One out of every 20 jobs in Canada are currently going unfilled.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s March 2022 Labour Force Survey reveals the total to be 830,000 jobs.
“It seems like every survey shows businesses laser-focused on two issues limiting their recovery and posing the most significant barrier to economic growth: supply chain disruptions and labour shortages. Most businesses believe supply chain disruptions are with us for another year, maybe two, but our members see no end to Canada’s labour shortage crisis,” states Leah Nord, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth.
It's going to take a multi-faceted approach to properly address our labour challenges. It will take involvement from all levels of government, public institutions and the private sector all working together.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is advocating that this is the time to modernize Employment Insurance. The Government of Canada is engaging in consultations on EI. The EI system has not been reviewed in 70 years, something the CCC calls a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to crack this stale nut wide open.
The CCC would like to see EI evolve towards becoming a talent development process that responds to the regional and sectoral labour market needs, supporting individuals through temporary job loss with financial and training resources. The CCC goes on to say that in order to achieve this we need a mechanism wherein all parties – business, labour and government – can engage in a meaningful and sustained way.
The latest unemployment numbers highlight that the issue is much bigger than simply getting people back to work. Unemployment dropped to the lowest it has been since 1974, hitting 5.3% in March. CCC Chief Economist Stephen Tapp expects to see the trend continue with unemployment dropping below 5% this year.
People are back to work.
It’s important to look at how we’re recovering. For example, Canada added 73,000 jobs in March, of which 55,000 were men and 18,000 women. Full-time work is leading growth, having added 93,000 jobs, while part-time employment dropped a further 20,000. While many people may prefer full-time work, part-time provides its own essential role in the economy by engaging people who require the added flexibility. Wages continue to rise, but struggle to keep pace with soaring inflation.
One key aspect of overhauling EI is to reposition people for the workforce. The system currently provides needed financial assistance while someone is out of work and essentially puts them back into the workforce to fill the same role they left. There is an opportunity to do better and use the EI process to develop much needed talent.
We have to come to terms with the fact that dealing with such a large hole in our workforce is about more than finding enough bodies to fill those jobs. We can do better. We can modernize our workforce in ways that won’t require the same things to be done the same way we were doing them. Ultimately, this innovative approach to employment gaps will make our country more competitive.
Without access to talent for our businesses, our economy is at risk of stagnating. The timing couldn’t be worse considering the desperate situation many businesses are facing coming out of two years of COVID-19 public health measures.
The heart of our economy, our growth, and our prosperity is people. It’s time to do better about how we support, train, and engage our most valuable resource.
Economic growth is led by the private sector. It takes investment in their workforce, infrastructure, and innovation.
The 2022 federal budget has a lot to offer, but time will tell if there’s enough emphasis on enabling the private sector to lead our economic recovery.
It’s encouraging to see our government prioritize investments in housing, reducing emissions, strengthening public health, and building a stronger workforce. Overall, our economic outlook is improving. Employment is up. Our GDP has come in higher than projected.
Where the criticism comes in is the lack of vision in the federal budget.
“Fiscal responsibility will become increasingly important amid inflation and rising interest rates,” states Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in press release. “While Budget 2022 contains several growth-enabling investments, it lacks an overarching plan and vision for economic growth that will encourage private sector investment and reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio without the need for spending cuts or tax increases in the future. Now more than ever, it is critical for Canada to leverage private capital and reduce regulatory barriers that inhibit growth.”
The budget contains some significant positive investments. The federal government is tackling current housing issues. There are incentives to stimulate housing construction and a new Tax-Free Home Savings Account to help first-time buyers save up for a home.
We’re encouraged to see the government continue to prioritize investments in the VIA High Frequency Rail project, which includes Peterborough in a new dedicated passenger rail line between Toronto and Quebec City. The budget spells out further investment in planning and design steps.
There’s a big emphasis on net-zero emissions — and rightly so. Canada has made some big promises on the world stage to do our part to fight climate change. It’s encouraging to see the government work with the private sector, including investments in carbon capture technology, electric vehicles, and tax credits toward net zero technologies. The government is also investing heavily in assisting the agriculture sector invest in low emissions technology.
Small and medium-sized businesses will see access to the small business tax rate gradually phased out once they reach $50 million of capital, up from $15 million. The government is also working on developing a plan for Employee Ownership Trusts, a tool that can help reward employees and increase retention.
