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Party leaders respond to small biz election issues; mixed bag of commitments

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Regina, March 30, 2016 – With the Saskatchewan election less than one week away, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is releasing the results of its 2016 Leaders’ Survey on Small Business Issues. Party leaders responded to questions on key issues including balanced labour laws, sustainable spending, red tape reduction, improving roads/infrastructure and a competitive tax environment.

“As Saskatchewan’s Election Day nears, CFIB believes it is important for Leaders to directly address the issues most important to Saskatchewan entrepreneurs,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Prairie and Agri-business.

The Leaders of the Saskatchewan Party, Saskatchewan NDP and Green Party of Saskatchewan all provided survey responses. No survey responses were received from the Saskatchewan Liberals and the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan. 

Some highlights include:

Positive Commitments for Small Business:

  • NDP – Rejects increasing taxation powers to municipalities (e.g. fuel, income or sales taxes).
  • Saskatchewan Party – Rejects increasing Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums.
  • Green Party of Saskatchewan – Will allow employers and employees to agree to swap a statutory holiday without requiring a special permit.

Worrisome Ideas to Small Business:

  • NDP – Will increase the minimum wage to $11.25 an hour effective October 2016 and boost the minimum wage to at least $13.25 by 2018, and index it to inflation.
  • Saskatchewan Party – No plans to mitigate annually indexed minimum wage (e.g. a training wage and/or a gratuity wage for workers who earn tips).
  • Green Party of Saskatchewan – Will introduce a Guaranteed Livable Income.

“We’re disappointed neither the Saskatchewan Party nor the Green Party of Saskatchewan outlined a plan to eliminate Saskatchewan’s small business corporate tax rate,” added Braun-Pollon. “And while the NDP did outline a plan, we are concerned it cuts out the smallest of firms with 3 or fewer employees from small business tax relief.”

Prior to the election, CFIB met with all Saskatchewan political parties, presented its Small Business election platform and urged party leaders to commit to small-business friendly policies. Read CFIB’s Small Business election platform Maintaining our Competitive Edge

“We’re encouraging all small business owners to ask their candidates how their party plans to build a more competitive province,” concluded Braun-Pollon. “Now let’s get out there on April 4th and vote.”

To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President Prairie & Agri-business, please call (306) 757-0000, 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]. Follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.

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 (5,250 in Saskatchewan) in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy. www.cfib-fcei.ca.