Quinte West, May 31, 2018 – With the election just a week away, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce today urged all political parties to provide a transparent fiscal plan and establish an evidence-based policy making approach to ensure government accountability. In its Vote Prosperity platform, the Chamber Network highlights the need for proper safeguards to protect Ontarians against untested decision-making.
In the interest of an open government and regaining the province’s status as an economic leader, the OCC and the Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce would like Ontario’s next government to give serious consideration to stakeholder consultation as well as create a path for long-term fiscal prudence.
“Poor implementation of government initiatives leads to resource waste, mismanagement, and disruption for our businesses and citizens," said Suzanne Andrews, General Manager at the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce. “To improve accountability, Ontario’s next government needs to take bold action by creating a meaningful plan towards a balanced budget and implement transparent decision-making.”
The unintended consequences of ill-advised government policies have hindered business competitiveness and diminished Ontario’s economic resiliency, with the province’s debt expected to rise significantly over the coming years.
“It’s ludicrous to imagine a business of any size making massive changes like implementing a new pay structure, a large change in infrastructure or taking on a capitol investment without proper research and fiscal planning to back up their decisions,” said Emily Cowan, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. “The business of running Ontario should be a shining example of fiscal responsibility and evidence-based decision making.”
Improving Government Accountability is the fourth pillar for a strong Ontario in the Vote Prosperity platform, which calls on the next government to:
- Create a meaningful plan to tackle the debt and move towards balanced or surplus budgets.
- Ensure all proposed policy, regulation and legislation has been evaluated against sound, quantitative evidence.
- Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of strategic goals and publicly publish these targets to ensure transparency.
- Provide appropriate timelines to stakeholders when revising or implementing initiatives that will impact their operations.
“Business is not the adversary of prosperity but should be seen as the partner that helps drive economic development and shared prosperity in the province. Regardless of which political party wins on June 7, for Ontario to win, we believe business and government should be working together to build competitiveness, support job creation and healthy communities and require accountability and transparency with the use of yours and business’ tax dollars. And we will continue to press our MPPs to acknowledge this at Queen’s Park,” added Jill Raycroft, CEO of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
In October the Ontario Chamber Network, along with its 135 chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the province, released Vote Prosperity, a platform outlining the business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 provincial election.
The Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce collaborates as the regional voice for the Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West Chambers of Commerce. Representing over 1200 businesses of all sizes and all sectors located in the Bay of Quinte riding, this regional voice advocates for fair government policies that allow businesses to thrive and prosper. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is Ontario’s Business Advocate.
For more information, please contact:
Suzanne Andrews, General Manager
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 392-7635
Jill Raycroft, CEO
Belleville Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 962-4597
Emily Cowan, Executive Director
Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce