On Friday, July 14, 2017, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) will appear before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, at 1:50 p.m. at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts, located at 201 Riverside Dr. W.
The cost structure of doing business in Ontario, both locally and versus our competitor states, is rapidly rising with electricity prices up 400%, hundreds of millions of dollars in cap and trade taxes, increases in CPP, proposed hikes to the minimum wage along with hundreds of pages of new regulations.
“The impact of all these costs being layered on the business community – especially on the small business and agriculture sector – is damaging for jobs and investment. The WERCC has been aggressive in seeking cost pressure relief and offering solutions for the province to keep jobs in Windsor-Essex instead of Ohio,” said Matt Marchand, WERCC President & CEO.
Marchand will present suggestions to change Bill 148 in order to attract and retain jobs and investment here in Windsor-Essex, including a five-year phase-in for minimum wage (similar to California), calling for cost offsets to help employers secure cost predictability, and working toward closing the skills gap to drive higher paying jobs.
“We want to work collaboratively to generate a strong economy to drive investment, expansion and well-paying job opportunities for Windsor-Essex now and into the future. We don’t have to be the cheapest, but we need to be competitive,” added Marchand.
The WERCC is working with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and employers across Ontario to conduct an economic impact analysis, due out in August.