2012 CFIB small business roundup: Who was naughty? Who was nice?

With 2012 coming to a close and Santa loading up his sleigh, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is sharing its list of the best and worst developments affecting small business. This year, the federal government, as well as Quebec and New Brunswick, got on the nice list for taking action on red tape. Meanwhile, Alberta, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador found themselves on the naughty list for introducing policies that hurt small business and the economy.

“Federally, we saw a number of big wins this year,” said CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly. “2012 highlights include a revolutionary commitment to accountability at CRA, some good first steps in getting regulatory burden and public sector pensions under control, as well as the very promising legislation on pooled registered pension plans for small business.”

“Unfortunately, one of the most worrisome developments for small business in 2012 happened earlier this week when finance ministers put plans to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) on the front burner,” Kelly added.  “While the US tries to block an automatic payroll tax hike as part of measures to avoid the fiscal cliff, most Canadian finance ministers appear willing to flirt with a fiscal cliff of our own by signing on for multi-year CPP payroll tax hikes.  Small firms should not be asked to pay one more cent in payroll taxes until all governments address their looming public sector pension liabilities.”  

Several provinces, including Ontario and BC, as well as the federal government, landed on both lists.  The BC government, for example, was praised for adopting a municipal auditor general to help enhance local government accountability.

The only non-government body on the naughty list? Visa Canada.  With a fragile economy, Visa has announced plans for across-the-board fee hikes as well as an “uber-premium” card that will take even more money out of the pockets of hard-working entrepreneurs and consumers.

“Small businesses in Canada are affected by decisions of three levels of government as well as other influential parties like credit card companies and the banks,” said Kelly.  “CFIB will be keeping a close watch on governments in the year ahead and will continue to advocate for policies to help, not hurt, Canada’s job creators.”

For more information, please contact Gisele Lumsden at 416-222-8022 or by email at public.affairs@cfib.ca.

As Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.