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On Monday, August 14 – the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Keep Ontario Working Coalition, released a an economic impact report. The OCC has been asking the government to provide a report on the economic impact of Bill 148 without success and commissioned this one to be prepared by a firm that often does work for the Ontario Government. The report was prepared without bias.
We would invite you to attend an Information Session with Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and spokesperson for the Keep Ontario Working Coalition –
Friday, August 18
Trent Port Marina
Register here - http://business.quintewestchamber.ca/events/details/keep-ontario-working-information-session-552
In a joint statement from the Quinte region Chambers, Belleville – Prince Edward County – Quinte West, the report identifies that manufacturing & accommodation & food services are the most at risk for job losses – two key industries in the Bay of Quinte region. Firms with less than 20 employees are also at greatest risk. More than half of the members in our Chambers are smaller firms, and we are hearing how difficult it is going to be for them to adjust to the proposed rate of change. More than 70% of our smaller firms are already paying higher than the minimum wage so the challenge is not in paying the proposed rate but in raising the wages of existing employees, who deserve to be compensated for their experience. Employers who value these employees are struggling with the impact of raising wages for all staff. The anticipated reaction to this challenge will be fewer new jobs and trying to get more from fewer employees or employers may simply cut hours so their annual labour costs will not rise.
If the goal of the increased wage rate is to add dollars to the pockets of the underpaid, there are very few scenarios we have heard of in which this goal will be met. Whether it be through increased consumer costs (these are expected to rise 7%), increased income tax rates, reduced subsidies, reduced hours or even job loss, asking business to bear this cost alone does not serve either the employee or the consumer. At very least, phasing the increase over a longer period of time will lessen the impact to consumers, who ultimately suffer most when costs rise.
Read the full report below.
Please feel free to reach out to any of us for further comment.
Jill Raycroft, CEO
Belleville Chamber of Commerce
P - 613-962-4597, ext 4
C - 613-847-4090
Suzanne Andrews, General Manager
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 392-7635
Emily Cowan, Executive Director
Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism and Commerce
T: (613) 476-2421