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CANADA VOTES 2021: Kitchener South-Hespeler Riding Candidates

 

There are many issues that have taken front and centre during this Federal election campaign, especially surrounding Canada’s economic future in wake of the pandemic.

 

The business community is looking for strong representation as it continues to forge a clear path towards toward recovery and ensuring more prosperous communities going forward.

 

We reached out to the federal candidates vying to represent Kitchener South-Hespeler – Liberal Party candidate Valerie Bradford, NDP candidate Suresh Arangath, Green Party candidate Gabriel Rose and People’s Party candidate Melissa Baumgaertner - with a series of questions to determine their priorities and goals.

 

(Conservative Party of Canada candidate Tyler Calver did not provide answers to these questions at publication time).

 

1. What type of leadership can members of our business community expect from you as our MP and why should they vote for you and your party?

 

Communication with the business community will play a key role for the candidates if they are elected to represent Kitchener South-Hespeler in Ottawa.

 

“I’ll be a strong voice for our business community, and a collaborative leader who wants to work alongside you to shape positive change in our community,” says Liberal Party candidate Valerie Bradford, adding as an economic development professional and Chair of the Manufacturing Innovation Network she has spent the last 15 years working to help bring jobs and investment to the region. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and we must do everything we can to support them.”

 

The same sentiment is shared by NDP candidate Suresh Arangath who, as a financial advisor and professional accountant, says he understands the intricacies of business.

 

“I understand and appreciate the role of small business who are the engine of job creation in Canada. As a Member of Parliament, I can relate to the needs of the business community and can be a bridge between the business, workers and the government.”

 

For Green Party candidate Gabriel Rose, a healthcare worker, listening to small business leaders will be imperative.

 

“My style of leadership is to listen and gather advice from community members and subject matter experts. As an MP, I would consult with small local business owners as well as workers on how the federal government could improve conditions for both employers and employees,” he says. “The Green Party has always been a supporter of small local businesses and believes that small local businesses are the backbone of a community’s economy.”

 

Listening to concerns from business owners is also important to People’s Party candidate Melissa Baumgaertner, who has roots in the wellness industry and is studying for her holistic nutrition designation.

 

“(Chamber) Members can expect me to go to bat for them to keep their doors open, and to fight against restrictions and mandates that can negatively impact their businesses,” she says. “They can always approach me with their concerns.”

 

She says a vote for her and the PPC is a good step towards fiscal responsibility.

 

“We understand that the best thing government can do for businesses is get out of the way. After we have balanced the budget and eliminated the deficit, we will begin cutting the personal income tax, corporation taxes, and capital gains tax,” says Melissa. “Excessive spending has created startling inflation, which impacts both businesses and consumers.”

 

Tackling issues related to regulatory process and lowering the small business tax, anything affecting the ‘bottom line’ for small businesses is on the radar for the NDP says Suresh.

 

“If elected, a New Democratic Party will be a government that helps small business access the services and infrastructure they need to thrive and expand, while investing in a health and talented workforce for overall success.”

 

The continued economic health of the community will also be important for Valerie and the Liberal Party she says.

 

“The Liberal government has had the backs of Canadian through the COVID-19 pandemic and a Liberal government will continue to support the business community as they get back on their feet and build back better,” she says. “They also delivered the vaccines we needed, ahead of schedule, bringing us closer than ever to brighter days. Now, we have a fully costed, action driven plan for Canada’s long-term care recovery across the economic board.”

 

2. What will be a top priority for you as our MP and what concerns are you hearing from the business community on the campaign trail?

 

When it comes to priorities, the candidates have a variety of issues in their sights which they hope to tackle while representing this riding in Ottawa.

 

“We need to finish the fight against COVID-19. This is a must if we are going to ensure that we secure people’s health, livelihood and prosperity,” says Liberal Party candidate Valerie Bradford, adding she’s ready to work the ‘fundamental’ priorities expressed by voters in this riding. “These entail supporting our local businesses and creating jobs, bringing in affordable childcare, taking action on the climate, and helping Canadians buy their first home sooner.”

