Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures Ontario-Wide Chamber Support for Suspension of Cap & Trade, Other Successes at Ontario Chamber AGM

BY mmarchand

At the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Sarnia, ON from May 4-7, Chambers across Ontario passed a resolution to suspend the cap and trade program at this time. The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) has been one of the most aggressive Chambers in Ontario calling for the deferral and the suspension of cap and trade due to its costly impact on agri-food, greenhouses and business in general on top of a nearly 400% increase in electricity prices.

The WERCC along with the Greater Kingston, Greater Kitchener Waterloo, Greater Sudbury Chamber, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, North Bay & District, Newmarket and Timmins Chambers of Commerce co-sponsored the resolution to suspend cap and trade.

Chambers across Ontario urge the Government of Ontario to suspend cap and trade at this time, with appropriate cost mitigation to affected businesses. Should suspension not occur, the Chambers encourage the mitigation of risk of the cap and trade system on industry to ensure competitiveness.

“Exporting jobs and investment to coal-using jurisdictions, such as Ohio, and getting coal pollution in return was not viewed as an effective policy,” said WERCC President & CEO Matt Marchand.

“This is a big win for the community. We’re very happy with the results,” said Marchand. “The WERCC thanks our co-sponsoring Chambers for coming together on what is the one of the top issues facing our business community across Ontario,” Marchand continued.

Other successes at the OCC AGM include:

Protect Canadian Business by Keeping the De Minimis Threshold Low. Raising the De Minimis threshold (DMT) for Canada would give an unfair tax advantage to foreign online retailers over Canadian retail businesses. It would provide generous exemptions at the border placing domestic firms at a disadvantage vis-à-vis foreign sellers, since domestic firms may have to charge sales or value-added taxes even for small items while foreign sellers are exempted.

The WERCC urges the Federal Government to maintain the current Canadian De Minimis level of $20 to prevent granting an unfair advantage to foreign online retail sellers operating in the Canadian marketplace.

Thank you to our resolution co-sponsors: Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Canada’s Trade Policy Harmful to Ontario Business. Canada is experiencing high levels of trade deficits with China and Mexico. In order to restore trade balance, Canada and Ontario need a new proactive international trade policy that works for businesses. For example, Canada’s trade deficit with China is approximately $46 billion.

The WERCC urges the Government of Ontario to create a strong and proactive plan to improve Ontario’s trade performance. This includes of course addressing dumping of steel.

Thank you to our resolution co-sponsors: Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, London Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce.