Political Opinions

Springwater Mayor Don’s Update

COVID-19

The Province has made a number of announcements regarding the easing of restrictions, however in order to see additional restrictions lifted, officials must see a gradual and steady decline in the number of cases. The trend in recent days has been the opposite, with an increase in numbers. The best way to ensure we slow the spread of COVID-19 is by limiting outings, practicing strict physical distancing and following all public health guidelines.

The Province has announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the year. Overnight camps will remain closed until 2021, however daycamps will be permitted to open during July and August.  Child care centres will remain closed, however they are expected to gradually reopen during phase 2 of the Province’s reopening plan. Very strict guidelines will be in place, similar to what is currently being done for emergency child care centres. The reopening of daycamps and child care centres will be at the discretion of the local health unit.

Springwater staff will be reviewing public health guidelines regarding daycamps and providing a report to Council at the June 3 meeting to determine whether or not summer camps will run in Springwater. There are a number of considerations including locations, staffing availability and the health and safety of our campers and staff.

The Province also announced that as of last Tuesday, sports fields, courts and parks were able to reopen. Staff have been working diligently to reopen these outdoor amenities by cutting grass, completing safety inspections, putting up nets and removing barricades. Please remember to practice safe physical distancing and public health guidelines when using these outdoor amenities. Playgrounds, outdoor fitness equipment and the Elmvale splash pad remain closed for the time being.

Our community control group continues to meet and develop a recovery plan as additional restrictions are listed. As always, check springwater.ca/covid19 for the latest updates.

 

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The County of Simcoe and the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) have partnered to help local businesses that were unable to access existing federal COVID-19 relief measures. They can now apply for funding under a new Government of Canada initiative called the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).

With $962 million announced nationally and $252 million marked for Southern Ontario, the RRRF will support Simcoe County small and medium sized businesses that do not qualify for or have not been able to receive funding from current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.

CFDCs will administer the funding and focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores, and businesses of strategic importance to the communities, with interest-free loans up to $40,000. Support is available to businesses operated by sole-proprietors, corporations and partnerships. Visit https://edo.simcoe.ca/Pages/COVID-19-Government-Supports.aspx for more information on eligibility and application.

 

Springwater Public Library Reopening Plan

The Springwater Library is preparing to open for curbside service in early June. Staff are busy behind the scenes and are waiting for PPE and cleaning supplies to ensure everyone’s safety. The book drops are now open at each branch and all materials are being quarantined for 3 days. The due date for all materials has been extended until June 30, and no late fees will be charged. The library will be announcing the beginning of curbside service on their website and Facebook page.

 

Community Gardens

At the Council meeting last Wednesday, Council received a report providing options for a community garden. The report was generated in response to an item for future consideration brought forward in April.

Two potential locations for the Community Garden would be Bishop Park or Robinson Park, both located in Elmvale. The report also outlines a variety of considerations regarding types of gardens, initial construction and operation costs, community group involvement, design and insurance considerations.

Council voted in favor of gathering resident feedback to determine community interest in renting or utilizing the garden, potential location of the garden, as well as the community’s interest in assisting with the management of the garden.

A survey is available on the Township website at www.springwater.ca/communitygarden. You’re encouraged to fill out the survey and share your thoughts and ideas.

 

Burn Permits

So far this year, we have been very fortunate to not have a fire ban in place in Springwater. However, residents are reminded that any outdoor burning in Springwater requires a burn permit. A residential burn permit can be purchased online at springwater.ca/burnpermit. The cost is $15. If you require an Open Air Burn Permit please contact Springwater Fire & Emergency Services during regular business hours at 705-728-4784 Ext. 2016.

 

Springwater 2020 Budget & Business Plan – Results as at March 31, 2020

The Springwater 2020 Budget & Business Plan was approved by Council on December 18, 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted operations since mid-March. On May 6, Council received a report on the preliminary financial impacts of COVID-19 based on three scenarios to the end of 2020. On May 20, staff reported to Council on the first quarter results to March 31, 2020. Overall, the operating budget was $432,000 better than budgeted as at March 31, due mainly to careful managing of revenue and expenses. Capital projects continue to proceed where possible.