 

Green Party candidate Gabriel Rose also says addressing the ‘climate crisis’ will be a priority, along with healthcare system improvements, creating affordable housing and providing more supports to the most vulnerable, including seniors and those with mental health and addiction issues.

 

Creating affordable housing will also be a priority for him, says NDP candidate Suresh Arangath who would like to work with developers and community builders about his party’s plan to build 1.7 million affordable houses in Canada. As well, he says helping small businesses is imperative.

 

“A priority is to mitigate the effects of debts accumulated by small business through financial incentives and supporting hiring, rehiring and/or retraining the current employees,” he says. “Additionally, we should think about extending the CRHP and the CEWS until small business are able to get stronger to stand up on their own.”

 

For People’s Party candidate Melissa Baumgaertner, she says the rights and freedoms of Canadians have been “under attack” for the past 18 months and that restoring them is a priority.

 

“In these 18 months, we went from ‘two weeks to flatten a curve’ to a segregated society,” she says. “This is the issue at hand, and it seems the other parties are aligned with each other on endorsing restrictions and also trying to ignore the elephant in the room.”

 

In terms of concerns, Melissa says how vaccine passports will affect their business is a key issue.

 

“People are wondering how they’re going to be able to keep their doors open if lockdowns persist,” she says. “I’m deeply concerned about the struggles that small and medium businesses are facing right now. It’s time to get back to business as usual.”

 

The struggles of trying to maintain their businesses is something that Suresh says he’s hearing from business owners.

 

“They are accumulating debts and left with no more room to grow or survive another crisis,” says the NDP candidate. “They ask the support from the government to continue the programs like CRHP and the CEWS for a period to help them pass through the post pandemic time.”

 

For Gabriel, pandemic uncertainties about the future and improving government supports for employees, including health and childcare, are things the Green Party candidate says he has been hearing from residents. As well, he says worries about labour shortages also tops the list.

 

Labour shortages and economic uncertainties are also things Valerie says she’s come across while campaigning for the Liberal Party and promoting its recovery plans.

 

“We have a real plan to manage the concerns of the present, while addressing the recovery of the future,” she says. “This includes direct support and relief programs, more good jobs and the community investments that help everyone get ahead and back out supporting the economy.”

 

3. What supports will you champion to assist businesses and sectors that continue to struggle due to the pandemic?

 

When it comes to aiding businesses and sectors struggling with the effects of the pandemic, candidates are looking at various ways to assist.

 

For NDP candidate Suresh Arangath, he says during his discussions with many business owners who’ve continue to survive the pandemic it’s apparent the need to mitigate accumulating debt is vital.

 

“Among those who survived, more than 40% of businesses with less than 20 employees reported that they did not have the ability to take on more debt,” says Suresh, adding providing financial incentives and to support hiring, rehiring and/or retraining current employees, is something his party champions. “The NDP’s plan to include the pharma care, dental care, and mental health care in our Medicare system will help employers to hire qualified and quality workers without spending on benefits to those workers.”

 

Skills training and development is a target he and the Green Party will be championing, says candidate Gabriel Rose.

 

“There is a huge shortage of skilled tradespeople, and I would be an advocate and encourage young people to choose a career in the skilled trades,” he says, adding holding taxation at no more than 9%, plus reducing paperwork for small businesses by eliminating duplicative tax filings and red tape, are other causes he will support. “I would also support a Made in Canada strategy and prioritize Canadian companies in any public sector contracts.”

 

Re-tooling the workforce is one of several issues Valerie says she will champion on behalf of the Liberal Party.

 

“The pandemic has also had the impact of changing the nature of my many jobs, and we’ll make sure no Canadians are left behind,” she says, adding shifting to virtual work or creating new career opportunities will be part of the plan. As well, she says creating more green jobs is something else they will promote.