Large banks and insurance companies are going to see a tax increase, prompting some concerns from the business community that these costs will get passed on to their customers.
The government is investing in a stronger workforce through new funding for training, tax credits to encourage seniors to continue longer in the workforce, and funding to support integration for persons with disabilities.
Our workforce is heavily dependant on outside help. The budget includes investments in the Temporary Foreign Worker program as well as assistance for immigration, including expanding the program to recognize foreign credentials.
The budget comes up a bit short in a few critical areas. While there is money set aside for cybersecurity, it’s through the national defense sector. Chambers of commerce across the country have been advocating for more investment in cyber security for the private sector, especially as it impacts our supply chain. There’s a general lack of focus and investment in the supply chain, which is driving up costs and creating challenges for businesses and consumers.
Also missing is debt relief for hardest hit business that used government support programs.
If nothing else, the 2022 budget is big on optimism. The federal government is making some much needed investments in some business sectors that should lead us in the direction of recovery and growth. More can be done, and for that we’ll continue to advocate for a strong private sector to lead our economic growth.
Housing in Ontario has become difficult to obtain for many people due to both price and availability.
We at the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce believe creating a strategy to encourage tiny homes will help increase housing stock and address some issues relating to housing insecurity. We’ve submitted a resolution on this topic to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce which will be up for debate among members at the Annual General Meeting at the end of April. If approved, it becomes part of the provincial advocacy effort. Our aim is to better utilize a housing niche as one more tool in addressing our current challenges.
Housing is becoming increasingly out of reach for many Ontarians, both in terms of home ownership and rental. The average house price in Ontario has increased by more than 47 per cent over the last two years, with the price of the average home nearing $1 million at the end of 2021. Access to rental homes has challenges as well with vacancy rates remaining low and prices increasing.
The lack of access to housing has driven record numbers of people to other provinces. According to Statistics Canada, our country hasn’t seen this level of interprovincial migration in more than 30 years, with Ontario taking the biggest hit. In the second quarter of 2021, nearly 12,000 more people left Ontario for other provinces than moved here. Many of the people leaving are younger, first-time home buyers — the very people our labour market is desperately in need of.
Others have been left with no home at all. This has been especially evident in the downtown cores of many Ontario communities as years of housing insecurity issues have become much more visible.
A large portion of our need for housing can be met through traditional housing, though the pace of the creation of traditional housing stock needs to increase to meet demand.
One growing niche solution is tiny homes. These homes are typically less than 32 m2 (400 ft2) and are required by the Ontario Building Code to be more than 17.5 m2 (188 ft2). Tiny homes are popular both for people looking to downsize and people who have otherwise been priced out of the housing market. The Province has created allowances within the Ontario Building Code to accommodate these type of residences; however, that has not been incorporated into many municipal zoning bylaws. The rules in municipalities across the province vary widely. This is a particular issue when it comes to minimum size and parking requirements, all of which make it a costly and a highly customized endeavour to create tiny homes either as independent or secondary dwellings.
Encouraging and incentivising municipalities to modernize zoning bylaws in a standardized way that makes it easier to build tiny homes would add to our affordable building stock. This will help make our communities more competitive in attracting and retaining talent and address local housing insecurity issues.
Additionally, there is a growing need for temporary shelter. Non-profit and charitable organizations have been trying to find stopgap housing for the housing insecure. Homelessness and housing insecurity are complicated issues that require a multifaceted approach. Shelter beds are the go-to for many municipalities, but that solution doesn’t work for everyone due to shelter capacity, hours of operation, privacy conditions, sobriety requirements, and interpersonal conflicts. There is an opportunity to amend the Ontario Building Code to use a type of minimalist tiny home as a stopgap shelter for those with no other options. While not an ideal housing situation, temporarily residing in a minimalist tiny home could provide people who would otherwise be sleeping rough with the safety, security, and dignity of a roof over their head, four walls, and a lockable door.
Our recommendations for the Government of Ontario are:
1. Create a strategy for the construction of tiny homes as a tool for increasing housing stock
2. Encourage and incentivize municipalities with the use of existing government programs to incorporate a standard set of guidelines, in alignment with the Ontario Building Code, for tiny home construction.
