Later this month, we will see one of the largest shopping days of the year: Black Friday, where hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent on electronics, clothing, books and jewelry. Unfortunately for Canada's small businesses, not to mention the Canadian economy as a whole, many Canadians choose to flock across the border on Black Friday.
I get it, landing your first job can be a daunting task. There are a lot of voices these days -- family, friends, teachers and "specialists" -- telling you what you need to do. The one voice you rarely get a chance to hear from is that of the employers themselves. The good news is they're eager to share.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has long been vocal about the limitations of these inter-provincial initiatives. We ask premiers to continue to show leadership on this file by renewing their commitment to deliver a modern, simple and effective AIT for Canadian small businesses by the end of 2016.
There is no denying that some Canadians and Canadian businesses are negatively affected by the current state of affairs in the economy, particularly in the energy sector. Global forces are at work, yet the constructive response is to put local forces to work by supporting Canadian small business. It's not just good for the economy, but it also builds stronger communities when we support our neighbours.
More than anything, it leads me back to the bigger question of whether the Senate is relevant at all. In my work as a small business lobbyist, I've met dozens of senators over the years, and many are wonderful people who take their appointment seriously and try to take on important public policy issues or causes. But do the costs outweigh the benefits? And if we do need a Senate, is the current structure delivering?
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) recently released a report that leaves no doubt about this wage gap. Public sector employees are making a lot more than you are for doing the same job. To add insult to injury, public sector employees are also working fewer hours than you to earn their above-market wages.
There's no free lunch in this world, and indeed, there's no free retirement. If retirement benefits are going up, then someone has to pay for it. The question we need to ask about any kind of a CPP/QPP increase is, what are the real costs, who pays, who can expect to reap the benefits, and what exactly can they expect to get?
The simple answer is that CFIB isn't right-wing or left-wing -- we're pro-small business. In fact, so are all of Canada's mainstream political parties, and (nearly) the entire country. And if you think the idea of Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats agreeing with each other sounds wild and crazy, you might want to sit down when you read the next paragraph.
Imagine it's March, 2013 and you discover to your considerable horror that you must pay the government $9,000 in addition to the taxes you normally fork over. Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn't it? Well, you and I, and every other man, woman and child in Canada are each on the hook for an extra $9,000 to pay for the $300 billion (or more) in promises to public sector pension plans that governments don't have the money to pay.
A Bank of Montreal poll found that almost a third of young Canadians haven't saved a penny for retirement, and only 10 per cent have given much thought to exactly how much money they're going to need to retire. Clearly, we need to get these folks saving, and fast. I'd like to see today's young Canadians -- particularly those without a gold-plated public sector worker or MP pension -- wind up with something, rather than nothing for their retirement. PRPPs can help employees at private sector small businesses save money for the future.