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Party leaders respond to small business issues

Mixed bag of commitments to entrepreneurs’ priorities

Winnipeg, April 13, 2016 – With the Manitoba election less than a week away, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is releasing the results of its 2016 Leaders’ Survey on Small Business Issues.

“In a difficult economy it is more important than ever that parties address small business priorities,” said Elliot Sims, CFIB’s Provincial Affairs Director, Manitoba. “Small business owners are the province’s top job creators and the drivers of our economy. These survey responses will help them make an informed decision on Election Day about which party’s vision best allows them to grow their business and create jobs.”

Party leaders responded to questions on key issues including sustainable spending and balanced budgets, the total tax burden, red tape reduction and balanced labour laws. The leaders of the Green Party of Manitoba, Manitoba Liberal Party, Manitoba New Democratic Party and Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba all provided survey responses.

As a non-partisan organization CFIB has posted the leaders’ full, unedited responses to its Manitoba Election page to help small business owners make an informed decision on April 19th.

Some highlights include:

Positive Commitments for Small Business:

  • Green Party – Rejects increasing Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums.
  • Liberals - Will eliminate the $5,000 refund cap on the farmland school tax rebate.
  • NDP – Supports increasing the small business corporate income tax threshold to $500,000.
  • Progressive Conservatives – Will introduce Red Tape Accountability legislation that includes requirements to annually measure and publically report the regulatory burden facing entrepreneurs.


It is of note that all parties support pushing for a new Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) to foster interprovincial trade.

Areas of concern for Small Business:

  • Green Party – Will not hold a referendum on increases to major taxes, such as the PST.
  • Liberals – Supports increasing taxation powers for municipalities (e.g. fuel, income or sales taxes).
  • NDP – Will increase the minimum wage by at least 50 cents per hour annually.
  • Progressive Conservatives – Will not commit to balancing the budget in their first term.


Prior to the election, CFIB shared its Small Business election platform and urged Party leaders to commit to small-business friendly policies. Read CFIB’s Small Business election platform A Vision for 2020”.

To arrange an interview with Elliot Sims, please call 1-888-234-2232, 204-982-0817, or e-mail [email protected]. Follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.

April 13, 2016

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