Ontario Tradespeople Put Candidates in the Hot Seat

Survey shows only PC Party candidates willing to axe the trades tax

TORONTO, July 30, 2013 /CNW/ - In response to a recent survey conducted by the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign, three Ontario Liberal Party candidates declared that, if elected, they would continue to support the controversial trades tax. In contrast three Ontario PC Party candidates want to see it abolished. Not a single NDP candidate responded despite repeated requests.

The trades tax took effect on April 8th and costs tradespeople between $60 and $120 per year. This is a 600 per cent increase in fees for some tradespeople like electricians. The new trades tax will also make many consumer services more expensive including a haircut, new wiring and plumbing.

"This is a critical ballot box issue for tradespeople and their families. It's unfortunate that neither the Liberal nor the NDP candidates are willing to stand up for tradespeople and abolish the trades tax," said Frank Notte, Director of Government Relations for the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and a member of the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign. "It's a needless hit to the pocket of hardworking Ontarians, which is why we're asking candidates in the upcoming by-elections to support axing this tax."

The questionnaire was sent to candidates from all three major parties in all five by-election campaigns in the province. The survey posed three questions on how candidates would support the skilled trades in Ontario.  Besides asking candidates how they would address the labour shortage in skilled trades, the survey also tried to identify their positions on the Ontario College of Trades, a new regulatory body set up by the Ontario government.

"After reviewing the responses it became clear that only Ontario PC Party candidates are willing to do the right thing and eliminate the trades tax," said Notte. "On behalf of tradespeople and small businesses across Ontario, I want to thank these Ontario PC candidates for their support. I appreciate their strong commitment to abolishing this unnecessary and costly bureaucracy."

The Stop The Trades Tax campaign was launched in 2011 to stop the Ontario government from imposing a new, multi-million dollar trades tax on tradespeople and employers. The campaign has grown to 32 organizations, whose members represent over 130,000 skilled tradespeople and over 8,000 businesses across Ontario. The campaign has also launched a petition to Stop The Trades Tax, to date it has 9,000 signatures.

To learn more about the Stop The Trades Tax campaign visit: www.stopthetradestax.ca

SOURCE: Stop the Trades Tax

For further information:

Danna O'Brien, danna@playbookcommunications.com, 416-500-0699

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