 

Simcoe County COVID-19 2020 Financial Impacts

Simcoe County staff presented a report with a preliminary financial assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the County of Simcoe. Based on the current financial analysis, the forecasted impact for 2020 is as follows

Shortfall of approximately $2.2M in user fees and miscellaneous income from areas such as transit fares removed until further notice, Lake Simcoe Airport revenue reduction, museum and interest revenue reductions.

Increase of Provincial and Federal subsidies of $2.1M

Increase in expenditures totaling $6.0M. Main areas for this are social and community services, paramedics staffing, increased PPE and cleaning costs.
It is currently difficult to quantify the impact of individual items as well as the overall impact to the County. However, staff are of the view that ultimately the pandemic will result in a 2020 operating shortfall at year-end of an estimated $6.1M. County Council will continue to receive updates and decide upon courses of action.

 

Simcoe County Timber Sales

Approximately 1,000 hectares of the Simcoe County Forests are inventoried annually. Each forest is assessed by Forestry staff to determine the manner in which it is to be treated. If harvesting is appropriate, trees are marked and volume is estimated in order to provide detailed information to prospective buyers. The standing timber is then sold to the highest bidder. Much of the timber is processed locally which contributes to the local economy. The Ontario list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19 has included forestry. As such, tenders proceeded and contracts totaling $441,038 were tendered and awarded on April 24th, 2020. Prior to commencement of harvesting, notification is sent to adjoining landowners and detailed maps are provided to local municipal staff. Revenues result in a net operating balance surplus which is applied to the Forestry Reserve to be reinvested into forestry operations and the acquisition of additional forest lands.

 

Prevent retracement - please continue to follow the physical distancing and other rules and practices we know we should. Stay well and safe.

 

Doug Downey MP Barrie Springwater Oro-Medonte

Recently, Premier Ford announced a relaxation of restrictions and the stage one of our reopening plan, beginning on May 19th. These changes are possible due to the sacrifices made by those in our communities to stay home and stay safe. Due to physical distancing and the following of restrictions, we have seen a downtrend in the number of cases across the province, which allows us the opportunity to being our reopening process.

The government's responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service providers time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario's first stage of reopening will include:

  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for takeout.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have a separate street-front entrance with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling; inperson services, in addition to virtual services, delivered by health professionals; and scheduled surgeries, all based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

To ensure these first actions to reopen the province are a success, we as everyone to continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing or wearing a face covering when physical distancing is difficult or not possible, as well as regular hand washing and staying home when ill. The Chief Medical Office of Health will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

It is because of the efforts of all Ontarians that we are making real and significant progress in our battle against COVID-19. By staying apart we have come together, and have set Ontario on the road to economic recovery. Thank you all for doing your part.

 

A Message from MP Doug Shipley

The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult on all residents living within Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte. As your elected representative, please know that my Conservative colleagues and I are here to help you through these highly challenging times. My office is fully staffed and available to take your calls and respond to emails.

I understand the huge importance farmers have within our population; agriculture is the backbone of our society and I am grateful everyday for the food they provide to my family and me. I am honoured to have so many great farmers within my constituency and I am doing everything I can to make sure their work and importance is recognized by the Liberal government.

Having originally moved to this region over 35 years ago it has been my pleasure to meet and work with so many great business owners. It is with a heavy heart that I am witnessing these great people and businesses struggle to stay afloat during this pandemic. For this reason, I would like to remind all residents of the role they can play in assisting these businesses. I urge you to shop local and order takeout from one of the many great restaurants within our constituency if you are able.

This being said I will continue to fight for more expansive financial protections for all residents, families, farmers and businesses. Everybody has a role to play.

Before I was elected to office, I knew how special Barrie – Springwater - Oro-Medonte was, but this pandemic has taken my admiration of our riding to new heights. Seeing our community come together to help one another is something special. It is a privilege to represent all of you within the government every single day. It is by working together that we can best make it through these times.

Stay safe.

Sincerely, Doug Shipley, Member of Parliament

Barrie - Springwater - Oro Medonte

 

My View – Bill French

COVID-19 Panic or Plan?

