Just a friendly reminder that the Flamborough Tourism Summit – organized and hosted by the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) – will meet this Friday, November 20 at Flamboro Downs beginning at 10 a.m. Anyone interested in attending is asked to contact the FCC office (either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 905-689-7650) as soon as possible.
The meeting provides an informal setting where participants can brainstorm about the importance of tourism to the Flamborough economy … and consider what can be done to promote the sector better. Among those attending are Ward 15 (East Flamborough) Councillor Judi Partridge, Sue Monarch of Tourism Hamilton and Janet Heuglin-Hartwick of Waterdown, who was recently appointed by the city to its Tourism Advisory Committee. A light lunch courtesy of Flamboro Downs will be provided at noon.
If you depend on tourism for all or part of your business, you’ll want to attend. Please contact the FCC office today.
FCC CHRISTMAS RECEPTION
Plan now to join us as the FCC hosts its annual Christmas Reception at Boston Pizza on Wednesday, December 2 from 5-7 p.m. This is a fun event … and always one of the best attended.
Courtesy of our partners at Boston Pizza, there will be free munchies and even a complimentary beverage. A draw for door prizes will be held at 6 p.m. See you there!!
CCC MEETS WITH PM TRUDEAU
While in Antalya, Turkey at the B20 Summit, the President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, (CCC) the Hon. Perrin Beatty, met privately with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Finance Bill Morneau to discuss the priorities of Canadian business. “Canada needs to have a laser-like focus on economic prosperity. Our prosperity is linked to our capacity to trade on international markets,” pointed out Mr. Beatty. The CCC attended the G20 Summit as a representative of the B20 Coalition, the group of business leaders from the G20 countries.
“The meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau was very positive. The fact that the CCC had such an early opportunity to meet with him speaks to the importance he gives to business concerns,” explained Mr. Beatty. “We discussed many of the topics that are priorities here at the B20, such as the implementation of new financial regulations and how to tackle climate change while supporting business. The Prime Minister also brought up the subjects of youth employment and long-term infrastructure investment during his G20 speech. These are energizing ideas for Canada, and the business community will be supportive.”
Many of the B20 Coalition’s recommendations to the G20 are in line with these priorities. They include the development of country-specific infrastructure investment strategies linked to G20 growth aspirations as well as the improvement of the infrastructure investment ecosystem to facilitate the development of infrastructure as an asset class. “Many countries share concerns that are similar to ours. That creates a lot of room for collaboration, and we will continue to seize the opportunities to focus our economies on common objectives, such as prosperity,” said Mr. Beatty.
The CCC continues its international mission at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila, Philippines, where Mr. Beatty and his team will meet with the Canadian delegation.
The CCC 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 – including the FCC – representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions.
WHEN THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD
By Hendrik Brakel
Senior Director, Economic, Financial & Tax Policy
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canada’s new government is off to a great start! The Canadian people and the media are cheered by pictures of the most inclusive Cabinet ever. The return of the long-form census was the fastest public policy reversal in Canadian history. Minister Bains must have been texting Statistics Canada on his cellphone during the swearing-in ceremony.
It’s customary now, when everything is going so well, for an economist to come in and rain on the parade. There are tough decisions ahead.
The outlook for the Canadian economy has darkened. The recession is old news by now, and we expect modest (1%) growth to return in the second half of 2015. But, the International Monetary Fund has again revised down its outlook for the global economy, mainly because of weakness in China. The CCC outlook for oil and commodity prices has also been revised lower. All this is coming amid CMHC’s warnings of overvaluation in Canadian housing markets.
The Parliamentary Budget Office now projects larger deficits, $3 billion next year and almost $5 billion in 2017. This is before the government has spent a penny on additional infrastructure.
This means there are tough decisions on the horizon. On taxes, the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to Finance contains straightforward instructions such as implementing the middle class tax cut (lowering the rate on income of $44,700 to $90,000 from 22% to 20.5%) and canceling income splitting for families. However there are also tough policy choices such as reducing “wasteful” tax expenditures and enhancing the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
At the CCC, we are focused on the promise to enhance the CPP because it could be damaging to business. The contribution already is 9.9% on earnings, split equally between employee and employer, and must be paid regardless of whether a business is flush with profits or on the verge of bankruptcy. The government will also have to convince all the provinces to buy into the plan. This is a very tall order.
The government has also announced a “fresh start” on energy after the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. Minister Dion promised to put in place sufficiently rigorous environmental assessments and enough clean-energy investment to restore Canada’s image, “then our product will be welcome everywhere.”
A credible plan to reduce carbon emissions is undoubtedly of great benefit to Canada and is fully supported by the CCC. It may also be true that the Harper government mishandled Keystone XL so that it became a victim of the Conservatives’ environmental record. But is the purpose of environmental policy to impress foreign countries and make them pat us on the back? What do we do if the U.S. or the Europeans are not sufficiently pleased? Back to the drawing board?
With a weak economy and rising deficits, the government has less room to maneuver. That’s why it’s critical that infrastructure spending be targeted at the trade-enabling investments that improve our competitiveness. That’s also why the CPP enhancement and the plan to reduce carbon emissions must be sound public policy choices that are not burdensome for business.