Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, launched a major province-wide letter writing campaign urging businesses to encourage their local provincial candidates to support the Ontario Chamber Network’s election platform, Vote Prosperity. To ensure economic prosperity is at the forefront of the 2018 provincial election, the Chamber Network has developed 18 recommendations that will help bolster Ontario’s long-term economic outcomes.
This letter-writing campaign is the next phase of this advocacy effort, building on ongoing government relations activities. We are calling on our local candidates to read Vote Prosperity and engage with our local business community to ensure business priorities are heard.
“The upcoming provincial election provides our business community with an opportunity to ensure that our businesses are being heard by our future elected officials,” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “Vote Prosperity provides political parties with tangible solutions to address the challenges businesses are currently facing and to ensure that Ontario is building a prosperous economy that supports local business in our community and across the province.”
Over the next 12 weeks, the Ontario Chamber Network will be advocating Vote Prosperity with local provincial candidates across the province through meetings, social media activation and with the letter writing campaign. Vote Prosperity is built around four fundamental pillars to support a strong economy in Ontario: strengthening business competitiveness, fostering job creation, building healthy communities and improving government accountability.
“We are calling on all political leaders to read Vote Prosperity and consider our recommendations as we aim to make Ontario the best place to start and grow a business,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “It’s simple, when you choose prosperity, Ontario wins.”
The Ontario Chamber Network released Vote Prosperity in October 2017, ahead of most of the major political parties’ platform development. Some of the recommendations from Vote Prosperity include:
- Allow Ontario businesses to purchase surplus electricity at rates equal to or better than the exported price to other jurisdictions;
- Allocate resources to focus support on high growth firms and those with high growth potential, by delaying taxation on corporate income growth to overcome Ontario’s scale-up challenge;
- Focus on strategic growth policies by ensuring that land use planning and development regulations are aligned, to increase density and create more housing stock;
- Create a meaningful plan to tackle the debt and move towards balanced or surplus budgets.
Read the Vote Prosperity platform.
Send a letter in support.
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.