Share this:

Presentation to Premier Wynne

January 31 Townhall meeting in Thunder Bay

My name is Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and I am here representing the interests of over 850 member businesses and their 20,000 employees, comprising all sectors of our local economy.

The job of business is to meet customer needs and to do so profitably…but it’s becoming more and more difficult for Ontario’s small businesses to be profitable. The addition of cap & trade pricing last year made it more expensive for every business to transport their products to and from Thunder Bay and to keep the heat on at their operations. 

This year, the changes to Employment Standards implemented in Bill 148 including a 22% increase in minimum wage, new rules around stat pay, emergency leave, on call pay, vacation and equal pay for equal work are adding significantly to the overhead costs of many local businesses, charities and institutions and making it increasingly difficult for them to create jobs, pay taxes and support our community charities.

I stand here tonight on behalf of hard working entrepreneurs and their employees who are disappointed that the concerns of business owners were ignored when Bill 148 was being debated.  Their anxieties were dismissed when they said it was “too much too fast” and requested more time for implementation.  Their expertise was rejected when they said their operations could not absorb such significant cost increases in a 7 month timeframe and they would be forced to reduce staffing costs or increase prices.  Many economists including Ontario’s Fiscal Accountability Office outlined similar concerns about the impacts of this quick change – they pointed to tens of thousands of jobs at risk and increased inflation – their research was dismissed as “fear-mongering”.

We are now one month in to this new reality.  To date, the education provided by the Ministry has been sorely lacking and some employers are not sure what’s required.  Business owners are reducing hours and increasing prices to stay afloat, the City of Thunder Bay is pointing to a $1.2 million bump in our tax levy to pay its share, citizens are paying higher prices on everything from groceries and dry goods to daycare and homecare for their family members.  Seniors are struggling to stretch limited pensions.

Despite all the best intentions, the short implementation period means that these impacts fall squarely at your feet Madame Premier. You have promised help for the transition – we need that help now.    Businesses are asking: what are you doing to help them through this?

This is a Provincial Issue.
Our local Members of Provincial Parliament:

Thunder Bay – Atikokan
Bill Mauro, MPP
807.597.2629
bmauro.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org 

Thunder Bay – Superior North
Michael Gravelle, MPP
807.345.3647
mgravelle.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org 

Active Advocacy Files







The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce' advocacy work is made possible thanks to the generous support of our

Cornerstone Members:

                              

All News:

Request For Proposal: Business Awards Host Venue

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is accepting proposals to host the Business Awards Gala in 2019 and 2020. The preferred dates are Saturday, April 6, 2019 or Saturday, April 13, 2019 and Saturday, April 4, 2020 or Saturday, April 11, 2020

read more

Participate in Our 2018 Municipal Election Business Agenda Survey

WHAT CITY ISSUES MOST CONCERN YOUR BUSINESS?
Participate in our Business Agenda Survey and help your Chamber identify key issues common to business throughout Thunder Bay. Information supplied will be kept confidential and will support the development of an election platform designed to help us all understand candidate priorities as they relate to business interests. Have your say! The survey can be completed in as little as 3 minutes.

read more

5 Minutes for Business: Latest on Canada-U.S. Tariffs

In this edition of 5 Minutes for Business, the Canadian Chamber’s Director of International Affairs, Mark Agnew, takes stock of the latest Canada-U.S. tariffs and examines what could come next and how it could impact Canadian business.

read more

Upcoming Chamber Events

Sep
19
Oct
3
YQT: October 2018
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce

More events >>

Share this: