Entries in cumulative business burden (5)

Friday
Nov272015

Evidence of the Chamber Network lobbying message in provincial fall budget update

Yesterday, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) responded to the provincial government's fiscal review, which outlined the status of the province's finances. The OCC is encouraged to see its powerful advocacy work directly reflected in the government’s economic plans and priorities for 2016, including detailed steps introduced for the first time in the fall economic statement to address the cumulative burden facing Ontario businesses. They include:

  • A removal of the Debt Retirement Charge on commercial, industrial, and other non-residential electricity users on April 1, 2018, nine months earlier than expected;
  • A promise to maintain the industrial exception in the Professional Engineers Act.
  • The “Red Tape Challenge,” a strategy encouraging Ontarians to submit comments to a Regulatory Modernization Committee regarding regulations that impact them;
  • A Regulatory Centre of Excellence, which identifies and champions best practices from around the world; and,
  • A Government Modernization Fund to address the cost of modernizing outmoded regulatory processes.

While there is still more work to be done, these measures directly reflect our work over the past year, including a number of detailed reports on issues that matter most to Ontario business – from energy to taxation to the environment.

Wednesday
Oct282015

What's on the minds of Peterborough businesses?

The stack of issues impacting the business community is growing.  In fact, you could say that 2015 has been a growth year, but not always in a good way.  With all of the issues and concerns that our local businesses must wade through to stay compliant, to plan for their future, to know if their business is moving in the direction they want and whether or not they’re ready to hire, perseverance is required.  Peterborough has seen a number of new businesses open in our downtown and industrial park, and along our two other main commercial thoroughfares, Lansdowne and Chemong. For that, we thank you.  

At the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce we’ve been working with the Chamber network to make sure your concerns are heard at all levels of government.  This includes programs to help bring taxes to a level consistent with other like communities, red tape and regulation, pension plans, workplace insurance, infrastructure needs for transportation of goods, trade deals, and reaching new markets. 

Municipally, we have fought to get the Tax Ratio Reduction Program back into the City of Peterborough budget.  Our partners in this venture the Kawartha Manufacturers Association and Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors see the value in the program, which will put Peterborough on a more level playing field with communities like Barrie.

Provincially, the list of areas of concern has grown over the past year.  The proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) is still set to come into effect January 2017 on a phased in basis.  Employers would pay 1.9% for each employee to a maximum of $1,643 per year.  Employees would contribute a matching amount. There are some exceptions and the provincial government is currently saying that if the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is improved upon then there may be no need for the ORPP.  The Peterborough and Kingston Chambers of Commerce successfully presented a policy resolution in Ottawa asking the federal government to allow employees to contribute more to CPP should they choose.  The Canadian Chamber of Commerce will now be able to take that recommendation from the business community to the federal government.

The rate framework of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is in the midst of major overhaul.  Some of the changes include the number of rate groups and how a rate is determined.  The Peterborough Chamber was involved in a taskforce examining the issue and submitted a report to the provincial government representing the business perspective.  

Federally, the business community and the Chamber Network are advocating for projects such as Energy East, which will not only be a national job creator but an opportunity to use more of Canada’s natural resources in our own country.  Also on the list is help for innovation investment in new energy technologies, a place in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, and an improved and more open relationship between the business community and rail.

The graphic shows a number of issues the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is currently working to address through our lobbying and advocacy efforts. If there is an issue you feel we have missed please let us know through  sandra@peterboroughchamber.ca or 705.748.9771 x215.

The mission of the Chamber is to strengthen the business community, speak as one to government, and push for legislative change that allows Peterborough businesses to stay competitive.

Look for our Policy Report Card 2014 under "Lobbying" at peterboroughchamber.ca

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" LinkedIn group.

Thursday
Aug202015

Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce call for transparency on implications of Hydro One sale 

PETERBOROUGH, AUGUST 20, 2015: The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce have joined a province wide coalition of 36 Ontario Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade calling on the Government of Ontario to provide factual evidence that electricity prices will not increase as a result of the government's decision to sell off 60 percent of Hydro One.

“Rising electricity prices are a collective concern and have put Ontario businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO of the Peterborough Chamber “It is important to recognize that electricity represents a significant cost to employers. As the government moves forward with the sale of Hydro One, it is essential that it works to ensure that business operation in Ontario remains affordable by containing electricity costs.”

