Entries in transit (2)


Chambers of Commerce react to budget 2015

Standouts for business:

Federal budget 2015 Business wins:
1. Small business tax cuts from 11% to 9% by 2019
2. Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for industry extended for 10 years
3. $1 billion Public Transit Fund good news for municipalities & economy

Ottawa, April 21, 2015 — With the deficit finally eliminated, Canada’s priority must be investments that will position us as a top-tier international competitor, according to Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty. “As a nation, we have the potential to win internationally against strong, aggressive business rivals, but we need the right tools. This budget is a good starting point, but more needs to be done.”

“We salute the fact that the government presented a balanced budget. But this only serves to bring us to base camp; we still have a mountain to climb. To keep the budget balanced in the future and give us a fighting chance against international competitors, the government’s priority must now shift to economic growth and global competitiveness. Our prosperity depends on Canadian business winning in the global marketplace,” said Mr. Beatty.

The Canadian Chamber particularly welcomes renewed investments in infrastructure.

“Access to global markets starts at home,” explained Mr. Beatty. “It’s no use having the greatest resources in the world if we can’t get them to market. Export infrastructure is critical. And basic public infrastructures – roads, water systems, transit – are also strongly linked to improved productivity across the economy.”

“The measures to support Canada’s manufacturing sector are timely,” said Mr. Beatty. “This sector is evolving rapidly and set to seize new opportunities. The budget will have a positive impact in a sector poised for new growth.”

"We also appreciate the fact that the government took the needs of small business into account in this budget," continued Mr. Beatty.

Mr. Beatty particularly welcomed initiatives to improve Canada’s skilled workforce. “Measures to improve skills – such as better and more apprenticeship training – can create a new generation of capable workers. For many businesses, the skills gap is the number one barrier to growth, and the Canadian Chamber has made skills a priority for the last four years.

Access to reliable labour market information will also allow students, businesses and governments alike to focus their energies and resources on the right training programs and incentives. “Right now, Canadians are choosing career paths and investment opportunities in the dark. Having more and better information will paint a clear picture of different aspects of Canada’s labour market, allowing people to make smarter, better-informed decisions.”

Efforts to improve access to capital are also welcome. Access to capital is often the difference between life and death for start-ups and companies moving from innovation to commercialization, and Canada’s venture capital industry is small and difficult to access.

The Canadian Chamber also salutes the creation of a national Development Finance Initiative. This institution will help fund business projects in impoverished countries, turning them into tomorrow’s business partners.

“By recognizing that Canadian businesses need improved access to skilled workers, international markets and capital, the government is setting the building blocks for a more competitive Canada. However, there are still many steps to take.

Access to game-changing technology must also be improved, and more can still be done to link skills training to the needs of the market. “This budget is an important starting point, but we still have a long way to go.” concluded Mr. Beatty.

Budget Analysis 2015

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.


Policy Forum 2014: creating inclusive transportation systems

The final part in the seven-part series from Policy Forum 2014: Connecting the Dots revolves around transportation.  It is a fitting conclusion to the table discussions by 45 Peterborough community leaders as the issue of transportation was the thread that tied them all together. 

The policy forum hosted by the Young Professionals Group (YPG) of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce was based on an article by best-selling author, economist, thought leader and current Chancellor of Trent University, Don Tapscott. The article called “As Toronto dithers, Guelph sets sights on 21st century” was first published in the Toronto Star on Friday, October 17, 2014. Seven key areas for improving a community were identified:

  1. Promoting Entrepreneurship to Achieve Prosperity 
  2. Open Government
  3. Turning Public Safety Inside Out
  4. Rethinking Transportation 
  5. Creating a Sustainable City
  6. Transforming Social Services
  7. Reinventing Local Democracy

So far in this seven-part series we have revealed the table discussions on entrepreneurship, open government, reinventing local democracy, public safety and transforming social services. 

Entrepreneurship wrapped up with a call for a coordinated strategy.  Having an official strategy would allow all interest groups to map out the united front on entrepreneurship the community wants to present to its own residents, the province and beyond. 

Open government revealed six recommendations in total including two quick wins: 1. Putting the councillor
handbook online as a guide to government for all residents; and 2. Using external language vs. internal language to communicate better with residents and businesses. 

The discussion around reinventing local democracy led to a call for community-building activities, such as a parallel council and highlighting Peterborough’s community areas to continue to engage all residents. 

The group at the table discussing public safety came to the conclusion that when it comes to this issue everyone in the community has a role to play.

The transforming social services discussion concluded that a collaborative approach to social services could lead to a pooling of resources which has the possibility to improve outcomes.

The discussion around creating a sustainable city ended with the thought that a sustainable city is equal to quality of place and that quality of place is a healthy economy, healthy environment, healthy society and healthy culture.

Rethinking Transportation 

This group under the leadership of Brianna Salmon, Manager of Transportation and Climate Change for Peterborough GreenUP identified that there is a fairly progressive policy environment for the transportation portfolio. In Peterborough, there is a Transportation Master Plan, which includes sidewalk and cycling components.

The group identified five quick wins, seven short-term goals, and five long-term goals under these transit topics: transit, ridesharing/co-sharing, sidewalks, funding, land-use and intelligent transportation systems.

Quick wins

  1. Marketing and reframing of current transit service
  2. Real-time transit stop arrival time
    1. Encourage more casual use 
    2. Increase confidence in service
  3. Increasing existing co-sharing 
  4. Encouraging workplace policies that support transit ridership and co-sharing
  5. Need for political champions and community advocates

Short-term goals

  1. Multi-modal Integration
    1. Bikes on buses and trains (This issue was brought up at a recent City Council meeting and the current bus depot is not built to allow buses with bikes on the front to park safely in the bays.)
  2. Transit as an essential public service.  For example, “A person whose income is lower than the average is 10 times more likely to use the service” (Peterborough City and County Health Unit’s Active Transportation and Health Report 2014)  
  3. Enhanced service to Fleming College
  4. Supportive ridesharing systems like Uber
  5. Enhanced ridesharing 
  6. Enhanced sidewalk maintenance in the winter
  7. The provision of cycling and walking infrastructure should be considered essential, rather than as secondary infrastructure to be developed when the budget permits.  This infrastructure should be 
  8. integrated into the roadway planning process

Long-term goals 

  1. Transition from a radial transit system to a grid system
  2. Connecting to rural bus services 
    1. Integration with Peterborough Transit will build ridership and equity of transportation options
  3. Prioritize complete street policy and planning framework so that the needs of the most vulnerable 
  4. roadway users (persons with physical concerns; children; seniors; persons with strollers) are met
  5. Perceptions of distance: how close locations seem vs. how close they actually are
  6. Intelligent transportation systems that would require progressive land use patterns;so far such systems are largely inaccessible to the global population

Ultimately, the group concluded that the provision of transit service and pedestrian/cycling infrastructure must be understood as essential and intrinsic to the entire transportation planning process. All forms of people movement, from cars to public transit to sidewalks and bike trails need to be viewed as equally important.  The group believed that the various modes of transportation should not be viewed as add-ons when budget dollars permit, but simply a piece of the plan. 

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.