 

“We don’t have to choose between fighting climate change or growing the economy,” says Valerie. “Through new initiatives like a Net-Zero Accelerator Fund, we’ll capitalize on the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit already present in the riding. I will be a champion for our riding and help stimulate investment and opportunity from both the public and private sectors.”

 

Ending all federal measures that support lockdowns is something People’s Party candidate Melissa Baumgaertner says she will champion as MP.

 

“We will not bail out provincial governments that choose to close down their economies,” she says. “We must learn to live with this virus – the sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can get back to regular business.”

 

4. Will you support a national vaccination passport plan and national childcare strategy?

 

When it comes to implementing a national vaccination passport plan, the candidates are split, with the Liberal and NDP hopefuls in favour.

 

“Many businesses have already established policies that reflect this sentiment, as it is simply good business practice to do everything possible to keep customers and employees safe,” says Liberal Party candidate Valerie Bradford.

 

Her NDP counterpart Suresh Arangath concurs, explaining it ‘would just make life easier.’

 

People’s Party candidate Melissa Baumgaertner says having such a passport is a “gross infringement on the rights and freedoms of Canadians.”

 

“Vaccination should be a personal choice of every Canadian, with informed consent, not something you are coerced into so that you can travel to another province or enter the supermarket,” she says.

 

Green Party candidate Gabriel Rose also does not support a vaccination passport but supports people getting vaccinated.

 

“It’s important to realize that fully vaccinated individuals are still able to acquire mild and asymptomatic infections of COVID-19 and are still able to transmit the disease to others,” he says. “For that reason, I do not support mandatory vaccination or a vaccine passport plan. I support the proven gold standard method of eliminating COVID-19: test, trace and isolate.”

 

Gabriel, like Valerie and Suresh, does support a national childcare plan.

“The Liberal plan for $10/day childcare will allow parents, particularly women, to fully participate in the workforce,” says Valerie, adding every dollar invested in childcare returns $2.50 to the economy.

 

Suresh says the NDP’s plan to invest $20 billion in childcare over four years will help.

“There’s no recovery without the support for women and for many this includes childcare,” he says. “Childcare is fundamental to restarting our economy.”

 

His PPC counterpart says her party is standing firm on its decision not to institute any new social programs in effort to get the budget under control and eliminate the deficit in one term.

 

“Healthcare is within provincial jurisdiction, and realistically any childcare strategies should fall within their responsibilities,” says Melissa.

 

5. Do you see the possibility of collaboration between the Federal and Provincial levels of government on finding solutions to the growing shortage of doctors/nurses due to the impact of COVID-19 and mental health?

 

This is something most of the candidates would like to see occur.

 

“This is a crisis. During a crisis, issues should be addressed immediately by close coordination between the provincial and federal governments,” says NDP hopeful Suresh Arangath.

 

Liberal Party candidate Valerie Bradford agrees.

 

“That is a collaboration I would like to see,” she says. “Re-electing the Liberal government means continued work with the Provinces and Territories to make our healthcare system even stronger. That includes investing $10 billion to eliminate waitlists and another $3 billion to hire 7,500 family doctors, nurses and practitioners over the next four years.”

 

Green Party candidate Gabriel Rose says as a healthcare worker himself, he’s experienced burnout due to the pandemic and believes both levels of government can do more to address not only the shortages of frontline staff, but other health professionals such as respiratory therapists, diagnostic imaging technologists and medical laboratory technologists.

 

“Governments also need to provide much more funding to colleges and universities to create more seats in healthcare programs across the country, as well as abolish tuition fees so that more potential students have access to education in healthcare.”

In terms of any collaboration between both levels, PPC hopeful Melissa Baumgaertner says since healthcare is a provincial matter, the provinces would have to ask the Federal Government for guidance.