3. Amend the Ontario Building Code to allow for minimalist tiny homes as a stopgap shelter for people who might otherwise be living rough
Tiny homes offer opportunities to address some of the housing issues our province is dealing with by improving access to affordable housing options and shelter for our most vulnerable. A provincial tiny home construction strategy is needed to further explore and develop this niche while ensuring basic living standards are met.
Rising costs and recruitment challenges are the biggest barriers Canadian businesses expect to deal with over coming months.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Business Data Lab’s analysis of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (which surveyed 17,695 businesses) found 50% of businesses singled out rising input costs as an obstacle for their business for the next three months. Four out of the top eight obstacles listed are related to rising costs, including insurance and transportation. Three of those top eight obstacles are related to labour challenges, including recruiting and retaining skilled employees. Supply chain challenges round out the list of most pressing obstacles for business.
To deal with workforce challenges, businesses are offering more. Over the next three months, 45% of businesses expect to increase wages for existing staff, 24% expect to increase wages for new hires and 6% expect to offer signing bonuses or incentives. Other popular solutions include flexible scheduling, professional training, and increased benefits.
The accommodation and food service cited the least optimism and topped the list in its workforce struggles with 65% of businesses citing a shortage of labour force as an obstacle. This sector is also leading the way in wage increases, with 58% anticipating they will increase wages, including 32% who expect to raise wages by 10% or more.
Despite pressures of rising costs, access to the funds to do it adds to that challenge, with 28% of businesses in the accommodation and food service sector reporting that they cannot take on more debt.
With a workforce that is increasingly looking for flexibility in working hours and working from home, the food and accommodation sector offers the least flexibility due to the nature of what they do.
News that Ontario is moving ahead with the federal government on a $10-a-day childcare plan is a welcome relief for young families and businesses alike. The first step is a 25% reduction in child care fees effective April 1.
Women have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19 in terms of being employed in the most vulnerable and hardest hit sectors (like accommodation and food service) as well as taking on significant childcare issues.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has been advocating that women’s participation in the labour market is a precondition of our economic recovery and future prosperity. Offering affordable childcare is a significant step to easing costs for young families and making it more accessible for parents to take on a larger role in the workforce.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce also states that to make the childcare agreement viable, the childcare sector needs an adequate supply of qualified workers. This includes recognizing foreign credentials, enhancing online training, fast-tracking in-school credentials, and developing financial support for underemployed populations to access training opportunities.
Affordable childcare will offer families help while having positive effects on access to labour – but more support is needed for our hardest hit businesses. It’s apparent that some business sectors are going to be dealing with the economic effects of COVID-19 for some time.
What is lower down on the list of obstacles facing businesses is customer demand. People still want to dine, travel, shop, and renovate. We have a significant role to play as consumers to spend our money locally, including patronizing local restaurants and attractions. We can help our local businesses recover and thrive.
After two long years, tourism is set to return to the Kawarthas.
Our region has been in an awkward situation for the last two years for our summer tourism season. The messaging has been stay home, but people were limited in their recreational options and flocked to the region from across Ontario. Many of those who were able to open and offer activities did well, but many others were forced to close or significantly scale back their offerings.
Through it all, our borders remained closed to all but essential travellers and people willing to stay long enough to go through the self isolation process.
As of April 1, fully vaccinated visitors to Canada will no longer be required to take a COVID-19 test unless selected for random testing. Partially or unvaccinated travellers will still need to follow applicable testing criteria.
Though many Canadians will take advantage of relaxed border restrictions to travel beyond our borders, many have established new hobbies, traditions, and a love for Ontario offerings. Capitalizing on this, the government of Ontario is offering the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit. This offers 20% back on eligible 2022 accommodation expenses up to $1,000 per individual or $2,000 per family. This includes hotels, motels, resorts, lodges, bed-and-breakfasts, cottages and campgrounds — all of which can be found right here in the Kawarthas.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is currently advocating for a similar program from the federal government for domestic tourism that includes hospitality activities like dining. Time will tell if this is included in the upcoming federal budget.
All of this opportunity comes at a time when nearly all public health restrictions have been lifted. Venues are free to sell out to capacity crowds, restaurants can host a full Friday night compliment, and recreational activities can resume. We’ll see the return of sports tournaments, concerts, and cultural events.
