Over the past few months we have seen the political rhetoric heating up across Ontario, as voters prepare themselves for the upcoming Provincial election.  So far, we have seen very little from most of the parties as to what their vision for the future of Ontario is going to look like, if they are elected.  Soon, we will be deluged with information as to how each party will make this Province a better place to live, work and play.

Business people throughout this Province, will be watching closely to see the how’s and the why’s within each of their policy platforms.  The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce together with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and all of its members across Ontario, have joined forces to launch “Vote Prosperity” campaign to ensure the business community has a voice in the upcoming election.

Vote Prosperity aims to strengthen business competitiveness, foster job creation, build healthy communities and improve government accountability.  The overall objective of this campaign is to influence all parties to adopt pro-growth policies, that will turn the struggling Ontario economy around.  One of the key messages from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce during this run up to the election is “When you choose for prosperity, Ontario wins”.

The campaign recognizes that businesses in Ontario are the backbone of not only our economy but each and everyone of our communities.  When they do well, our communities do as well.  From expanded tax base, employment, re-investment and even charitable contributions, when the business community is successful, all the above follow hand in hand.  The business community is not looking at handouts from the political parties but rather, fostering a business climate that recognizes and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit.

The Vote Prosperity campaign provides 18 recommendations to the parties that will help bolster Ontario’s long term economic outcomes, but it also addresses many of the pressing issues of today that affect our members, daily.  Recommendations include strengthening business competitiveness through reductions in electricity rates and property taxes via long term investments in both new and renewal infrastructure.  This will assist in reducing the cost burdens on our communities and business sectors.  Fostering job creation focuses on solutions through a renewed focus on skills developments in areas that are required for business success.

Healthy communities and improvements focused on government accountability complete the plan recommendations, which will enable Ontario businesses to prosper and lead to a full economic recovery and sustainable economy in the future.  We encourage not only the business community and our members to review these recommendations, but every voter in our Province.  Visit the Ontario Chamber site at www.occ.ca/voteprosperity2018 and let our elected officials and candidates know, that you support Vote Prosperity.

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