 

“Far too many problems in Canada have arisen from the Federal Government interfering with provincial matters,” she says.

 

6. What inspired you to run in this election?

 

When it comes to the key reason why these candidates decided to throw their hats into the ring, the majority say the need for change is imperative.

 

“Parliament is currently broken. There is too much negativity and cynicism in federal politics, and we need more loving and caring MPs that are interested in helping people above all other considerations,” says Green Party hopeful Gabriel Rose. “I am passionate about being part of this change.”

 

Wanting to help the most vulnerable in our society is what NDP candidate Suresh Arangath says inspired him.

 

“I am not convinced when the government cuts the benefits for the common man citing limitation on the availability of the funds,” he says, adding the housing crisis and climate crisis need to be addressed. “I think I can be part in expediting the whole process to make the lives of Canadians better.”

 

For PPC candidate Melissa Baumgaertner, she says the “fearmongering” and the “divisive and abusive” narrative of the current government inspired her to run.

“Watching small and medium businesses get crushed by these absurd lockdowns, while large corporations are allowed to remain open and reap massive benefits has been a major concern to me,” she says. “This isn’t right, and I’m ready to stand up against it.”

 

Standing up for the community is why Liberal Party hopeful Valerie Bradford decided to join the race.

 

“It’s important to me that you have someone in Ottawa who understands this riding, has experience building up the community and strengthening businesses,” she says. “Much of the region has transformed, but with change comes challenges, including the unprecedented time we’ve been living through during the pandemic.”

 

 

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CANADA VOTES 2021: Cambridge Riding Candidates

 

The Cambridge business community is seeking strong representation as it continues to forge a path towards toward economic recovery and ensuring more prosperous communities going forward in wake of the pandemic.

 

We reached out to the federal candidates vying to represent Cambridge – Liberal Party incumbent candidate Bryan May, Green Party candidate Michele Braniff and People’s Party candidate Maggie Segounis - with a series of questions to determine their priorities and goals.

 

(Conservative Party of Canada candidate Connie Cody and NDP candidate Lorne Bruce did not provide answers to these questions at publication time).

 

1. What type of leadership can members of our business community expect from you as our MP and why should they vote for you and your party?

 

Service and collaboration, plus challenging the ‘status quo’ were some of the sentiments expressed by the candidates.

 

Liberal Party incumbent candidate Bryan May says local business leaders can expect the same level of service and support he’s been providing the riding for the past six years helping them pursue federal grants, programs and supports to grow their business.

 

“Our government has been providing assistance through grants for innovation and research, export and import support through EDC, and direct support through FedDev here in Ontario,” he says.

 

Green Party candidate Michele Braniff says she will focus on a shared values and strong relationships for collaboration.

 

“I’m an entrepreneur and have both practical and academic experience and training in social innovation to explore creative solutions and win/win results,” says Michele, whose had a varied career as a lawyer, mediator, and non-profit mental health service provider, and currently teaches social justice courses. “The business community needs to rely on the federal government to create conditions for: stability in the markets; consistency/predictability in regulations, laws and taxation; and conditions that promote well-being for employees and their families. The climate crisis is urgent and government leadership is essential.”

 

For People’s Party candidate Maggie Segounis, avoiding “unnecessary” lockdowns is something the esthetician and former restaurant manager says will be key.

 

“Over the course of one mandate, we (PPC) are going to reduce the corporate income tax rate from 15% t0 10% and ultimately get rid of the personal capital gains tax,” she says. “Meaning, businesses will have more control over where their profits go, and more money will be going into the pockets of Canadians.”

 

For Bryan and his party, he says their recovery plan offers businesses the best option.

 

“Our plan seeks to continue the programs that helped businesses through COVID-19 and pave the way for a more sustainable and profitable economy in the coming years,” he says. “We were there for businesses when they needed us.”

Re-imaging the future is key for the Green Party, says Michele, adding she aims to challenge the status-quo.

