Debt, deficit top Ontario small business election priorities

96 per cent of business owners set to vote on June 7 

Toronto, May 17, 2018 – Ontario’s small business owners are calling for debt reduction and balanced budgets to be the next government’s top priorities after the June 7th election, based on the results of a pre-election survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).  

Reducing the provincial debt is the number one priority of small business owners at 71 per cent, followed by balancing the budget (68 per cent), reducing energy costs (66 per cent), and lowering small business taxes (61 per cent). 

“The province’s fiscal fitness is particularly relevant at a time when all parties are making new spending commitments,” said Julie Kwiecinski, CFIB director of provincial affairs, Ontario. “Small business owners know that today’s deficits are tomorrow’s taxes. On behalf of our members, we are looking to all parties to come out with concrete plans to get the province’s books back in the black and the debt load under control.”

Business owners also indicated that they are very concerned (71 per cent) or somewhat concerned (25 per cent) about the current state of Ontario’s economy. Fewer than one in five (14 per cent) are confident that small business concerns will receive attention during the election campaign.

“We’ve heard all parties talk about the importance of small businesses to Ontario’s economy,” said Ryan Mallough, CFIB senior policy analyst, Ontario. “We look forward to hearing their detailed plans for small business affordability and competitiveness as we approach June 7.”

A resounding 96 per cent of business owners who responded to the survey said they will vote in the June 7th election.

The CFIB on-line Ontario Pre-election Survey results are based on 3,390 responses received from Ontario business owners between April 11 and April 26, 2018. Results are statistically accurate within +/- 1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, including 42,000 members in Ontario. Learn more at