Big Advocacy Wins in 2017
In 2017 the Lloydminster Chamber effected big change twice! Once on the provincial level and once on the federal level. $5 million in grant rebates for Lloydminster AB fuel retailers and Chambers saved businesses across Canada millions in proposed tax changes revisions.
Advocacy Update: Federal Proposed Changes to Business Taxes
In 2017 the federal government proposed the most significant tax changes we’ve seen in 45 years. These tax changes included changes to income sprinkling, capital gains exemption, reducing the tax deferral advantage on portfolio investment inside a corporation, and converting a private corporation’s regular income into capital gains. The Lloydminster Chamber in conjunction with provincial chambers, the federal chamber, and chambers across the country advocated hard on this issue. At the Canadian Chamber Conference delegates from hundreds of chambers of commerce across Canada, overwhelmingly endorsed a call for genuine consultation on tax reform at the policy debate.
In Lloydminster, we joined in advocating by submitting Ken Kobly, CEO of the Alberta Chamber, letter to the editor of our local papers. We sent out template letters, sent a local case story to the Canadian Chamber on behalf of one of our members, shared the signing of a petition, joined in on many conference calls, took part in a Q and A session with Finance Minister Bill Morneau. We took great efforts to inform our members of the issue, partnering with MNP to offer an information session with our members. Three information sessions were held in Lloydminster, with a total of 380 becoming more educated on the topic and being provided template letters to submit to government. We believe across Canada, we had a very successful advocacy effort and created real change. This is a great example of the Chamber network and how across Canada, we can make a big difference for the businesses we represent.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau responded to some of the concerns expressed by chambers and the small and medium-sized businesses we represent. The government’s revised package is still not perfect, but is more balanced and addresses a number of the issues that were raised.
Advocacy Win: Lloydminster Carbon Levy Advocacy
On March 9, 2017, the Alberta Government announced $5 million in grants for Lloydminster fuel retailers to offset the difference between the total carbon levy and the fuel tax in Alberta and the fuel tax in Saskatchewan.
The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (PAC) first started discussing this issue in September 2016. Since September, PAC had been researching the carbon levy and the inequalities it would create due to our bi-provincial status and had taken several steps to bring the issue to the forefront. We shared our research and held meetings with Mayor and Council, reached out to local fuel retailers and discussed with our MLA Dr. Richard Starke. In November 2016 our concerns were also raised with the Deputy Minister of Climate Change, Eric Denhoff at the Alberta Chamber Deputy Ministers Dinner. In December, our advocacy efforts continued with letters sent to Hon. Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Hon. Joe Ceci, Minister of Finance, Hon. Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs, and Hon. Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks responsible for the Climate Change Office. In conjunction with meetings and letters to government, several media interviews were held to bring this issue public.
Thanks to our Political Action Committee for taking the lead on this important initiative for our fuel retailers businesses in Lloydminster.