 

“During the Second World War, Canada had an all-party war-time cabinet; what if we had a Climate Crisis All-Party Cabinet? We need to be innovative, and we need to take an entrepreneurial approach to the climate crisis,” she says. “Vote for me to ensure a voice in Ottawa for a sustainable prosperous, healthy, and happy Cambridge now and for the future.”

 

2. What will be a top priority for you as our MP and what concerns are you hearing from the business community on the campaign trail?

 

There are several priorities the candidates have on their radar, including housing, the climate crisis and mandated lockdowns.

 

“We will lobby against all COVID-19 related mandates because we believe Canadians can make their own informed decisions and are responsible for their own health,” says PPC candidate Maggie Segounis.

 

For Liberal Party incumbent candidate Bryan May, affordable housing tops his priority list.

 

“Businesses must have talented employees that are willing to move to our area,” he says. “Life must be affordable so that people can continue to grow and expand the local economy. Affordable housing connects to every other aspect of people’s lives, our business community, our social fabric, and the strength of our region in the coming decade.”

 

Safeguarding the planet for future generations will be one of her main priorities as MP, says Green Party hopeful Michele Braniff.

 

“Some politicians talk as if we must choose between the economy and the environment, but the best prospect for Canadians is a Green Economy,” she says. “We have broad consensus for an economic recovery plan and so it most opportune to develop a fully costed, sustainable Green Recovery Plan that is evidence-based with a clear government action plan ensuring social justice and sustainable economic development.”

 

Michele says resilience is imperative and that she has heard stories of hardship from business owners and those in other sectors, many of whom have had to ‘pivot’ quickly to survive.

 

“We need serious federal investment in the social infrastructure which keeps us healthy and resilient,” she says. “At least some of the billions of dollars currently dedicated to fossil fuel subsidies and buying a pipeline would be far more wisely invested in the health, education and care of Canadians.”

 

Staff shortages is something Maggie says she’s been hearing a great deal about from business owners, adding the current government has made people reliant on government funds and has used “scare tactics” to keep them away from work.

“We will open up businesses and get people back into the workforce,” she says, adding drug injection sites is another concern businesses and residents have raised. “We want to promote clean and health living; we don’t want to encourage drug use; we want to end the problem not perpetuate it.”

 

Recovery, says Bryan, is something at the front of the minds of many business owners who fear what will happen in the next six to 12 months.

 

“With the U.S. going through an uneven recovery and still struggling with COVID-19, as well as some businesses here in Canada experiencing outbreaks and lower-than-normal customer orders, business owners are concerned about the coming fiscal year,” he says. “In order to combat this, we need to do two things: increase vaccinations and create a workplace standard for vaccinations and ensure that businesses are able to weather an uneven recovery.”

 

3. What supports will you champion to assist businesses and sectors that continue to struggle due to the pandemic?

 

In terms of supports for businesses, the candidates offered several views.

“The pandemic has been a crisis in which business, provincial, local and federal government have collaborated at an unprecedented level. Government leaders must continue these highly effective, efficient, evidence-based ways of working together to accomplish mutual goals,” says Green Party hopeful Michele Braniff. “Businesses and community need government leadership with respect to standardized requirements for masking, COVID-testing, vaccines and other safety precautions.”

 

For Liberal incumbent candidate Bryan May, the continuation of current support programs for businesses – CEWS, CERS and CEBA - will remain important.

 

“We provided over $1.5 billion through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism that are key to the Region,” he says. “We are going to keep up this work by providing direct financial support – for employees, and subsidies for rent and operating costs. These supports help businesses stay open, bounce back fast and expand as the economy recovers.”

 

Keeping businesses open will play an important role for her as MP says PPC candidate Maggie Segounis.

 

“We will allow businesses to operate at full capacity with no restrictions at their own discretion,” she says. “This will help our economy flourish and return to where our businesses were thriving pre-pandemic.”

