Ontario: Small businesses give McGuinty government failing grade
By Julie King | November 9, 2010
ON -- The McGuinty government has been given a failing grade by almost 3,400 Ontario small businesses, according to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
Ninety-eight per cent of respondents are either very (65 per cent) or somewhat (33 per cent) concerned about the current state of Ontario's economy and 87 per cent do not feel the current Ontario government creates a clear picture of the challenges facing the provincial economy.
Businesses also rated the government's handling of the economy as the top issue for the next election, along with the level of taxes on businesses.
The McGuinty government got a resounding failing grade from business owners on every key issue but one: selling to the provincial government, where the majority response (58 per cent) was that the businesses did not know how to rate the government's performance.
It is telling that the government scored under 5 per cent in the "good" category on every single topic when respondents were asked to rate the government on a scale of "good," "fair," "poor" or "don't know."
When asked about policies that had impacted their businesses, respondents cited many areas of concern. Five areas in particular were said to have had either a somewhat or very negative impact:
|Introduction of Time-of-Use Metering for Electricity
|Introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
|Introduction of Environmental Fees or Levies
|Introduction of Family Day
|Increases in Minimum Wage
Other areas of concern included the expansion of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage in the construction industry (33 per cent) and the expansion of municipal taxing powers in Ontario (25 per cent). Only two areas of policy were seen to have had a somewhat or very positive impact: the reduction of the small business corporate tax rate (63 per cent) and the reduction of business education property taxes (25 per cent).
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