And this time around we can openly welcome our visitors.
This is the summer many of our businesses desperately need.
According to Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development, our region welcomes more than 3 million visitors annually who spend approximately $365 million at local tourism-related businesses.
Despite the influx of tourists, it’s going to take time to rebuild. While capacity limits can be lifted at the stroke of a pen, filling back up to capacity isn’t so easy. Staff have moved on to jobs that still offered a steady paycheque while the tourism industry was mostly shut down. Hiring an all-new fresh team is daunting and comes with big challenges. Chefs need to learn a new menu, administrative staff have to learn what products to order and booking staffing levels, and reactional activity providers need to learn the ropes before instructing customers. And there isn’t exactly a large pool of people waiting to get trained and jump into the tourism and hospitality industry.
On top of that, many business owners are already financially stretched to the limit from trying to survive the last two years that buying inventory, hiring staff, and investing in their facilities is challenging. Many will have to start all over again building their customer base, which takes time and money.
At the end of the day, many business operators are simply exhausted and the busy season hasn’t even begun.
All this to say that relaxing health and travel restrictions is a big move for many local businesses, but it’s by no means the end of their challenges. It’s going to take intentional, targeted investment and continued supports for our hardest hit businesses, including tourism and hospitality, to be able to thrive for years to come.
Budgets are investments in priorities and the federal government is expected to release its updated priorities in coming weeks through the 2022 budget.
Chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the country have worked alongside the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on recommendations for the upcoming federal budget.
The pre-budget submission includes a range of topics, from unlocking the potential of legal cannabis to tax reform. Here are some of the highlights:
In a time when our economy, public services, and population are going online and depending on digital like we’ve never seen before, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce reports that Canada spends about half as much per-capita as G7 peers like the UK and France when it comes to cyber security. Just as bridges and border crossings impact our supply chain and national security, so too does our digital infrastructure.
The CCC is calling on the Government of Canada to invest $1 billion in the cyber security of our infrastructure, supply chains and businesses. They would also like to see the government invest $300 million to accelerate the commercialization of cybersecurity products ands services and invest $200 million in building our cybersecurity workforce.
Industry and government need to work together on our path toward a sustainable net-zero future. The CCC is recommending the government:
• Accelerate the wide scale deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage
• Support transitionary measures, like extracting biofuels from waste
• De-risk critical minerals supply chains, including investments in supporting infrastructure like small modular reactors and site-specific clean water solutions
• Champion a hydrogen ecosystem
Our innovation needs are wide-ranging and extend beyond the traditional tech sector. We’re looking for investment in a life-sciences strategy to improve the health of Canadians and prepare us for any future health crisis.
To be ahead of the curve on innovation, we need to invest in digital infrastructure. This means investing in broadband internet access for everyone and more access to 5G internet in rural and remote communities.
We also need to make sure our innovation is protected through updated data and privacy legislation.
Immigration has long played a critical role in our communities and our economy. The CCC is asking the government to decentralize the immigration selection process and support local solutions built by communities to address community workforce needs, streamline the temporary foreign worker program process, and facilitate integration of foreign-trained workers into the labour force to maximize
The CCC recommending the federal government provide debt relief for hard-hit small and medium-sized businesses. This includes extending repayment terms and forgiving interest for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) and the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP).
They’re also asking the government to support domestic tourism through new tax incentives and rebates for travel and hospitality activities to encourage families to travel within Canada in 2022.
The full pre-budget submission is available at chamber.ca.
War in the Ukraine is sending world economies for another roller coaster ride as we’re slowly rebuilding from the devastation of COVID-19 and years of public health restrictions.
Inflation has been the hot topic for the last few months and judging by the price of gas, it could have a longer and deeper impact than originally forecasted. We’ve gone from less than $1 a litre in March of 2020 to nearing $2 this week.
The events in the Ukraine are incredibly tragic.
Canada has been growing its trade with Ukraine over the last few years, especially since the signing of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement in 2017. We export a significant amount of fish and seafood, machinery, vehicles and parts, meat, and electronics with a growing export of aerospace products and wood pulp. In return, we’ve been importing steel, electronics, and vegetables. In 2019, Ukraine supplied 26% of our apple juice and 6% of our snow skis.