 

4. Will you support a national vaccination passport plan and national childcare strategy?

 

The candidates offered a few different opinions regarding these two issues.

Liberal incumbent candidate Bryan May is in full favour of a national vaccination passport plan.

 

“The federal government has already mandated federal employees be vaccinated, and is requiring vaccination for federal travel (aircraft, trains, cruise ships etc),” he says. “We’re also providing funding for provinces that create their own vaccine passport plans and implement them.”

 

For Green Party hopeful Michele Braniff, an evidence-based decision-making approach when it comes to public health recommendations is crucial.

 

“In the same way that mandatory masks made it easier for businesses to keep their premises safe, I believe that a passport plan standardizes expectations for customers and clients,” she says. “The details and specifics of such a plan would be crucial to its success.”

 

PPC candidate Maggie Segounis is adamant no such plan should be imposed.

“Absolutely not,” she says. “We believe that nobody, but your personal healthcare professional should know or have access to your medical privacy.”

 

In terms of a national childcare plan, Maggie says her party’s focus is to get more children back into school.

 

“We will create more jobs, get parents back to work and build a stronger economy therefore Trudeau’s $10 a day daycare won’t overpopulate and overwhelm the childcare system and it won’t be an issue.”

 

Bryan, on the other hand, says the Liberal Party’s plan has already seen support from many of the provinces.

 

“This is critical to getting our workforce back to the workplace, and particularly supporting more women to enter the workforce, as we recover from the pandemic,” he says. “Childcare costs are a major financial burden for families, particularly with more than one child, and they prevent many women from entering the workforce.”

Michele supports a federally funded universal childcare system.

 

“What we need is ‘upstream thinking’: going to the source of the problem and investing in resilience and wellness for children,” she says. “Affordable childcare supports families and ensures stability and diversity in the workplace now and in the future.”

 

5. Do you see the possibility of collaboration between the Federal and Provincial levels of government on finding solutions to the growing shortage of doctors/nurses due to the impact of COVID-19 and mental health?

 

In terms of finding solutions to this issue, all three candidates are looking at different approaches.

 

“Federal-provincial, non-partisan collaboration is essential if we want to resolve this complex problem,” says Green Party candidate Michele Braniff, adding national standards and guidelines are essential due to shortages which are creating burn-out and compassion-fatigue for healthcare workers. “The healthcare profession has an international employment market, and we need to ensure efficient, accurate and fair national accreditation of foreign-trained professionals and also create working conditions and career paths that retain Canadian health professionals in Canada.”

Liberal incumbent candidate Bryan May says his government will continue to invest in healthcare, including providing $3.2 billion towards hiring 7,500 new family doctors, nurses and NPs nationwide, plus boosting the salary of PSWs and expanding virtual healthcare services.

 

“Millions of Canadians face problems accessing primary care,” he says. “We want to help solve this problem and improve Canadians’ access to universal, public healthcare.”

 

For People’s Party of Canada hopeful Maggie Segounis, she says shortages will only continue and increase with “mandates” and “unconstitutional decisions”.

 

“Eighteen months ago, the nurses and doctors were considered our ‘frontline heroes’. Now, due to the provincial vaccine mandates, the government considers those working in the medical field who are unvaccinated ‘super spreaders’ and are releasing those frontline heroes because they decided not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

 

6. What inspired you to run in this election?

 

A desire to make our community a better place now and in the future is one of the reasons the candidates have their sights set on representing Cambridge in Ottawa.

“Our rights and freedoms are at stake, and I believe Cambridge needs the right representative to tackle the important issues. I am that representative,” says PPC candidate Maggie Segounis. “The younger generations need to have access to all the information, and they need to get excited about the democratic system.”

 

A better and greener future is important for Green Party candidate Michele Braniff, who is representing her party for the third time in this riding.

