The campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to decriminalize marijuana use could result in a huge economic boom for Flamborough. According to the party’s campaign platform, Canada’s prohibition approach doesn’t work. “It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug,” the Liberals say. “To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

A massive medical marijuana facility valued at “well over $100 million” is proposed for 780 Concession 8 West (just south of Freelton). As a guest of Ward 14 Councillor Robert Pasuta (West Flamborough), Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) Executive Director Arend Kersten has toured the facility, which resulted in the invitation to host a Business After Five(BA5).

Due to severe restrictions connected to security issues, the window for public tours is very small. However, the FCC has been able to organize a last-minute tour for interested members and their guests NEXTWednesday, November 11, 2015. Instead of the usual ‘come-and-go’ BA5 format, we are asking those who want to know more about this ‘state-of-the-art facility to be at 780 Concession 8 West by 5 p.m. Following the tour of the facility there will be time for questions and answers.

To better prepare for this event, those who want to participate in the tour are asked to register with the FCC office either by telephone (906-689-7650) or email at admin@flamboroughchamber.ca by 12 Noon on Wednesday, November 11.

WHAT DOES THE TRUDEAU ‘RED WAVE’ MEAN FOR CANADIAN BUSINESSES

What follows is from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC):

Canadians have spoken decisively and given the Liberals a majority that no one thought possible. (Why do we even read polls anymore? Maybe we’d be better off scanning the stars.)

Here’s why the pollsters got it wrong. The number of people who voted Liberal shot up a staggering 149%, from 2.8 million in 2011 to 6.9 million this past Election Day. Meanwhile, the Conservative vote didn’t budge, from 5.7 million voters last time to 5.6 million, as the base stayed loyal. Where did all these votes come from? Strategic voting played a small part in Mr. Trudeau’s triumph, as the Liberal surge pulled just under a million votes from the NDP. But mostly, the Libs benefited from a massive increase in people coming to the polls as 69% of Canadians voted, up from 58%, an additional three million newbies. Mr. Trudeau changed the landscape and will enjoy a reasonable honeymoon owing to the size of his victory. But what does it all mean for Canadian business?

The good news is a stable, substantial majority gives much more predictability to business. It’s certainly far better than a shaky Liberal minority being pulled to the left by the NDP, perhaps forced into higher corporate taxes or against the TPP or other “barbaric economic practices.”

Infrastructure will also get a big boost. The Liberals have promised to set aside a portion of their $60 billion plan for roads, ports and gateways and they have committed to improving Canada-U.S. border crossings and cargo inspection. Studies show that every $1 of infrastructure spending adds $1.70 to final GDP. Thus, the added spending could boost Canadian economic growth by almost 1%.

More good news is the renewed focus on trade. The Liberals have told us they’ll continue to pursue free trade agreements. We expect them to implement Canada’s deal with the Europe Union as well as the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trade negotiations with India are currently stalled, but we hope they will also be a priority.

On taxes, the CCC was delighted when Mr. Trudeau so eloquently explained that corporate taxes should not be increased (a major drag on investment and competitiveness in a globalized world.)

The area the CCC is watching with concern is payroll taxes. Firstly, the Liberal government will seek to expand the Canada Pension Plan, a position we support, but it may be politically tempting to push costs onto employers. CPP contributions act as a tax that makes it more expensive to hire staff, which can depress employment. The other major payroll tax, employment insurance, has been pulling in far more money than it was paying out for many years and so it was set to decline from 1.88% to 1.47% in 2017. The Liberals have promised to tax an extra $500 million of revenues from keeping the EI rate at 1.65% in order to pay for additional training. The CCC has for a long time been vehemently opposed to using EI premiums for purposes other than funding the insurance it provides.

As the largest business association in Canada, the CCC sees a lot of positives in the new government’s platform and we share in the country’s enthusiasm. With new ministers, new staff and a new leadership style from the top, there is an unprecedented opportunity to work with the government and have our voices heard.

FCC TOURISM SUMMIT

In light of the importance of the tourism sector (i.e.: African Lion Safari, Flamboro Downs, Christie Conservation Area, OLG Slots @ Flamboro Downs, etc., etc., etc.) to Flamborough’s (and Hamilton’s) economy, the FCC is organizing and hosting aFlamborough Tourism Summit from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday, November 20, 2015 at Flamboro Downs.

All those local companies that depend primarily on tourists for their corporate success are invited to attend – whether they are members of the FCC or not. Representatives form Tourism Hamilton and Ward 15 (East Flamborough) Councillor Judi Partridge will be in attendance as the meeting examines the past, present and future ‘state of tourism’ in Flamborough.

All the details can be found by clicking HERE.

FCC CHRISTMAS RECEPTION

Continuing a tradition, Boston Pizza will again host the annual FCC Christmas Reception. It is one of the best-attended FCC BA5 events, complete with munchies, a drink ticket and door prizes. And FCC Executive Director Arend Kersten promises to behave this year so that he doesn’t end up in hospital for most of a week.

We’ll provide the details later … but … reserve the date now: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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