Articles | Finance & Taxation | Independent Retailers | Ontario

Ontario Election 2022: Noteworthy platform items for retailers

May 9, 2022

With the Ontario election starting in a mere days, political parties are in the process of sharing their plans, if elected, with Ontarians. So far, the NDP have released an election platform (as yet uncosted), with the PCs releasing a campaign-style budget ($199B, deficit of $19.9B, net-debt-to GDP of 40.7%). The liberals have yet to release a platform, instead focusing on one-off policy announcements.

Below of a summary of policies announced by party, and their impact on retailers and restaurants. RCC will continue to keep members up to date each week via our Retail Policy News newsletter of all the election latest.

 Progressive ConservativesNew Democratic PartyLiberals
Link to platformPC BudgetNDP PlatformLiberal Platform
Minimum WageInflation-based increases to minimum wage (meaning $15.50 as of October, 2022) Committed to ensuring that digital platform workers earn at least the general minimum wage, though will not clarify classification (e.g. independent contractors). This directly impacts third-party delivery services.Raise the minimum wage to $20 by 2026 (enacted via annual increases of $1) Committed to supporting gig workers, preventing classification as independent contractors, to ensure wage and benefit protection. This directly impacts third-party delivery services.Increase the minimum wage to $16 by Jan 1, 2023. Committed to supporting gig workers, preventing classification as independent contractors, to ensure wage and benefit protection. This directly impacts third-party delivery services.
Sick Days / Vacation, etc.Ontario extended its 3-pandemic sick day program to July 2022. There is no language in the budget to suggest any further extensions or permanence for that program.10 personal emergency leave days for all workers.10 paid pick leave days, with compensation to businesses for costs up to $200 per day for said program.
Labour – otherAppointing expert panel to explore portable benefitsAllowing unionization in scenario where 55% of workers sign a card stating they want to join a union. Create an Ontario Benefit, to cover workers in part-time or contract-based work (which RCC is reading as comparable to a portable benefit plan)Create a portable benefits plan
TaxesEnhancing and expanding low-income tax credits, providing $300 in tax relief annually. Cutting gas taxes for six months.Freeze taxes for low and middle income families. Extending the staycation tax credit by two years. This impacts retailers and restaurants in tourism-heavy marketsRemoving 8% HST for all prepared food under $20
Eliminating corporate income tax for two years for small businesses who experienced a sales loss because of the pandemic.
Increasing income taxes by 2% for those earning over 500,000 annually, and 1% for companies earning over 1B in profit.
Pharmacaren/aBegin working immediately on Universal Pharmacare for Ontariansn/a
EnergyClean energy credits Dynamic Pricing Pilot for Class B, non-RPP ratepayersFocus on expanded clean and renewable power Conservation-first energy planning (likely, the OEB dynamic pricing pilot aligns strongly with this commitment)n/a
Affordability$10 a day childcareQuicker $10 a day (also non-profit and public only) Before and after school careAll transit fares reduced to $1
Modernizing Alcoholn/an/an/a
TransportWill build Highway 413 Eliminating road tolls on Highway 412 and Highway 418Will not build Highway 413Will not build Highway 413
Grocery Code of ConductNo mention in budget.Seeking a Grocery Code of Conduct to ensure grocery stores do not take advantage of food suppliers., increased transparency and fair dealings.n/a

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