• Advocacy

    The Board of Trade advocates on all levels of government to ensure the interests of the business community are at the forefront of Municipal, Regional, Provincial and National policy and decision-making. We propose and advocate for pro-business policies that encourage economic growth and lead to stronger businesses in our community.

    The Board of Trade is always at the table for our members ensuring their voices are heard. As a member of The Board of Trade you become a patron of the community, supporting important initiatives that ensure a prosperous future for everyone. You can have piece of mind knowing that the Board of Trade is on top of the issues impacting you.

    The Board of Trade is consistently at the table offering opinions, recommendations and feedback to decision-makers, influencing legislation, policy and issues affecting businesses.
     

    SEE OUR STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
     


  • Current Issues

  • Re: Steel & Aluminum Tariffs imposed on Canada

    Dear Ms. Sahota

    Thank you for your interest in working with the business community regarding the recent imposition, by the United States, of tariffs on steel and aluminum. These tariffs have created many adverse consequences for businesses in Canada, including companies in Brampton.

    Earlier this week, the Brampton Board of Trade held a roundtable with several affected companies in the steel, aluminium and metal fabrication industries.

    With respect to tariff impacts, local companies offered the following insights:

    1. 1)  The cost of uncertainty – this was the main feedback shared by local companies. Uncertainty of access to raw materials, the escalation of supply pricing, the cash flow impact to their business, and the increase in overhead burden caused in determining tariff applicability, revisions to purchasing protocol and additional communication to customers required by their respective sales departments.

    2. 2)  The artificial contraction of the supply base – domestic supplier delivery times are increasing, which is impacting customer satisfaction.

    3. 3)  Profit - are under significant pressure and, in some cases, have evaporated as some companies are locked in to long-term agreements on customer pricing. Over time, this puts jobs at risk.

    4. 4)  Brand Image - Concern of what U.S. counterparts are potentially saying to their customer-base: i.e. don’t source from Canada anymore.

    5. 5)  Price Stability - Concerns over the cash flow impact of escalating supply prices and customs brokers fees and therefore fluctuating prices charged to customers.

    1. 6)  Drawbacks and Returns: For those working with recycled metal as an input, recovery of duties is a sunk cost, as there are no duty drawbacks on returns.

    2. 7)  Domestic Mill Pricing: Concerns that domestic mills are price gouging because they can.

    3. 8)  Raw Material Market Access: Concern over the ongoing review of international

      imported steel and access to imports. Restrictions would be very damaging to

      businesses at this time.

    4. 9)  Customer Retention: Concerns on trying to manage the expectations of their customers

      both short-term and long-term.

    When asked what the governments of Ontario and Canada could do to address these concerns, businesses offered the following:

    1. 1)  Timing is crucial: Do what you can to resolve the trade dispute as quickly as possible. Jobs and business viability is at risk.

    2. 2)  Explore retaliatory tariffs: Understanding the domestic pain that will come with it. In particular, give consideration to surcharges on oil & energy that Canada exports to the United States.

    Further, businesses encourage senior level governments to explore relief solutions for domestic producers and manufacturers:

    1. 1)  Reduce energy costs: i.e. allow Ontario businesses to have access to lower cost, reliable energy from Quebec.

    2. 2)  Monitor Pricing: Monitor and influence stable pricing from the mills to domestic producers.

    3. 3)  Avoid import restrictions: Encourage more import of raw materials from overseas sources.

    4. 4)  Encourage exports: Encourage pursuit of more export markets for domestic manufacturers.

    5. 5)  Cash-low Assistance: Provide low-interest loans from BDC for cash-flow needs for affected businesses.

    Thank you for giving consideration to the impacts of these tariffs and suggestions for mitigating the damaging impacts to local manufacturers and jobs.

    To The Brampton Board of Trade:

    I write to you today, as your Member of Parliament for Brampton North and on behalf of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade, in response to the growing concern of the tariffs imposed by the United States of America on steel and aluminum, and the threat of further tariffs on motor vehicles.

