As all Canadians know there is a federal election in the near future, and for those of us in Nova Scotia a provincial election is just around the corner. So, we know that our Members of Parliament of the Legislative Assembly will be knocking on our home and business doors to talk about why they should be elected or re-elected soon. So, the discussion regarding politics and business has never been so important than now before we officially get the call to the polls.
So let’s dive right in! And answer the question, what is the role of business in the politics of our country?
Let’s start with the benefits businesses bring to Canada:
- GDP is measured by the value of goods and services produced by businesses operating in the country, therefore the baseline measurement for economic success is entirely dependant on the success of businesses – including the strength of our currency.
- Businesses employ over 90% of the Canadian workforce. The remainder are employed by various government agencies which derive their revenue from businesses and personal taxes to operate.
- Businesses collect and remit the HST/GST for the federal and provincial governments, therefore they are unpaid government tax collectors enforced by hefty penalties for late remittance.
- Taxes paid by businesses include corporate income tax on any profits, plus collecting and remitting all employee income taxes, CPP, and EI.
- Business growth is the primary reason for economic growth and prosperity of the country, along with each individual province and municipality.
Now that we have established that business success is the main bolster for Canadian economic success, let’s consider how the government can and should support business.
- Support strong immigrant growth of skilled workers. Immigrant Services is doing a great job but there are still many bureaucratic hurdles such as difficult to navigate websites and unnecessary fees. We rely heavily on immigration so let’s streamline the process so the best of the world can come to Canada either as employees or potential business owners and entrepreneurs, making it a win-win situation.
- Continuing education and training programs for trades! Supporting apprenticeship programs, trade training at community colleges, counselling and exposure to career opportunities in early childhood development and onward.
- Address the underground economy which exists to avoid government processes and taxation. First, by making it easier to incorporate an incentivize operating above board businesses. One suggestion is to reverse the ‘red tape’ phenomenon by rewarding legitimate companies for collecting the taxes rather than handing out large fines.
- Provide tax incentives for small businesses instead of stripping them away! Entrepreneurs are smart risk takers willing to build a business and help grow the country but first, they must ask, does the government value my contribution? If a government “cooks the goose that lays the golden egg” i.e. over tax companies and entrepreneurs, then there is minimal incentive to take the risk which all circles back to the success of our country’s economy.
Most businesses in Canada, regardless of the province, are small to medium size therefore they have a limited voice as individuals but together they can have a much stronger voice. One of the ways for businesses to unite is to become members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB); this organization allows businesses to have a stronger united voice and the opportunity to send one concise message to governments.
This allows the government to have a clear vision of Canadian businesses needs and values along with the understanding of the potential impact their decisions have on small to medium size businesses and the entrepreneurs making these businesses happen. I highly recommend that business owners become active in the affairs of our municipal, provincial, and federal politics in order to ensure that the value of many small and medium size business is not lost to a few giants. Business owners should build a relationship with their councillor, MLA, & MP and be able to access them when needed.
It is important that we tie this information together and recognize that without businesses economies fail, plus there would be no social programs, no infrastructure maintenance, no public and private sector growth. Government revenue collected in the form of taxes are either directly (corporate and HST) or indirectly (personal income) a result of businesses and the people they employ and these dollars are what goes to fund these government programs. Without businesses and the tax revenue that they generate, there would be very limited revenue for the government to fund our military, health care, transportation, and senior’s pensions, just to name a few. Business is absolutely critical to our high standard of living in Canada and it is time that our governments pay close attention to what is happening in all industries and business sectors.
It is critically important that business owners be heard by government and that every entrepreneur and employee vote for a government that will help business to grow and be more prosperous In order for Canada to continue to grow our economy and our standard of living for everyone coast, to coast to coast.
by Dan Monk
Dan Monk is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Red Seal Carpenter and the Owner of Monk Renovations. Dan and the team at Monk Renovations can provide you with an outstanding home renovation experiences regardless of the size of your project. Twitter @monkrenovations Facebook & Instrgram @monkreno www.monkreno.com