To be frank, I have no issue with some of the drastic measures that were taken when we were hit with the onslaught of COVID-19 in March. When a disaster of this magnitude occurs, sometimes the best solution is stop everything, use everything in the toolbox and that is what we did. However, in most cases such as Forest Fire, after the initial “all hands on deck” approach, it usually shifts to a more targeted laser focused plan. I think our Canadian government leaders at all levels missed that class in crisis management. Our current slow inconsistent lifting of restrictions, seems selective and most likely responsive to those that are applying the most pressure. They still seem to operate with a Panic mentality and seem more reactive than proactive.

Don’t get me wrong, as some initiatives make sense but others seem to be missed, such as opening up our right to Worship. We have had three months to develop a tactical plan and start implementing it based on data, and we certainly have plenty of that bombarding us every day. The reality is that this dreaded disease will cause more deaths, and even though tragic, cannot be avoided at any cost. The simple truth is, we cannot keep people locked up and sequestered forever as the toll from that approach will make the direct deaths from COVID-19, pale in comparison.

 

Currently we have real unemployment at around 25% to 30% when you factor in the wage subsidy and business programs being dished out indiscrimately every day. It will make it difficult to get people back to work when things do open up, as apparently close to 70% that are on benefits are in fact clearing more than when on the job. About 30% of those are earning nearly double their current wage and 10% triple. Why would you want to rush back to work to make less? I read that one suggested solution is to increase everyone’s wage or pay them a bonus to come back to work instead of feeding off the public purse. How many more businesses will not come back because of that approach? Wouldn’t that mean a spike in inflation as everything will cost a little more as the wage cost will increase? It bothers me that many of these Economic experts, who have more letters in degrees behind their name than letters in the alphabet have no consistent resolution. This is total insanity and is digging the hole deeper. That is the problem with a handout rather than hand-up mentality of a socialist government approach and COVID-19 has made me realize that we are now a totally socialist country as too many of us expect the government to provide the safety net while we sit back and cross our fingers. The only step left is to nationalize our large business sector and any bailout of the airline industry will be the first step. Keep an eye out for that as the rest of our limited freedoms will disappear along with it and we will become like China and Russia under totalitarian rule.

 

I find it ironic that two organizations have figured out how to operate with the COVID-19 crisis using good old ingenuity. NASCAR came up with a plan that protects the health of their fans, pit crews and TV Broadcasters and are catching up the season that stopped in March with a modified format and schedule. They have now had about 4 races and things are working and a lot of people are back to work. It appears that Major League Baseball also has a plan to launch the 2020 season with a focus on protecting all that are involved. I still don’t understand why there is not a plan presented by government outlining the rules and not changing them every day.

It is obvious that there are three key things that will basically keep the spread controlled. Physical distancing, which most businesses could adapt, frequent hand washing, which is a good habit anyway and then make a clear directive on when and where to wear face masks. Cannot our health officials provide a clear list of guidelines and educate us all to stay vigilant in these three areas to protect us. If they can, we will all be better for it and life will slowly return. People need to plan their lives and a clear strategic plan leading us out of this Pandemic would be appreciated. If a local Council can meet regularly using Zoom Teleconferencing with some  members in the chambers and the other remote, why can’t our Federal and Provincial Governments get back to work and place as many members as safety permits in the Houses of Parliament and the rest involved remotely. What we lack is vision from our leaders, and even though he may be the craziest man on the planet, at least Trump throws out ideas to see what sticks. Yes, many of his ideas are frightening but if we can get past his hedonistic, arrogant, egotistical nature, he is at least thinking and not hiding under a blanket or locked in a basement like many others. A few bad ideas are better than no ideas which seems to be our Canadian way. By the way on the local front, since Springwater Council has conducted a number of successful Council and Special Meetings electronically, don’t you think it is time to withdraw that unwarranted Delegation of Authority they handed to the unelected CAO two months back?

I think it is great that we are recognizing the hard work of our health care, senior living care givers and a variety of social and emergency services that remain on the job and are serving us well. I think it is also appropriate for us to thank those ordained individuals who are also working behind the lines to keep us connected with God in whatever form we believe. They are still responding to the sick, burying our loved ones and conducting regular celebrations of worship in interesting ways to keep us connected to the true solution and trusting in God’s Divine Providence. It might be good if we all asked for his help each night as we lay our head on our pillow.

