How did B.C.’s parties score on addressing “Retail’s Election Agenda”?
As British Columbians prepare to go to the polls on May 14th, RCC is providing our members with a “B.C. Election Score Card” analyzing the platforms of B.C.’s two main political parties and outlining how each party has indicated how they will address B.C. retailers’ top priorities.
In RCC’s “Retail’s Election Agenda”, you stated that
B.C. Retailers NEED:
- A stronger, more productive economy – stabilized government spending, improved consumer confidence, stable labour relations, address cross border shopping, and grow B.C.’s labour pool.
- Lower costs for retailers and consumers – reduce red tape, keep minimum wage affordable, and increase harmonization.
- Cost effective waste diversion – implement cost-effective, efficient waste diversion and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs to meet environmental goals.
RCC Analysis of Platforms:
The Liberal’s platform scores fairly well in terms of aligning with the retail sector’s priorities on building a stronger, more productive economy. Stabilizing government spending and returning to balanced budgets (although tax hikes in 2013 were used to achieve this) are highlighted in the party’s platform. The Liberal’s have also pledged to maintain a stable, positive labour relations environment which is very important to B.C. retailers.
In terms’ of controlling costs for B.C. retailers and their customers, the Liberal’s have promised to reduce a number of taxes they increased in the 2013 budget and freeze personal income tax rates for the next 5 years. They have also committed to lowering B.C.’s small business tax rate. The Liberal platform was silent on stewardship programs impacting retailers so retailers could expect no significant policy changes in this area should the Liberal’s win re-election.
(Source) BC Liberals
The NDP’s platform doesn’t align as well with “Retail’s Election Agenda”. Retailers are calling for stable labour relations but the B.C. NDP and Leader Adrian Dix have promised to make significant changes to labour legislation to make it easier for unions to certify within 90 days of taking office. They promise to beef up employment standards enforcement, give unions a greater voice at the WCB, increase the minimum call out time by 1 hour and index B.C.’s minimum wage to the cost of living. On a positive note, the NDP have promised to expand the BC Training Tax Credit to small and medium sized businesses, which should allow many B.C. retailers to take advantage of the tax credit.
In terms of controlling costs for retailers and their customers, the NDP have promised to raise corporate income taxes as well as personal income taxes for B.C.’s top earners. The NDP has promised to ban union and corporate political donations. It should be noted that other provinces that have banned corporate and union donations have usually also introduced government subsidies, commonly referred to as a “vote tax”, which funnels taxpayer dollars to political parties based on the number of votes they receive in a provincial election. The NDP’s platform is silent on the introduction of such a “vote tax”.
While silent on the province’s stewardship programs, the NDP has promised to ban cosmetic pesticides if elected.
(Source) BC NDP
RCC Election Scorecard
Here is how each of B.C.’s main political parties said they would address your priorities:
A stronger, more productive economy:
Lower costs for retailers and consumers:
Cost effective waste reduction:
Following the May 14th election, RCC will be reaching out to B.C.’s newly elected MLAs. Once a new cabinet is sworn in, RCC will be contacting key cabinet ministers to set up meetings to inform the new government on retails’ priorities and agenda for the province.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Mark Startup at: [email protected] or (604) 730-5252