 

“I want to see politics done differently with proportionate representation and evidence-based decision-making with fully costed platforms where public funds are invested in programs that improve public welfare and community well-being,” she says. “The Green Party values, priorities, fully costed accountability, and its evidence-based policy information align with my values.”

 

For Liberal incumbent candidate Bryan May, his desire for re-election centres on continuing to build a better community for his children.

 

“I want to build an economy and community that they will be happy and healthy to live in,” he says. “They are my inspiration for running, and a big reason I want to make sure all our children and youth have every opportunity and option available to them.”

 

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Big increases to minimum wage are becoming fashionable in Canada: first Alberta (from $12.20 currently to $15 in October 2018), then B.C. (from $10.35 to $11.35 in September 2017) and now Ontario (from $11.40 to $15.00 in January 2019, a 30% hike in 18 months). Are workers better off or does it mean fewer jobs?


The debate has been ferocious because economists don’t agree, but let’s look at the fundamentals. The government accepts that carbon taxes are effective at reducing emissions because if you make something more expensive, people will use less of it. We agree, but the same logic must apply to wages. And, actually, a business owner faced with the rising cost of an input (labour) has three options:

  • Absorb the added cost out of her profit margin
  • Raise prices
  • Reduce use of labour by substituting in morecapital or simply making do with less work

Let’s take these in order. Some businesses are so spectacularly profitable that owners can just absorb rising labour costs. But Apple and Microsoft don’t use minimum wage labour. If we look at profit margin by industry, the biggest users of minimum wage labour are in retail and food service, with razor thin (below 3%) margins. There is very little room to absorb these costs, and if a business is not profitable, there is not much point in keeping it going.


What about raising prices? The critical ingredient in business success is getting the right price point for your market. One restauranteur told us that the lunch menu in her neighborhood has to be $5-$8, any higher means flirting with disaster. In retail, the competition is with online giants, like Amazon. Often, there is no room to raise prices without driving away customers.


The third option to cope with rising wages is making do with less staff. This is controversial because many studies show that minimum wage can be increased without a corresponding rise in unemployment.

 

That’s why the recent Seattle study produced such a bombshell. Washington state collects detailed data on hours worked and it showed how part time workers with irregular schedules are cut back. Seattle’s minimum wage hike reduced the total hours worked by the low-wage workforce by about 9% while raising their wages by only about 3%. The net loss to workers was an average of $125 a month. This is a big, immediate hit to the most vulnerable workers.


In the long-term, minimum wage hikes can also drive labour-saving capital investment. The former CEO of McDonald’s told Forbes, “demands for a much higher minimum wage would force businesses with small profit margins to replace full-service employees with costly investments in self-service alternatives.” At the time, labour groups accused business owners of crying wolf. McDonald’s is now rolling out touchscreen selfservice kiosks across Canada and the U.S.

 

There is some evidence that modest increases in minimum wage can be done without disrupting labour markets, but governments have to be cautious about hurting competiveness. Previously, I had said there are three options to deal with rising costs, but there is actually a fourth and a fifth option: shut down or move to a different jurisdiction. Let’s provide input to the Government of Ontario to prevent this from happening. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has
done some great work on this issue and has a report that can be viewed here.

 

For more information, please contact:

Hendrik Brakel

Senior Director, Economic, Financial & Tax Policy

613.238.4000 (284) | hbrakel@chamber.ca

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Small businesses across Canada need to voice their concerns to show decision-makers that they are “too big to ignore”. Show your support, watch the video and share.
 

 

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Today Cambridge will Elect its Political Leadership for the next 4 years.

 

 

 

 

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Get ready, they'll be knocking on your door looking for your vote. HOWEVER thisyear you don't need to go out and vote, you can vote in your jammies. That's right, ONLINE and Telephone voting is here in Cambridge. Odd that we are technically so far ahead of those other areas of our Region. Look, the internet is over 25 years old (in our homes), this is the 21st Century, I should be able to vote in my pajamas, its about time!

 

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