May God Bless us and protect us all.

Bill French is a seasoned business leader with over 40 year’s experience and served in senior positions of International Enterprises. Bill served as Mayor of Springwater and a County of Simcoe Councillor from 2014 to 2018 and has taught business at the college level for over 15 years.

 

County Council Highlights

Flat Levy for Recovering Waste Management Costs

The County of Simcoe is responsible for the delivery of solid waste management services to all of its member municipalities, including the provision of curbside collection of the various waste and recyclable streams. In 2021, a new contract for curbside collection will be awarded.

This week, in an effort to ensure a uniform service across Simcoe County by the fairest means of recovering the cost of the curbside collection system, County Council directed staff to move towards a flat levy cost per serviced unit, rather than an assessment based charge for curbside waste collections, effective January 1, 2021, and that staff report back on operational details, a financial analysis and associated costs, moving forward.

County Development Charge Rebate Requests for Secondary Suites Program

Since 2008, the County has offered a rebate of its development charges as a financial incentive for the creation of affordable housing. County Council approved $200,000 in the 2020 budget to offset the County development charges paid by developers of affordable housing projects, including County-funded secondary units.

On June 6, 2019, Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act received Royal Assent. This Bill includes extensive amendments to legislation as outlined in the Ontario Housing Supply Action Plan, including proposed amendments to the Development Charges Act. Under the proposed amendments, the Development Charges Act would provide that the creation of one second dwelling unit in prescribed classes of new residential buildings would be exempt from development charges.

Solid Waste Management Facilities COVID-19 Update

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County has taken decisive steps to flatten the curve and slow community transmission to protect residents’ social, physical and financial well-being and ensure a speedy economic recovery post-COVID. In alignment with health guidelines to physical distance and protect staff, the County initially closed landfill and transfer stations to the public. On March 26, to support our small businesses and our residents’ urgent/essential waste disposal needs, the County reopened four landfills and transfer stations after initiating additional health protocols and necessary precautions

This week, Council received a report on a second phase of reopenings scheduled to commence Monday, May 25, allowing two weeks to recuperate staff levels, implement additional safety measures, and provide adequate notice to site staff and the public on the site schedule changes. Several landfills and transfer stations will reopen and hours of operation will increase to 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to provide greater critical disposal options to County residents and businesses and reduce wait times at the four currently operating sites. For more details, go to simcoe.ca/covid19.

Correction Notice: Oro-Medonte McLean Park Initiative - Request for County Support for MZO

The May 5 issue of County Council highlights stated that Council voted to support the Oro-Medonte McLean Park initiative’s request for a Ministerial Zoning Order. On April 28, Council voted to defer back to staff for more information before making their decision on whether to approve the application for an MZO. This item was included on the May 12 agenda and was further deferred by County Council to the May 26 session.

To view the full Committee of the Whole or Council Agenda visit: https://simcoe.civicweb.net/Portal/

 

Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global reality

By Aaron Wudrick and Franco Terrazzano Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen to make life more expensive for Canadians by increasing the federal carbon tax by 50 per cent amidst the COVID-19 economic and health crisis.

Meanwhile, governments around the world are moving in the opposite direction because hiking taxes during a global pandemic is a bad idea.

Provinces have already tapped the brakes on their own carbon tax hikes.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan cancelled the planned April 1 carbon tax hike.

Instead of mirroring the federal carbon tax hike, Newfoundland and Labrador is maintaining its tax at $20 per tonne.

The price of carbon allowances in the Quebec-California cap-and-trade system has also fallen due to COVID-19 and the current economic realities.

The European Union’s cap-and-trade scheme, which applies to 30 countries, has also seen its rate drop significantly. For most of 2019 and early 2020, EU carbon prices traded around €25 per tonne before nosediving to around €15 per tonne in March. The EU’s cap-and-trade tax rate has fallen 32 per cent below its 2020 peak, according to the most recent data available.

While the tax rate has increased since bottoming out, S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts the COVID-19 shock will keep downward pressure on the cap-and-trade market.

Other countries are providing further carbon tax relief.