In total, the Government of Canada values trade between our two counties at about $340 million and it’s all essentially on hold.
It’s significantly lower than the $1.5 billion in business we do with Russia, to whom we export aircraft, machinery, and electronics and import energy, rubber, iron, copper and fertilizer. We’ve brought in sanctions against Russian products, but it’s not so simple to find new suppliers. Fertilizer producer Nutrien Ltd. is expecting a global shortage of fertilizer, impacting crop productions around the world.
Both fall well short of our $700+ billion trading relationship with the US, but the implications will be felt across sectors in our economy. Russia is the second largest oil exporter in the world and sanctions and import preferences mean demand for more ethically sourced oil is driving prices throughout the roof everywhere.
Add to this an increase in fuel demand as many areas scale back COVID-19 health measures leading to more travel to visit friends and family, in-person work at the office and visiting clients, and the resumption of recreational travel and tourism.
We need fuel to farm, mine, and manufacture goods. We need fuel to transport retail goods to your local store, fresh produce to restaurants, and supplies for local makers. There’s hardly a business not dealing with the effects of high fuel prices, let alone the rest of the inflation-related issues.
The timing of this crisis is challenging for our economy and our local business, but it’s important to remember the human side. More than 1.5 million people have left Ukraine as refugees with more likely to come. The Government of Canada has pledged its assistance in placing people. Much like the influx of Syrian residents a few years ago, it’s likely our community will host another round of refugees.
While our hope is that our world leaders will successfully avert another world war, a global economic crisis is well underway. World economies are so intertwined that even products we produce and consume domestically (like gas) are subject to the whims of global markets. The resilience of our local business community is once again coming to the forefront to take on the next global crisis.
After more than a decade of healthy electricity supply, concerns are mounting that Ontario is entering a period of electricity shortfalls.
Demand is growing. Our population is increasing, up 5.8% over the last 5 years. Factoring the drop in immigration due to the pandemic, something that should pick up again when things return to normal, and the coming years should see even more growth. This is compounded by the growing electricity demands of everyday life as well as climate conscious decisions like more electric vehicles and a move away from natural gas heating.
As demand increases, the supply side is facing its own challenges. The Pickering Nuclear Generation Station is planned to be fully retired by the end of 2025. Other investments in nuclear refurbishments, renewed contracts, and resources are needed in the near future.
The Independent Electricity System Operator is forecasting capacity to fall short of demand by the mid-2020’s with the gap widening from there. They estimate the province will need to find 12 gigawatts of power of over the next 20 years.
A recent policy statement from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce called Addressing Ontario’s Growing Electricity Needs lays out how critical the situation is. Regardless of what route we go to supply that capacity, it takes years to plan and develop not only the power generation, but also the transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Additionally, the Province is planning to achieve zero-emission electricity generation, which will have to include phasing out natural gas-powered plants. The Province is currently looking into options to pick up capacity like biomass and hydroelectric generation, including new contracts for small hydroelectric projects.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce states that given the time it takes to operationalize electricity infrastructure, it is imperative that Ontario continue taking steps today to secure reliable, affordable, and sustainable resources for future generations. Relying on importing electricity won’t be able to meet all our capacity needs and there’s volatility with other regions forecasted to need additional supply as well.
Having sufficient and affordable electricity is critical to the economic success of our province. Industry and have made significant investments in electrification, especially in resource extraction and manufacturing.
There are also opportunities for our businesses as we reinvest in electricity generation and transmission. The OCC is advocating with the Ontario Government to ensure local businesses will be an integral part of these investments. They’re calling on the Province to continue consulting with industry to ensure there is a competitive and transparent process for contracts that leverages existing assets where possible.
While the government has been making steps to address these issues, the timeline is getting tight. It’s time to make the investments we need to secure reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity that both people and businesses need.
Our region’s population grew by 9,445 people between 2016 and 2021 — an increase of 6.8%
That’s above the provincial population growth change of 5.8%, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
What’s most surprising is the imbalance in growth between Peterborough city and county. The City of Peterborough added 2,619 people, an increase of 3.2%, while the county added 6,858 people for a staggering 12% increase — more than double the provincial average.