In a recent report by the OCC, Empowering Ontario, Ontario’s chambers of commerce called for increased transparency around electricity and system cost drivers from the provincial government. The partial sale of Hydro One should be subject to a similar level of scrutiny. 

In the short time since the release of the 2013 Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP), industrial electricity rates have increased by 16 percent, and will increase a further 13 percent over the next five years. According to a survey conducted by the OCC, one in twenty businesses will either shut their doors or move to another jurisdiction in the coming years due to these rising rates. The Government of Ontario needs to make certain that the cumulative burden on business operation in Ontario does not increase due to the partial sale of Hydro One.

“The Ontario Chamber Network is concerned that the sale of Hydro One could adversely affect the cost of doing business in the province by adding to the rising price of electricity,” said Harrison. “As such, we are seeking detailed clarification from the government on how the sale will impact electricity prices.”

Members of the Chamber Network, Boards of Trade and local businesses are joining efforts to highlight the concerns being felt by business owners across varied sectors and regions in Ontario. The Chamber Network looks forward to the provincial government joining these discussions in order to provide some clarity around the future competitiveness of Ontario’s electricity system.  

Letter to Premier Wynne 

Wednesday
Aug052015

OCC: Response to the Provincial Burden Reduction Report

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce welcomes the Burden Reduction Report released today by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. Our organization has been advocating for issues related to modernization and harmonization around burdensome red tape. The July 2, 2015 report demonstrates progress and a changing culture in government around the importance of these issues to Ontario’s business community.

The OCC’s goal is to reduce, in a responsible manner, the cumulative regulatory burden that adversely
impacts Ontario’s competitiveness.

With today’s report, there is still more work to be done. The government needs to start by publishing the rationale for any new regulations it introduces. It should also:

  1. Conduct a (public) cost-benefit analysis when considering new regulations.
  2. Streamline approval and compliance procedures between levels of government, specifically in the area of environmental assessments.
  3. Support outcomes-based and voluntary models of regulation.

Finally, the Government of Ontario should follow the U.K.’s lead and adopt a crowd-sourced approach to regulatory changes. The U.K.’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ encourages the public to submit comments and suggest changes to the regulations that impact them. Thanks to this program, the U.K. government is currently in the process of amending or scrapping 3,000 regulations, which will save business over £850 million every single year.

The OCC will continue to advocate that the Government of Ontario lower the cumulative regulatory burden on businesses. We applaud this government’s step in the right direction.

The OCC's position on the red tape burden is the result of policy recommendations from local chambers of commerce across the province.  See the individual resolutions on the Peterborough Chamber website at:
www.peterboroughchamber.ca/policy-report-cards.html

Wednesday
May062015

Premier's visit highlights the work of the Chamber

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Peterborough MPP and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal joined about 130 Chamber members for a luncheon on Friday, May 1st.  

Premier Wynne highlighted the need for more innovation and exporting opportunities. The Premier and the Minister recognized the policy wins of the Peterborough Chamber such as asking the 407 be built to the 35/115 and extending the scope of practice for pharmacists. 

Premier Wynne spoke of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan calling it an important piece for the future, while acknowledging there was still a lot of work to be done.  Wynne acknowledged the resistance of the business community to the increased costs, but suggested that people who struggle in retirement will increasingly rely on Government support, which also comes at a cost.

Similar logic was put forward regarding the new Cap and Trade system, with the Premier suggesting that while some will consider it a cost vs an investment... a tax vs a market solution, Cap and Trade is a tested and proven market solution to reduce emissions. Wynne promised to reinvest any proceeds to help people, businesses and communities become more efficient, more resilient and more competitive.

The Premier announced that Minister Duguid will soon be introducing a regulatory burden reduction strategy, and referenced the recent budget and its $130 billion infrastructure investment over a ten year period.

Premier Wynne shared that the Provincial Government grant to help The Publican House Brewery upgrade their canning equipment will nearly quadruple their capacity, helping them grow to meet their increasing market demand.

Our Chamber was honoured to host Premier Wynne, and particularly impressed with her knowledge of the Peterborough Chamber and the lobbying work we do to strengthen the business community.