The Norwegian government reduced its carbon tax rate on natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas to zero and will keep the rates below the pre-COVID-19 level until 2024. Norway also deferred payments on various fuel taxes until June 18.

Estonia Finance Minister Martin Helme formally called for his country to consider leaving the EU’s cap-and-trade carbon tax system to provide relief. The prime minister later announced that Estonia would remain in the EU’s carbon tax system but the government lowered the excise tax on electricity to the minimum allowed by the EU, and lowered its excise tax on diesel, light and heavy fuel oil, shale oil and natural gas.

“Due to the economic downturn, both people’s incomes and the revenue of companies are declining, but daily household expenses such as electricity or gas bills still need to be paid. To better cope with them, we are reducing excise duty rates on gas and electricity for two years,” Helme explained.

Franco Terrazzano

Outside of the EU, the United Kingdom is saving its taxpayers between £15 and £20 million a year by walking back its plan to increase its carbon tax top-up.

New Zealand’s cap-and-trade tax rate has fallen by more than 20 per cent this year.

And South Africa pushed back carbon tax payments by three months.

It’s worth noting that it’s unlikely Canada’s carbon tax will have any meaningful impact on global emissions. Only 45 countries (out of 195 countries worldwide) are covered by a carbon tax and only 15.6 per cent of total emissions are covered by these taxes, according to the World Bank. And about half of the emissions covered by carbon taxes are significantly lower than Canada’s federal rate and too low to make a difference.

With Canada only accounting for 1.5 per cent of global emissions, it’s easy to understand Trudeau’s acknowledgement that, “even if Canada stopped everything tomorrow, and the other countries didn’t have any solutions, it wouldn’t make a big difference.”

Now more than ever, Canadian taxpayers need relief. With carbon tax burdens declining around the globe during the COVID-19 crisis, walking back the recent carbon tax hike should be a no-brainer for our federal government.

Aaron Wudrick is federal director and Franco Terrazzano is Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

 

Tiny’s Town Hall Meeting is proceeding – virtually! Saturday, June 13, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

May 25, The Township of Tiny Council values community engagement and participation, especially during trying times such as these. As a result, we are very pleased to advise that the June 13, 2020 Town Hall Meeting will proceed virtually.

What will this look like?

As the Municipal Offices and Community Centres remain closed to the public, the Town Hall Meeting will proceed through video conferencing and will be live-streamed through the Township of Tiny’s YouTube channel.  The general format for the Township’s Town Hall Meeting will remain the same as in previous years. Council will provide updates to the community, after which residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and/or provide input.

Anyone can view the Town Hall Meeting through the Township of Tiny’s YouTube channel (Live-Stream).

If you wish to participate, please visit www.tiny.ca/events for participation guidelines and the Town Hall Meeting agenda. 

The Township of Tiny is working diligently to keep residents informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit www.tiny.ca/coronavirus for information about COVID-19 municipal updates and service impacts, community resources and important news.

 

University of Guelph students demand reversal of international tuition fee increases

Guelph, May 26, University of Guelph students are shocked at the increases to international student tuition that was approved by the Board of Governors on April 22, 2020. These increases range from 10 to 15 percent for international undergraduate students who already pay on average three times more than domestic students at UofG.  

Currently, many international students are struggling to pay for basic needs including rent and groceries, and some are unable to return home due to the current crisis. In addition to this, many international students who remain in Guelph are facing increased mental health struggles.  For many international students, their plans of employment have been halted as COVID-19 has brought the economy to a standstill. Furthermore, international students are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) yet are expected to pay increased tuition in the next few weeks.

“There is a false perception that all international students are wealthy, as a matter of fact the majority of them rely on more than one part-time job to support themselves financially” said Anna Canella Co-President of the International Students Organization at the University of Guelph.  “We are all experiencing the impact of COVID-19. The reality is that without a prospective job for the summer, the global economy compromised, us students and our families are more than ever struggling to finance our education. An increase in tuition makes international students face the hard decision to potentially not return in the Fall.”

CSA and ISO are calling on the University of Guelph to take the following actions to support international students during COVID-19 which include a reversal to the 2020/2021 international tuition fee increases immediately, implementing a tuition freeze for international students, and for the institution to provide more bursaries, grants and scholarships for international students. 

