Ontario Chamber of Commerce calls on the new federal government to prioritize Ontario economy

TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is calling on the newly elected federal government to fulfill their election promise to make Ontario's economy a top priority.

In an open letter to all new Ontario Members of Parliament, the OCC congratulates MPs on their electoral victory and calls for immediate action to address Ontario's economic challenges. The OCC has identified three near-term priorities for the federal government: getting infrastructure dollars out the door, reinstating the mandatory, long-form census, and moving forward with tax relief measures for small businesses.

"It is paramount that the newly elected government deliver on its commitments to Ontario," said Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. "In the near term, more than anything, we want to see increased federal investments in trade-enabling and productivity-boosting infrastructure."

The chamber network has repeatedly called on the federal government to reinstate the mandatory, long-form census. The OCC is encouraged to see that, according to recent media reports, the federal government is responding to this recommendation. A mandatory census will ensure that Ontario employers have access to reliable labour market data and will allow businesses to predict and adapt to emerging trends in the labour market. 

Additionally, the chamber is calling on the federal government to move forward with tax relief measures for small businesses. The new federal government has committed to reducing the small business tax rate from 11 percent to 9 percent. The OCC is urging the new federal government to work with the business community as it designs and implements the tax cut.

The OCC letter also encourages new MPs to address the gap between what Ontarians pay to the federal government and what they receive back – currently estimated at $11 billion. For too long, says the OCC, Ontario's economic challenges have not been adequately addressed by the federal government.

"We urge all MPs to recognize that Canada's economic growth is driven largely by growth in Ontario," said O'Dette. "Further, economic success in this province signals a rise in prosperity across the country."

The OCC recently shared its federal economic strategy for Ontario with all MPs through its report, In Focus: Federal Priorities for the Ontario Economy. The OCC is encouraging MPs across Ontario to engage with their local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in an effort to improve Ontario's business climate.

"We need all Ontario MPs to champion a focused and ambitious agenda for a stronger Ontario, said Allan O'Dette. "We look forward to working collaboratively with all MPs as they articulate a vision for Canada and Ontario's economic future."

Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For further information: Media Contact: Rachel Strong, Senior Communications Advisor, T. 416.482.5222 ext. 2470, E: rachelstrong@occ.ca


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