Canadore’s Business Week 2017 wrapped up last week and to all the nominee’s and winners from last Thursday’s Bell Evening of Excellence, huge congratulations.  The entire group represent a cross section of business owners and individuals who continue to make a difference in our area and contribute a tremendous amount to our economy in both employment and direct spending.

Of worthy note and not perhaps by coincidence, we were also pleased to see several announcements made by the Federal Government, regarding the much published and discussed, proposed tax reforms.  Since the July announcement by the Federal Finance Minister on these proposed changes, we have seen a ground swell of opposition from all sectors of our business community.  They were vocal and the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce was proud to act as an advocate for these businesses at both the local level and on the Federal scene as well, as a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

In speaking with our local MP Anthony Rota, he thanked the Chamber for the letters and messages that were sent to his office by members and business owners from across our district and he listened.  The messages were simple and quite concise.  The proposed legislation would hurt their business and stifle growth and investment in sectors that employ many Canadians, the small and medium sized businesses from coast to coast.  Our MP informed us that he brought these concerns back to Ottawa and to his caucus colleagues who as well were being urged to change the proposed reforms.

It appears the message has gotten through and with a number of announcements made last week, although it is not perfect, it is a more balanced approach and addresses a number of the concerns raised by Canadian businesses.  The Hon. Perrin Beatty, CEO and President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce stated “By providing a voice for businesses in communities across Canada, the Canadian Chamber and its network of local Chamber’s helped prevent devastating damage.  But the hard work has only started.”  As we all know, the devil is in the details.

In the coming weeks and months, we will await the legislation and with the support of our Chamber network, will hold the Federal Government accountable to ensure the revisions are implemented.  Going backwards is not an option for our business community and we must remain competitive in a truly global market

All Chamber’s across this country, together with the Ontario and Canadian Chamber’s of Commerce, represent a powerful voice at all levels of government.  When it comes to tax reforms, we will be reaching out to our members to suggest reforms that will assist small and medium enterprises and not hinder them.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.