Hamilton Chamber of Commerce says businesses are concerned about Ontario pension plan
Hamilton, ON, October 08, 2014: The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is concerned that Ontario’s proposed pension plan will negatively impact economic competitiveness and job creation in Hamilton. The Chamber is joining a coalition of over 50 chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the province in voicing its concern to the Government of Ontario.
The Government of Ontario is planning to move ahead with its plans to implement a new pension scheme for the province. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), which aims to supplement the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), will require employers to match employee pension contributions, increasing their cost of doing business. For example, in the case of a business that employs 10 people with an average salary of $45,000, the employer will be obligated to pay almost $8,000 per year in additional pension contributions.
According to a recent Ontario Chamber of Commerce survey, 72 percent of businesses in the province believe that pension reform should be a priority for government. However, the same businesses have also been clear about their concern for Ontario’s broader economic picture, in which the economy is projected to grow slowly for the foreseeable future.
Local businesses, for their part, worry about the cumulative impact that government regulatory and legislative changes will have on their competitiveness.
“Our members are worried about the costs that a new mandatory pension plan would impose on them,” says Keanin Loomis, President & CEO Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “Combined with increases in electricity costs, high WSIB rates, and in some employers’ cases a higher minimum wage, the new pension plan will burden businesses that are already struggling to meet the costs of doing business in Ontario.”
“Businesses in our area are wary of any increase in payroll taxes.”
The proposed pension plan comes at a challenging time for the province. Ontario's unemployment rate remains above the national average and has showed little improvement over the past year.
In its letter to the provincial government, the Chamber calls on the Government of Ontario to provide employers with answers to a number of crucial, but unanswered questions.
“What will be the impact of a fully-implemented ORPP? What happens when a business can’t afford to meet the requirements of the ORPP? What about the self-employed?” asks Loomis. “Businesses in Hamilton are seeking answers to these questions.”
Learn more by reading the chamber's letter to the Government of Ontario.
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For more information please contact:
Policy & Research Analyst, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
T: 905-522-1151 ext: 230 C: 905-220-3030
About us: Established in 1845, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is the definitive “Voice of Hamilton Business”. Representing over 1000 members and 75,000 employees, it champions the interests of ethical, free enterprise by effectively engaging business, community, and government leaders in the promotion of the long-term economic prosperity of our region
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce to Government: Get Employer-Driven Training Programs Right
Hamilton, ON, September 08, 2014: The Government of Ontario must ensure that upcoming changes to the province’s training and employment programs reflect the needs of employers, according to a new report released by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Essential Skills Ontario.
The call comes as the government works to reinvent the way that many training and employment programs are delivered in the province by giving employers a more direct role in the type of training their workers receive. The bulk of these programs will be supported through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, which will cover two-thirds of the cost of training a current or prospective worker, with government chipping in up to $10,000.
“By encouraging businesses to invest more in their employees, these new employer-driven programs could be an important step toward improving Ontario’s economic competitiveness,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they’ll only succeed if they are designed with the needs of employers in mind.”
The report, Moving Forward Together, makes the case that programs should be easy to access for employers. “We recognize that measures are required to maintain the integrity of these programs and minimize fraud,” adds O’Dette. “But government needs to be conscious that onerous red tape and paperwork will only deter employers from participating in the program.”
It also calls on government to foster collaboration among companies in the design of training programs to minimize the risk of poaching and to lower the costs associated with training. This will require government to develop a close relationship with sector associations that are already providing workforce training.
In addition, the report drives home the importance of increasing engagement between government and the business community as most employers are unaware of current training and employment provisions available to them.
“Hamilton has one of the most diverse economies in Canada according to the Conference Board. This diversity means our community has additional potential to take advantage of a well-designed program.” says Keanin Loomis, President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
“We particularly agree with the report’s recommendations concerning the additional concessions that must be create to incentivize small and medium enterprises that form the bulk of Hamilton’s economy. These sentiments were echoed during our member consultation process as well” adds Loomis.
Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training Programs in Ontario is based on extensive consultations with employers and training providers from across the province. Read the report: http://goo.gl/KBJKEc. Download the report Moving Forward Together in PDF format.
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For more information, please contact:
Huzaifa Saeed, Policy & Research Analyst
C: 905-220-3030 | T: 905-522-1151 ext: 230 | E:
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce weighs in on legacy of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games
HAMILTON, ON, August 27, 2014: A new report from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce identifies the crucial steps that governments and the private sector must take in order to ensure that the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan American Games leave a positive, lasting economic legacy in Hamilton and the province.
“As hosts for the Pan Am Soccer tournament, Hamilton will be getting a significant influx of a global fan base and subsequent economic activity, especially near neighbourhoods of the city like Barton-Tiffany and James North that are on the cusp of major revitalization” says Keanin Loomis, President of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
In less than a year, the Games will come to a close. If projections are accurate, they will bring 250,000 visitors to Ontario, generate $3.7 billion in new economic activity, and result in an expected 26,000 new jobs. While the Games are likely to provide a short-term boon to our economy, the lasting impact is much less clear.
According to the report, Beyond the Finish Line, Ontario needs to follow the lead of other major sporting event hosts and market itself more prominently to potential visitors from abroad.
“The Games have the potential to attract as many as hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the Americas,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they won’t arrive unsolicited - we need to step up our marketing game abroad.”
The report also highlights the need to make sure that government’s traffic reduction targets for the Games do not slow the movement of goods in the province by ensnaring transport trucks in gridlock. Congestion already costs the GTHA $6 billion in lost productivity annually. Observers anticipate that congestion in the region will worsen during the Games, partially as a result of the government’s ambitious 20 percent traffic reduction target.
The business group also urges Ontario businesses to leverage the unique opportunity presented by the Games to establish deeper relationships with their Latin American counterparts. Ontario's exports to the region account for only 2.1 percent of Ontario's exports. The group applauds the Government of Ontario for spearheading the Toronto Pan American Economic Summit, a three day conference that will bring together 1,500 business leaders from across the Americas.
“The Chamber is already collaborating with the City of Hamilton on its emerging Foreign Direct Investment Strategy and is fully committed to ensuring we put our best foot forward as a city for the games next year” adds Keanin Loomis, President.
Learn more by reading Beyond the Finish Line: Ensuring a Successful Legacy for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games. Click here to download.
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For more information contact:
Policy & Research Analyst
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
T: 905-522-1151 ext: 230