Policy & Government Relations
The PGR committee identifies, researches and formulates the Board’s position on public policy and communicates appropriate recommendations to the Board of Directors for action. The scope of the committee is extensive; covering issues such as finance and taxation, regional connectivity, economic development, infrastructure investment and more. The committee’s main purpose is to ensure that issues affecting the business community are voiced at all levels of government.
If you have a passion or expertise to advocate for municipal, provincial and federal issues, this committee is right for you. Join our committee of experts who review, analyze/evaluate and respond to regulatory, legislative and programmatic issues. Help develop long-range policy issues and serve as a liaison for legislators and their aides. The committee meets the first Thursday of every month from 8 am - 9:30 am. Contact Lorraine De Nardis-Assenza at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 905-451-1122 ext. 202 to inquire about joining this dynamic group of professionals.
1. GTA West Corridor
In December 2019, the committee expressed their support to resume the GTA West Corridor Route Planning and Environmental Assessment Study by writing a letter to the Minister of Transportation, the Honorable Caroline Mulroney. The letter reinforced its importance and the necessity to build on the previous findings. On January 10, 2020 the Minister replied thanking the committee for its support and commitment to providing a complete vision for the community at large.
2. Healthcare Policy Resolution Submitted to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC)
The PRG committee began its work in January 2020 to address the provincial concern of reducing hallway medicine, hospital bed gridlock and how to relieve the strain on our healthcare system. A policy resolution outlining the issue, background and recommendations was developed. In late January it was presented to the Board at their January meeting where it was approved.
On February 7th, 2020, the Board submitted the Policy Resolution to be considered at the OCC AGM scheduled to take place on April 24-26, 2020 in Timmins, ON. Please see the resolution here.
3. 2020 Municipal Budget
Each year, the Brampton Board of Trade follows the City of Brampton’s budget process and makes recommendations to staff and Council. As Council begins its 2020 budget process, the Brampton Board of Trade offered our preliminary recommendations on the 2020 City of Brampton Budget. This year we specifically encouraged council to take steps to minimize any property tax increase for the 2020-22 period. Our committee has a passionate sense of advocacy and past councils have implemented and considered our recommendations. On February 19, 2020 at 7pm, delegations will be heard from the business community. Stay tuned to hear about the outcomes.
- 2020 Municipal pre-budget submission letter to Mayor and Council
- BBOT Deputation to Mayor and Council re: 2020 Municipal Budget
Transit and Transportation
We will strengthen advocacy for effective transit solutions that enable seamless collaboration between tech hubs, academic institutions and operations throughout the innovation corridor.
Talent and Next Generation
Work with community partners to widen scope of post-secondary educational offerings and retain youth
Trade and Investment Attractiveness
Improve goods movement efficiency by prioritizing trade-enabling, freight infrastructure investments – roads, airports, ports, technology, transportation corridors and borders.
Help businesses to better understand the what the city leaders are planning and how these initiatives will make Brampton a place for economic growth and investment.
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.
Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario
(Toronto — July 22, 2019) Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released a new report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario. This report outlines how the Province could modernize the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol to responsibly promote growth across all four categories – wine, beer, spirits, and cider.
“Ontarians want to see a more modern, convenient beverage alcohol retail system and we are closer than ever to substantive reforms to how alcohol is distributed, bought, and sold in Ontario,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The report finds that, despite public support for modernization, reform is a more complex undertaking than it appears at first glance, due to the complexity of legislation and regulation involved. As the government proceeds with reforms to beverage alcohol sales, the OCC underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to avoid perpetuating inequities in the taxation and regulation of wine, beer, cider, and spirits that limit growth.
“By removing barriers and levelling the playing field,” Rossi added, “The Province can unleash the potential of the beverage alcohol sector, support regional economic development, meet the needs of today’s consumer, and generate greater tax revenue to fund the public services on which Ontarians rely.”
Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario provides the Government of Ontario with a number of timely recommendations including:
- Modernizing the sale of beverage alcohol by allowing beverage alcohol producers to sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces and platforms using third parties to process payments.
- Alleviating tax burdens by reducing taxes on Ontario wines, aligning taxation levels for craft cider with those of craft beer, and applying a graduated tax to the current spirits basic tax.
- Cutting red tape by reducing the reporting Ontario wineries and cideries have to complete from a monthly to quarterly basis, allowing Ontario spirits and craft beer producers with a retail store to sell their products at farmers’ markets, and providing airports with an exemption to allow for the sale of alcohol 24-hours-a-day.
- Removing antiquated inter-provincial trade barriers by allowing consumers to purchase alcohol online from other provinces/territories and producers to deliver these products to the consumer’s home.
“The power of the beverage alcohol sector to be a force for economic growth extends beyond just the expected industries. The production, distribution, and sale of alcohol has a ripple effect that benefits agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and retail in all corners of the province,” noted Rossi.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan voice of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
For more information please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
email@example.com | Office: (647) 936-6734
Our Natural Resources - Join the Movement
FACTS ABOUT CANADA’S RESOURCE ECONOMY
• The natural resources sector creates 1.82 million direct and indirect jobs in Canada.
• Canada exports more than $236 billion-dollars worth of natural resources, which is almost half of our total exports every year.
• Currently, Canada’s natural resources are selling at a discounted rate, resulting in a reduced investment in our social services
• Canada can be a leader in the production of both renewable and non-renewable natural resources, while making a global impact
in advancing climate change mitigating technologies.
• By getting Canada’s resources to market, we can reduce the world’s reliance on less sustainable energy sources, such as coal.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR CANADA’S ECONOMY IN THE NEXT FEDERAL ELECTION.
