The policy resolution process is how grassroots ideas are inserted into the thinking and policy making of government. These researched, solution-oriented recommendations to government come from the
businesses in communities across the country. The goal is to make suggestions that help our economy, businesses, and communities at the local, provincial, and federal levels.
This year, the Peterborough Chamber has a direct hand in four policy resolutions. Two are resubmissions from 2016 and two were newly developed with members.
The Resubmission Resolutions:
Advancing Canadian Competitiveness Using Short Line Rail which asks the federal government to:
a. Create a dedicated short line rail capital funding
program that is accessible to all short line rail companies.
b. Establish a tax credit
program to assist short line rail companies in making capital investments.
Restoring Canada’s Innovation Competitiveness asks the federal government to:
a. Restore the SR&ED tax credit to 20%, as it was before 2014
b. Simplify the process of the SR&ED application so that Canadian companies of all sizes can move forward with confidence to bring their
innovations to market
c. Create an innovation environment that encourages private sector investment in R&D and technology
The New Resolutions:
Level the tax playing field to allow for more family run businesses to stay in a family asks the federal government to:
a. Adjust the Federal Income Tax Act, so that the sale of a business to a family member is taxed as a capital gain.
Investing in Building Community asks the federal government to:
a. Create a new stream for assessing social enterprise through the Community Futures Network.
b. Allow those who invest in the Community REIT structure to receive a tax credit of up to 5% on their investment.
c. Increase the allotment for TFSAs to allow for socially responsible investments.
The family business tax resolution was developed in conjunction with the team at Chamber member Park Place Financial and is in response to the growing reality that in the coming years more and more baby boomers will be developing exit strategies. Therefore, it is imperative that all options available to sell a business are success driven.
“We are firm believers in the legacy of family businesses and are committed to doing all we can to grow and preserve them,” said Terry Windrem, President of Park Place Financial. “We aren’t asking for a different playing field, but rather a level playing field.”
Chamber member Paul Bennett brought forward the idea of a community Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) at a social financing session hosted by the Mount Community Centre earlier this year.
“With so many social and environmental issues affecting our world right now our governments will not be able to support the needed services and initiatives,” said Paul Bennett, Ashburnham Realty. “This highlights the need to engage the private sector to contribute and partner with the public sector to create the needed change.”
All resolutions were discussed and vetted by the Peterborough Chamber Policy Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. They have been submitted to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to be considered at the Annual General Meeting in St. John, New Brunswick in September. In all, the delegates will have about 80 new and resubmitted resolutions to debate and vote on.
After the Canadian Chamber AGM, the resolutions that receive the support of the delegates will make up the advocacy agenda to the federal government.
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce acts as a catalyst to enhance business growth, opportunity, innovation, partnerships and a diverse business community.