Coronavirus | Finance & Taxation | National | Store Operations

A glimpse of what retailers can expect from the Conservatives in the next election

September 1, 2020

With last week’s announcement of Erin O’Toole as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, RCC has summarized the key areas and policy promises of his platform that retailers should be aware of in the event of a Fall election.

COVID-19 Economic Recovery

Emergency business account program
Extend loans and operating grants to SMEs based on employment and economic activity. Larger grant portions will be available for small businesses who missed the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program due to payroll considerations.

New hire incentive
Provide a reduced EI premium for all SMEs for any increase of $50,000 in insurable earnings over the previous tax year to promote hiring.

New legal tools
Introduce temporary COVID-19 Amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to facilitate the restructuring of as many businesses as possible.

Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
Repeat the one-time boost in the CCB into quarterly boosts until the end of 2021.

Business/Retail Specific Policies

Tax simplification
Promise to review the tax code to reduce, flatten, and considerably simplify taxes.

Interprovincial trade
Introduce an Admitted Free Act clarifying federal intention with respect to interprovincial trade and s.121 of the Constitution to provide modern context for the Supreme Court to consider.

Cutting red tape
Mandate a Minister to reduce red tape and table at least one Red Tape Reduction Act every year.

Encouraging entrepreneurship
Allow a one-time RRSP withdrawal of up to $50,000 to be repaid subsequently (similar to the Home Buyers’ Plan) to invest in starting a small business or acquiring an existing one as well as associated costs in the first year of operation.

Freedom of movement act
Introduce a new law that would make it a criminal offence to block a railway, airport, port or to block the entrance to a business or household in a way that interferes with people lawfully entering or leaving.

CANZUK
Propose a Canada-Australia-New Zealand-United Kingdom (“CANZUK”) agreement, which would include free trade and flow of capital investment between the partners, reciprocal freedom to study, live and work for citizens under expanded areas of labour coordination as agreed upon by the parties, and other initiatives.

Should there be an election this Fall, RCC will provide members with retail/business specific policy proposals and analysis from each of the major political parties.

See also: RCC’s recommendations for the 2021 federal budget

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