We have an opportunity to be a leader in energy innovation and natural resource development. Canada can help meet the world’s growing demand for energy and address global climate change at the same time. With a concerted effort, we can realize a better future for Canada by investing in infrastructure to deliver our resources to the global marketplace. In our great country, we have the means to create a better tomorrow. We have an abundance of natural resources, which can give all levels of government the ability to invest in the services we desperately need, from health care to education. But right now, we’re struggling to compete on the global stage. We don’t have the infrastructure we need to export our resources abroad, let alone within our own homes. We have been forced to sell our natural resources at steep discount, resulting in a reduced investment in our social services and economy. No matter where live in our country, increasing our ability to sell our grain, energy, lumber and other natural resources abroad will give us more to invest in our communities and in protecting the environment.
Right now, our country is at a crossroads. We face significant infrastructure investment gaps across the country. In communities across Canada we require billions of dollars from all levels of governments to build desperately-needed transit, and affordable housing. We need to invest in our economy so we can provide services that we are proud of – education, healthcare, arts and culture, infrastructure, and recreation. Our ability to make these investments is limited by our country’s inability to move our resources to market. As a country, we lose millions of dollars a day selling our resources at a sharply discounted price, resulting in decreased investment in all the public services we cherish. Canada’s energy future relies on getting a fair price for our natural resources globally and building a concrete path towards a lower carbon economy domestically. As Canadians, we believe we can be a leader in energy innovation and in helping meet growing energy demand, while taking meaningful action to solve the global problem of climate change. There is enormous demand for responsibly-produced energy products, and Canada is a global leader in production of these products. By replacing coal with lower-carbon natural gas in developing economies, like China and India, Canada can have a more significant impact on reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions globally. Canada is missing an opportunity to grow our economy, invest in infrastructure and fight climate change all at the same time because of a lack of clarity on the path forward. We need to talk about the economy, energy transformation and the importance of getting oil and gas to markets at dinner tables across Canada. Whether we live in Western, Central or Eastern Canada, we all have a stake in our country’s economic success. This is a tough conversation, but one that needs to happen because we cannot shut down one main source of our country’s prosperity without impacting quality of life for all Canadians. Canada, we need action now. We need to take a stand for our economy by removing barriers to internal trade, increasing our market access for goods such as grain, oil and lumber, and using revenues to invest in our communities and protect our environment. We need to invest in natural resource development and innovative technology so future generations can have access to reliable and affordable energy that fuels their daily lives, and supports a healthy environment and a growing economy. To show your support for Canada, in the next federal election, vote for the economy and the holistic benefits of Canadian resources.
Canadians for Natural Resources
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) 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) The artificial contraction of the supply base – domestic supplier delivery times are increasing, which is impacting customer satisfaction.
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) Brand Image - Concern of what U.S. counterparts are potentially saying to their customer-base: i.e. don’t source from Canada anymore.
5) Price Stability - Concerns over the cash flow impact of escalating supply prices and customs brokers fees and therefore fluctuating prices charged to customers.
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.
7) Domestic Mill Pricing: Concerns that domestic mills are price gouging because they can.
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.
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) Timing is crucial: Do what you can to resolve the trade dispute as quickly as possible. Jobs and business viability is at risk.
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) Reduce energy costs: i.e. allow Ontario businesses to have access to lower cost, reliable energy from Quebec.
2) Monitor Pricing: Monitor and influence stable pricing from the mills to domestic producers.
3) Avoid import restrictions: Encourage more import of raw materials from overseas sources.
4) Encourage exports: Encourage pursuit of more export markets for domestic manufacturers.
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.
Member of Parliament for Brampton North
I am writing to you today, as your Member of Parliament for Brampton North, regarding last week’s decision by the United States of America to remove tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. This is terrific news for Canadian steel and aluminum workers, their families, and many communities across the country.
When the U.S. imposed tariffs, our Federal Liberal Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stood up for Canada’s economy, and our steel and aluminum industry. We immediately retaliated dollar-for-dollar – the strongest retaliation in the world. We stood firm and would not back down until we achieved today’s outcome. As a result of today’s decision by the United States, Canada will lift its retaliatory tariffs.
This decision reflects what is known to be true by friends on both sides of the border: Canada has been America’s most steadfast ally for more than a hundred years, and our long-standing partnership and closely linked economies make us more competitive around the world and improve our combined security.
The commercial and people-to-people ties we enjoy – combined with our shared values, geography, and common interests – are of vital importance, especially in an evolving global economy. With this decision, Canadian and American businesses can get back to what they do best – working constructively together to the benefit of our economies, our people, and our communities.
I thank Prime Minister Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and the entire Canadian negotiating team who have been working extremely hard over the last year to reach this desired result.
To the workers and businesses in Brampton at the heart of Canada’s world-class steel and aluminum industries, I want to reaffirm that your federal government will always stand up for you and your families. Every day, you contribute to the well-being and prosperity of
communities across the country. What matters most is that you are able to keep our economy growing, and create the good, middle class jobs we need now and in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns, or require any assistance from the federal government, please do not hesitate to contact my office or reach out to me directly at 647-973-7829.
Member of Parliament for Brampton North
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.
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:
- Do you employ family members? The government wants to scrutinize their compensation to apply a much higher tax rate on income they consider “unreasonable”.
- Do you invest the profits from your business? The federal government is proposing to tax that income at an effective rate of 70%.
- 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.
Our work is focused on ensuring a better business climate and spurs economic growth.