Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has launched VoteRetail.ca, a dedicated website outlining key retail issues for Manitoba merchants that must be addressed with provincial candidates prior to the election on April 19.
Retail Council of Canada’s Director of Government Relations (Prairies), Lanny McInnes, states “1 in 12 Manitoba voters work in retail; the sector is a mainstay of the economy in the province. There are 4700 stores in Manitoba that employ over 74,500 people.”
Retail Council of Canada’s asked the major parties to outline their retail policies and strategies; their submissions have been posted on VoteRetail.ca. “The importance the retail sector has in every community in Manitoba has registered with Manitoba’s political parties. Their responses demonstrate the issues impacting our sector are important in this election,” said McInnes.
Retail Council of Canada’s will advocate strongly with each party on behalf of the industry and will be meeting with candidates to raise the following key issues:
• Return Manitoba’s sales tax to 7% from current 8% before 2023. This would help stimulate consumer spending in the province.
• Communities across Manitoba need to invest in new roads and infrastructure. These projects can result in major disruptions for main street retailers. The new government must ensure that projects are planned in consultation with local retailers, are not funded through municipal sales taxes and compensation is provided to affected retailers through tax credits and other measures.
• As the largest private sector employer in Manitoba, the next government must provide retailers with the same incentives offered to other industries to invest in people, technology and e-commerce.
To help get the message across, RCC is encouraging all retailers to contact their local candidates directly and stand up for retail in #MBElxn. The VoteRetail.ca website includes a downloadable letter that retailers and their employees can sent to candidates in their local ridings. There is also a helpful Election Toolkit to refer to when meeting candidates on their doorstep or approaching candidates directly, including background material about the size, scope and key issues impacting the retail industry.