The County of Peterborough’s outgoing Official Plan worked with the projection of the population increasing to 61,000 by 2031. It’s currently at 64,000. The current draft official plan has a revised projection of 82,000 people by 2051. If growth continues at its current pace, it will hit that target by 2031. Even at the provincial average growth rate, Peterborough County will hit 82,000 people by 2041.
There is the possibility that at the last 5 years are an anomaly. Perhaps it was the perfect storm of ready-to-go subdivision plans, investments in municipal water and sewer capacity, and a sudden desire for people to get out of the big city and move here. Between 2011 and 2016, the county’s population increased by a respectable 4.4%.
Meanwhile the City of Peterborough has been consistently growing at around 3% every five years. The census indicates growth at 4.4% in 2011, 2.9% in 2016, and 3.2% in 2021. It’s on track to hit its growth target of 88,000 people by 2031 as set out in the official plan.
Evidently, the desire for growth is still outpacing our ability to provide it. The average house price in January jumped to $814,495. Month-after-month of record-breaking house prices should be a good indication that our region has more growth potential.
Growth in this range is going to bring more challenges, especially as more people flock to rural communities.
Transportation infrastructure is critical in managing a booming population. We need efficient ways to move people where they want to go. We’re going to find that some of our four-way stop sign intersections can’t handle the volume of traffic any more. Roads will need to be upgraded, passing lanes added, and bridges rehabilitated. There is also a growing desire for better cycling infrastructure and transit service. Facilitating growth includes expanding infrastructure like water and sewer service, recreational facilities, and high-speed internet.
Growth can be expensive.
But growth also brings opportunity for local businesses. More people living local leads to an increased need for groceries, places to eat, recreational opportunities, and entertainment. Some new residents are even bringing their businesses with them. The overall customer base is growing and that’s a community benefit.
The census numbers also show that growth happens with no particular concern for municipal borders, highlighting the need for us to work as a region in our approach to economic development and planning future infrastructure.
Regardless of the price tag, our region is in the midst of a population boom. It’s time to embrace the situation, plan and invest in the infrastructure needed to facilitate this growth, and make the most of the opportunities it presents.
People have been gambling and betting online since the 90’s. It has been consistently growing and has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.
The Government of Ontario is looking to get a piece of this lucrative sector, setting a launch date of April 4 for its new iGaming initiative.
The modernization of gaming revenue in Ontario is an important issue that provides new opportunities while also raising some concerns. It is anticipated that the iGaming initiative will allow the Government of Ontario to capture revenue that might otherwise go to offshore gaming providers. However, we are concerned that Ontario’s approach may come at the expense of current revenue and employment sources our communities depend on.
A recent study by HLT Advisory Inc. examining the impact of the iGaming initiative on Ontario’s gaming industry concluded that over the next 5 years there is a potential loss of more than 2,500 Ontario-based casino jobs, $191 million in municipal contributions and $3 billion in Ontario government revenues.
It’s not as simple as just regulating and taxing an existing offshore industry — it has real implications for jobs and revenue locally.
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce is leading an advocacy initiative, working with eight additional chambers as well as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, to push for a more cautious, balanced approach to the iGaming rollout.
Ontario is not the first jurisdiction in North America to legalize iGaming. Every U.S. state that has introduced iGaming has done so in a coordinated manner with existing land-based casinos. While we remain supportive of proposals to expand opportunities for private enterprise within Ontario’s regulated gaming space, the chamber is raising concerns regarding direct impacts to land-based casino operations as a result of the legislation as currently drafted.
We are urging the Government of Ontario to:
● Work with stakeholders, including land-based casinos, to minimize local job losses and ensure the addition of iGaming will result in the growth of Ontario-based jobs in the gaming sector;
● Provide casino host communities with an iGaming plan that demonstrates a negligible impact on municipal revenue sharing;
● Provide municipalities across Ontario with an iGaming revenue sharing agreement with a similar structure to the gas tax program; and
● Work with stakeholders to establish a competitive tax rate for iGaming that is fair to land-based casinos but also encourages offshore operators to join Ontario’s proposed framework.
Our approach is not aimed at stifling a growing sector, but making sure our foray into it is balanced and doesn’t come at the cost of existing community benefits. We have an opportunity to make iGaming a win for communities across Ontario. Let’s take our time and get it right.