    Just like my colleagues across the country, I have received enquiries and heard concerns from Canadian workers and businesses regarding the tariffs. I would like to provide you with an overview of how the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade is consulting with Canadian workers, businesses and other affected parties to assist our government in this trade dispute.

    On June 26 2018, the Standing Committee on International Trade met in Ottawa to hear from 16 different witnesses; ranging from steel companies, trade associations, and labour unions, to name a few. The Standing Committee received rigorous testimony on how the 232 tariffs and potential automotive tariffs affect Canadian firms. The Standing Committee is continuing to engage with the public on this matter by calling on interested parties to submit briefs on the impact of these existing and potential tariffs.

    I encourage the Board and its Members to submit a brief to the Clerk of the Standing Committee on International Trade no later than July 31 2018. Submission should not exceed 2,000 words in length. The Standing Committee will be preparing a report following this deadline and all briefs will be posted on the Standing Committee website.

    On behalf of the constituents of Brampton North, I would like to thank you all for your interest on this very important matter and your unified support for Canadian workers.

    Yours Truly,

    Ruby Sahota
    Member of Parliament for Brampton North

    Bill 148 Bill 148

    Bill 148 - Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

    The Ontario government has announced Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act set to be implemented later this year. The plan is proposing widespread changes to Ontario workplaces. In doing so, Brampton businesses warn of unintended consequences that could have negative economic effects. The Brampton Board of Trade is warning local MPPs of unintended consequences that will hurt consumers, workers and local businesses.

    Proposed reforms include a 32% increase in the minimum wage within the next 18 months; card-based union certification and a variety of other changes that will impact job creation, workplace harmony and business investment in Ontario. Read the full policy update on the impending changes here. 

    According to visits, calls and meetings local businesses have had recently with the Brampton Board of Trade, major concerns have been raised across all sectors regarding the impending changes. Local businesses tell the Board of Trade that:

    • The impending changes will result in an increase to consumer prices to offset costs of paying staff more. How will consumers respond to large increases in labour-intensive purchases such as childcare, elder care and groceries?
    • To mitigate increases to consumers, businesses will be forced to change their hiring practices accordingly — be more selective of who they hire – higher-skilledto justify a higher wage - which may exacerbate youth unemployment.
    • Bearing in mind the parameters of their allotted budgets, businesses have stated clearly that they will have less room to create jobs.

    Concerned about how the changes will affect your business? Click here to send a letter to your local MP.
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    Reports

    - Measuring the potential economic impacts of Bill 148

    - The Flip Side of "Fair": Adding Up Bill 148's Unintended Consequences

    Changes to Federal Business Taxation Changes to Federal Business Taxation

    If your business is incorporated, then you could be facing a larger tax bill and big compliance costs from the government’s new proposals to change the way corporations are taxed. Here are three things you need to know about the tax changes proposed by the federal government:
     

    1. Do you employ family members? The government wants to scrutinize their compensation to apply a much higher tax rate on income they consider “unreasonable”.
    2. Do you invest the profits from your business? The federal government is proposing to tax that income at an effective rate of 70%.
    3. Do you want to pass your business on to your children? Tough new rules make it difficult for younger children to get the capital gains exemption. They could be double-taxed.


    Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the engine of the Canadian economy – estimates range from 85 to 90% of all businesses in Canada are SMEs. 
     
    The chamber network across Canada, including Brampton Board of Trade, is using its collective voice on this issue. Your voice as a business person is important too. But the window of opportunity is closing — the Liberal and Conservative caucuses meet immediately after Labour Day and we want to have MPs go to the meetings with businesses’ comments in hand.

    BBOT is inviting all members to contact their local MPs immediately by phone or email so that the government better understands the impact this tax reform will have on businesses of all sizes.


    Don't know who your Member of Parliament is? Click here to look up their contact information.

    Find out more about the proposed changes to taxation by clicking here.

     


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