 

NEW U.S. AID TO FARMERS LEAVES ONTARIO FARMERS UNABLE TO COMPETE

GUELPH, ON (May 20, 2020) – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province‘s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario‘s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers urge the Canadian government to expand agricultural support and include grain farmers, in light of additional support for farmers in competing markets.

Once again, farmers in the U.S., specifically grain farmers, are receiving needed support from their government in light of COVID-19 issues and income loss that is out of their control. This continued investment in farmers gives the U.S. market the ability to withstand some of the lowest prices for grain in the last decade and places Ontario grain farmers in a disadvantaged state, competitively.

Ontario grain farmers have repeatedly not only asked government to show support through updated assurance and insurance programs, but also have invested in research and produced program templates that could be implemented quickly. These asks continue to be met with stall tactics, platitudes and loan programs, which farmers cannot afford with farm debt already on the rise, according to Statistics Canada.

“We are at a real breaking point. The federal government continues to ask farmers to bear all of the risk associated with securing Canada‘s food system and takes no action to partner with us in this risk. Our farmer-members will lose money on every acre of corn, with no way to regain those losses, while our U.S. counterparts will be able to survive these losses thanks to support from their government,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

“We have shown the government the clear indicators of coming crisis for Ontario‘s grain farmers, but they continue to deny that there are struggles in this industry. The lack of support and continued oversight is frankly flabbergasting,” continued Haerle.

A recent Grain Farmers of Ontario survey asked farmer-members about their operations, impacts of COVID-19 and business continuity.

  • 86 per cent expect their net income to be reduced in 2020
  • Over half of grain farmers are already seeing a reduction in sales and another 24 per cent are experiencing cancellation or delays of existing contracts
  • One third are experiencing cashflow and another third expect cash flow issues in the near future
  • 55 per cent fear that they will have an inability to cover the cost of production

Grain Farmers of Ontario has launched a campaign to get the attention of the federal government and insist that grain farmers and the issues they face are discussed and addressed. (www.grainfarmers.ca)

“Our farmer-members are proud of the work they do, rightfully, and they are not generally in favour of asking for handouts or bailouts, which is precisely why we have asked the federal and provincial governments to update the programs that guard against risk for our businesses. These are insurance programs and farmers even pay into them. Like any insurance program, they can only be accessed if they are needed. Farmers would rather not have to use the programs at all. In their current state they are unusable and unreliable,” said Haerle.

 

Taxpayer.com

News broke Friday afternoon that four of the five major federal political parties are taking taxpayer-funded wage subsidies designed to help small businesses shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only the Bloc is turning down the extra taxpayer cash.

Struggling Canadians are lining up for the support they need and politicians who have already helped themselves to buckets of taxpayers’ cash are butting back into line for more.

We need your help to stop this.

Parties benefit from tax credits of up to 75% on donations, which is much more than the tax credits Canadians get for giving to charities such as the Red Cross.

It gets worse. After elections, politicians send taxpayers the bill for most of their partisan campaign expenses. For the 2015 election (2019 data isn’t available yet), federal parties split over $60 million in taxpayer reimbursements for renting airplanes, buying attack ads and covering the streets with election signs.

Now they have the audacity to take money meant for struggling Canadians and make taxpayers go further into debt to pay 75% of their political party headquarters’ staff wages?

Worst of all, politicians are just warming up because want even more of your money. Earlier this month, some MPs were already asking for taxpayers to give their parties a cash payment for every vote they receive.

Do they have no shame?

It’s time for taxpayers to push back. In this crisis, some people and services are vital: lab technicians doing virus tests and grocery store clerks keeping our fridges full. Here’s something we could all live with less of: political spin doctors scheming up the next attack ads – that’s nothing close to an essential service that struggling taxpayers should have to subsidize. These programs are meant for hard hit Canadians, not political parties already flush with taxpayer cash.

Please email the four party headquarters and tell them to pay back the wage subsidy and close the door for good on the cash for votes scheme.

