ontario Energy Board to disclose cap and trade costs to taxpayers as a line-item on natural gas bills. Last year, the Ontario Chamber Network also called on the government to delay the implementation of the cap and trade system until 2018.
Read the letter.
The Ontario Chamber Commerce recently released a document for Ontario businesses outlining the Cap and Trade Program and how it will impact them.
Read it here.
We Want to Hear From You
We understand that the cost of doing business in Ontario is rising. We want to hear about your expectations for operating under the new cap and trade program. How do you feel about the cap and trade program? How do you expect the program to impact your business? We will use this information to ensure that the voice of business continues to be heard on this issue. To share your thoughts please contact:
Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
905-845-6613 x 211
Today, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce released the results of its 2016 advocacy survey. Rising costs are impacting local businesses and congestion continues to be an obstacle for success. The survey represents a broad sector of business including big, medium and small representing approximately 20,000 jobs.
Here is a snapshot of the survey results:
Cost of doing business
- Rising costs are the most significant factor impacting business and industry
- 83% believe that energy costs are becoming a serious obstacle to doing business
- 78% believe that WSIB rates are becoming a serious obstacle to doing business
- 82% agree that the Cap and Trade plan should be delayed until its impact on business is fully understood
Planning and Development- local issues
- 64% of respondents believe that traffic congestion for getting staff to work is a significant obstacle for business
- The top 3 infrastructure priorities are transportation related being:
- Local roads and bridges
- Public parking
Caroline Hughes, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce commented “it is important for the Chamber to hear from our members as to the issues that are impacting Oakville businesses so that we can effectively advocate on their behalf. It is clear from the results that businesses continue to feel tapped and overburdened with regulation. Investment in local roads and bridges, public parking and transit were identified as the top 3 infrastructure priorities. This is timely feedback for Town Council as they deliberate on how to allocate the infrastructure money committed by senior levels of government.”
- Almost 70% believe that regulations are unreasonable and excessive
- 77% are supportive of a modest increase in density in the Kerr Street, Bronte and Oakville business district
- A slim majority, felt local government in Oakville is supportive and sensitive to the needs of business
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce outlines why cap and trade related costs need to be a separate line item on utility bills
On September 2, 2016, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) regarding their decision to have cap and trade costs included in the delivery charge of utilities on behalf of the Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across Ontario.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has publicly indicated support for the Province’s efforts in dealing with climate change through the Climate Change Action Plan and specifically the decision to move forward with a cap and trade program which is designed to significantly reduce GHG emissions and deliver a lower carbon future for all Ontarians.
However, given the Premier’s commitment to transparency around energy pricing, the Ontario Chamber Network believes that the OEB should reverse their decision and align with other Canadian jurisdictions on this issue.
Read this letter.