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Ontario Pre-budget 2020

Recently, CFIB delivered our 2020 pre-budget submission, highlighting your top priorities for government this year. 

We focused on key asks to help address the labour shortage, energy costs, construction pain, taxes, and the province's debt and deficit.

Read our full pre-budget submission here.

Key Recommendations

SHORTAGE OF SKILLED LABOUR

-Work with the federal government to increase immigration pathways for lower-skilled workers.

-Equip youth with job readiness skills and workplace literacy in high school to better
prepare them for the workplace.

-Improve access to post-secondary Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs, with a
focus on creating small business positions and expanding programs to more sectors and
beyond urban centres.

-Introduce a flexible training tax credit for small businesses.

-Introduce a mandatory, full-semester financial literacy course at the high school level.

TAXES

-Increase the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption threshold to $1-million and index it to inflation annually.

-Develop a plan to gradually reduce the provincial small business income tax rate to 0
per cent.

-Increase the small business income tax rate threshold from $500,000 to $750,000 and index it to inflation thereafter.

-Review the province’s Business Education Tax (BET) to make the system fairer by
reducing the discrepancy between industrial and commercial rates, and between
business and residential rates.

-Complete a full review of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and ensure that Ontario’s property assessment system is designed to tax commercial properties.

CONSTRUCTION MITIGATION

-Include a comprehensive construction mitigation package as part of all major provincial construction projects that cause major disruptions, for extended periods of time, to the regular operations of local business owners. The package should have the following components:

  • A direct compensation program that is easy to access and involves fair and timely monetary compensation.
  • An improved contracting process that includes a bonus/penalty system for the early/late completion of the project.or current use, rather than potential use under municipal zoning allowances.

ENERGY COSTS

-Eliminate Time-of-Use pricing for small businesses. 

-Keep the campaign commitment to reduce hydro rates for residents, small business
owners and farmers by 12 per cent.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

-Monitor the impact of the WSIB’s new Rate Framework to ensure it is fair and functions as intended.

-Introduce a mandatory premium rebate policy should WSIB funding exceed 110 per cent.

-Eliminate mandatory WSIB coverage for owners, directors and independent operators in the construction sector (Bill 119, 2008). This measure has done nothing to target the underground economy or improve workplace safety.

DEBT AND DEFICIT

-Continue down the path to returning Ontario’s budget to balance within the current
mandate.

-Introduce a long-term debt reduction plan with key timelines and benchmarks that starts after balancing the budget.