Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is taking on the Liberals, and their newly-imposed tax reforms.
The tax changes are looking at taxing money earned by businesses by as high of 54 per cent, which could add up to a 73 per cent tax when it comes to retirement.
“First of all, I don’t support the federal government’s tax increases on small businesses,” Brown said. “Kathleen Wynne is silent, she doesn’t want to offend her friends in Ottawa. I will stand up for Ontario’s small businesses. It’s not right to have this massive tax increase,” he said.
During his recent visit to Kenora, Brown partnered with Kenora’s Chamber of Commerce to talk about concerns from small business owners, and says that helping local businesses is one of his personal priorities. One of the major issues brought up in the discussion by business owners was the growing concern over high-hydro rates in the area.
“Beyond that, I’m going to get Hydro rates down dramatically for our small businesses. Under this government, we’ve seen hydro rates spiral 300 per cent up. We have among the highest hydro rates in North America. How can a small business succeed when hydro rates are that high? The labour changes are really hitting small businesses hard. There’s no notice period, businesses need time to react. Small businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water right now, I want to be there to support them,” he said.
Earlier this month, Dryden Mayor Greg Wilson, also the owner of Wilson’s Business Solutions, responded to the Ottawa tax reform proposal:
1. By targeting businesses of all sizes as villains and effectively making me (as owner of my business) an employee of the government -- through taxation of the majority of the company's profits -- you have discouraged any further initiative in me to grow our business.
2. You are penalizing me -- if I try to pass my family business on to my children -- leading me to eventually sell to a large (likely public) company, which will cut local jobs, transferring some positions to a head office in a distant city.
3. You are making it clear that individuals in Canada are no longer rewarded for building capital and owning equity (in other words, growing a business). You are effectively saying that only Government and large public corporations should be encouraged to own businesses and that owners of small and medium businesses will be penalized heavily for both ownership and growth. Every one of these changes your government proposes is reason enough for me to actually downsize our business.
4. As other small and medium businesses around us stop growing, shrink or fail due to your government's tax law changes, our company will lose customers, continuing a domino effect. Where will the slow downward spiral stop in our region?
During the 2015 election, the Liberal Party promised to reform the tax system by closing loopholes. Voters are expected to go to the polls next June.