Liberal Party of Canada – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conservative Party of Canada – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Democrat Party – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Green Party of Canada – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

If regular taxpayers don’t stand up and push back, politicians will take this money. And then they’ll come back for more. Tell them enough is enough.

Thanks for everything you do,

Scott, Aaron, Shannon and the entire CTF team

P.S.: For the record, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation does not take money from any government or political party. And we are not applying for any government subsidy to help us through this pandemic and economic recession. We rely on the voluntary support of Canadians who believe their politicians need a watchdog to keep them honest. If you want to support our work, you can do it through this secure website: https://www.taxpayer.com/donate

 

Canadian Chamber and the Government of Canada team up with accounting profession to provide free advice to small to medium-sized business, not-for-profits and charities to navigate uncertainty

OTTAWA, May 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Small to medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations and charities are among those most impacted by the current pandemic and will now have direct access to a network of qualified business advisors to help guide them courtesy of a new, government-funded program from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The program, called the Business Resilience Service (BRS), is run through the Canadian Chamber’s Canadian Business Resilience Network in collaboration with EY and with support from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and Imagine Canada. The BRS will provide options for any vulnerable small to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity to immediately connect with experienced accounting and tax professionals across the country from professional services firms. The program, delivered to organizations free of charge, will:

  • Provide guidance on program options and eligibility
  • Rapidly direct businesses – including enterprises involving Indigenous peoples, women and diverse groups – to the most appropriate support organizations
  • Help organizations make decisions to support recovery plans
  • Provide real time insights and feedback to policymakers

The BRS program, coordinated by EY, will be provided for four weeks from Monday, May 25, and will involve support from approximately 125 business advisors from across the accounting profession. Organizations can access the BRS seven days a week by calling 1-866-989-1080.

“The Business Resilience Service is about business helping business. CPAs speak the language of business. They understand the financial pressures on small to medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities and are uniquely qualified to help them navigate federal and regional support programs and help their organizations survive the economic impacts of COVID-19. Canada’s accounting and advisory firms are mirroring Canadians everywhere by offering to help their neighbours. It’s what makes Canada great, and it’s how we’ll get through this together,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

"Canada’s small- to medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities are the lifeblood of our country and need our support more than ever. We’re thrilled to unite business advisors from professional services firms of all sizes to share knowledge and guidance to help these organizations come out stronger from the pandemic,” said Kirsten Tisdale, Government & Public Sector Leader, EY Canada. 

“We understand the incredible difficulties all business owners are facing during these challenging and uncertain times. That is why our government has rolled out the largest relief effort in Canadian history to give direct support to the businesses who need it. We want to ensure they can weather through this period and bounce back once we’re on the other side of this. The Business Resilience Service will help the smallest and most vulnerable businesses in pressing need of finance planning advice amid this pandemic and as they plan for their recovery,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.

“Canada’s accounting profession is proud to advise small- and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profits and charities during these challenging times. Our members provide their expertise across all sectors of the Canadian economy and the profession has a history of stepping up. In addition, CPAs from firms of all sizes will be invited to participate as advisors in the BRS trial,” said Joy Thomas, President and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

“This new alliance of companies and organizations formed to support the leaders of charities, not-for-profits and businesses is a terrific demonstration of Canadians seeking to support each other in a time of crisis.” said Bruce MacDonald, President & CEO, Imagine Canada.

For more information, businesses can visit the Business Resilience Service or call 1-866-989-1080.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

About CPA Canada

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) represents the Canadian accounting profession, both nationally and internationally. Operating in the highly complex and global accounting ecosystem, CPA Canada is a convener, facilitator, contributor and disseminator of information that advances the profession. The organization works closely with the provincial, territorial and Bermudan CPA bodies to champion best practices that benefit business and society. With more than 217,000 members, CPA Canada is one of the largest national accounting bodies in the world. The organization supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards, advocates for economic and social development in the public interest, and develops leading-edge thought leadership, research, guidance and educational programs. cpacanada.ca

Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities. Our three broad goals are to amplify the sector’s collective voice, create opportunities to connect and learn from each other, and build the sector’s capacity to succeed. 
www.imaginecanada.ca | Twitter: @ImagineCanada | Facebook: /ImagineCanada 

For more information, please contact:Phil Taylor

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