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New payroll pension tax will be a job killer

By MPP Toby Barrett

The current government is known for floating policy that makes great headlines and soundbites in the media but not so great results when it comes to implementation.

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, or ORPP for short, is a recent example.

Instead of promoting financial literacy and encouraging people to make their own decisions about retirement, this job-killing payroll tax will take money away from business, and from people’s pockets - money that could be used to pay the bills or bank for retirement.

On Aug. 11, the Ontario government announced a 2017 phase-in of the ORPP for companies with 500-plus employees. Subsequently, smaller firms will be added. Both employees and employers will be required to contribute matching 1.9 per cent of gross earnings to the ORPP, for a combined close to four per cent tax on payroll. Workplaces with mandatory defined benefit pension plans will be exempt.

A multi-year phase-in period is an admission that this is a flawed policy that will hurt business and families - delaying mistakes for as long as possible.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and their member businesses have already spoken out against the ORPP, saying it will negatively affect their competitiveness. Magna, Canadian Tire, Ford Motor Co., Chrysler and related industries have also adamantly spoken out against the payroll tax, saying it will negatively affect their competitiveness. The National Post has determined the ORPP “unsustainable” and even the premier admits she doesn’t know how much it will cost.

To put this in perspective, Ontario would end up being the only province in Canada with a provincial pension plan, as well as the federal pension. Quebec does have its own provincial plan, but it is in lieu of the Canada Pension Plan. Again, obviously putting Ontario at a competitive disadvantage when vying for industry and business to locate in Ontario or at least remain. On top of the North America’s highest electricity rates, those wanting to open doors in Ontario will have to pay close to an additional four per cent on top of their payroll.

When you have energy prices that aren’t competitive, plus suffocating red tape, it harms our economy. The ORPP only makes matters worse, and creates more uncertainty at a time when companies need stability in order to invest.

We in the Official Opposition continue to oppose the ORPP because:
* The government has not conducted a cost-benefit analysis on the ORPP
* The ORPP will make doing business in Ontario even more expensive
* The ORPP will cause more businesses to close or move
* The ORPP will cause more unemployment in Ontario.

There is the question of, do we as Ontarians want to trust a government to manage our retirement income – a government that has created the highest level of debt of any sub-sovereign jurisdiction in the world.

Another question – why do we have a premier in Ontario who has crossed the line by openly campaigning in a federal election – ostensibly to protest the federal position on pensions.

Instead of making things more difficult for families and businesses to thrive in Ontario, we should be making it easier. ORPP is certainly a step in the wrong direction.

Newsroom

New Ontario pension tax remains bad for families and business
SIMCOE - Premier Wynne’s announced design features of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) does nothing to alleviate the concerns of working families and businesses.
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Flawed Hydro One billing system won’t improve with lack of oversight
SIMCOE – Hydro One led the list for numbers of complaints of government organizations the Ontario Ombudsman investigates, but it will be the last time this will occur.
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Fraser Institute concludes ORPP pointless
SIMCOE – A new study by the Fraser Institute predicts there will be no gain in people’s life savings when the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is implemented.
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Another industrial leader calls for lower power prices
SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is concerned for the economic future of Ontario with yet another industrial leader criticizing the high cost of electricity in the province.
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Barrett responds to Ontario Chamber report on electricity prices

SIMCOE – The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is adding its voice to the growing clamour over skyrocketing electricity prices.
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Barrett pushes for better answer on Cayuga bridge

CAYUGA – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has again questioned the government when will the Cayuga bridge be done.
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Cayuga bridge requires urgent action: Barrett

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett rose in the House Thursday during Question Period and demanded urgent action on completion of the Cayuga bridge.
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Public hearings moved up to June 1 on vector-borne and zoonotic diseases bill
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett’s infectious diseases bill was passed today in the Ontario Legislature with unanimous consent from all parties.
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Public hearings moved up to June 1 on vector-borne and zoonotic diseases bill

QUEEN'S PARK– Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett was successful in securing one day of legislative assembly committee hearings for his private member’s bill – Bill 27 -- that would better enable Ontario to deal with emerging infectious diseases. The bill addresses diseases such as Lyme, West Nile and Ebola.
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LaSalette kickboxers headed to world championships
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett gave kudos to a local kickboxing group which came home with gold, silver and bronze in national championships.
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Barrett renews push for action on Lyme
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed the push for answers on Lyme disease in front of a Queen’s Park gallery crowded with those afflicted by the disease.
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Barrett concerned electricity prices driving out industry
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett took the government to task during Question Period for its energy policies that could be scaring business away from the area.
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Electricity rates up 14 per cent, May 1
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s electricity rates are skyrocketing again.
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No help for agriculture in budget: Barrett
SIMCOE – Farmers shouldn’t look for help from yesterday’s budget, according to Toby Barrett, Opposition Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
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Budget misses the mark

QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government budget that was just released is not a substantive plan to get Ontario back on a firm economic footing and eliminate the deficit by 2017-18. recruitment team.
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Barrett/Hoskins discuss Norfolk doctor shortage
QUEEN'S PARK – Over the years, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has met with the committee trying to build a new health centre in Port Dover, as well as with Norfolk General Hospital’s recruitment team.
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Barrett has mixed emotion with Invasive Species Act
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett rose again in the Legislature to speak on the province’s Invasive Species Act.
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Liberals increase deficit for third straight year
QUEEN’S PARK – It might have been April Fool’s Day when Opposition Finance Critic Vic Fedeli asked some hard questions of the finance minister about the province’s books, but it was anything but a joke.
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Barrett to Ag Minister on neonics: “Why won’t you speak up for farmers?”
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s agriculture minister was short on answers when pressed on the 80 per cent neonic ban on corn and soybean acreage that was recently announced.
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Barrett pays tribute to farmers during Farm Safety Week
QUEEN’S PARK – Toby Barrett, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, paid tribute to volunteers in the Norfolk Farm Safety Association in the Ontario Legislature on Tuesday.
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Adding livestock to crop insurance is good news: Barrett
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Toby Barrett supports government legislation to allow crop insurance to be expanded to cover livestock.
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Despite impressive gains, agricultural literacy remains a struggle
QUEEN’S PARK – “We have to train people not only to be able to walk into a combine and know how to turn a wrench, but they also need to know how to calibrate that computer.”
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Sudbury scandal: Premier asked to step aside if charges laid
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has asked Premier Wynne to step aside if charges are laid in connection with the Sudbury by-election scandal.
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Moody’s sounds another warning about Ontario finances
QUEEN’S PARK – Another voice has been added to the chorus calling on the Wynne government to change its financial direction.
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Barrett calls for re-striking the gas plant committee
QUEEN’S PARK – Re-strike the gas plant committee! That was the call from MPP Toby Barrett, fellow Opposition caucus members and members of the Third Party.
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Barrett fears consequences of policy on rural school closings
SIMCOE – In the wake of a new policy that will fast track the process of closing schools, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is asking the government to slow down and reevaluate the process.
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Dental benefits for low-income Ontarians needed sooner rather than later
Simcoe – Access to proper dental and oral health care improves lives and reduces costs on our health care system.
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Petition: Say no to new gas taxes
SIMCOE – In the wake of news regarding a new carbon tax, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has launched a petition calling on the government to ditch its idea of a new carbon tax or any other kind of gas tax.
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Comment period on bee health coming to a close
SIMCOE – Local MPP and Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Toby Barrett is reminding interested parties that the comment period regarding neonicotinoid insecticide is coming to a close January 25th.
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Cayuga bridge is about safety

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett advocates the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Corrections to step in on the native-shutdown of the Cayuga bridge reconstruction..

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Barrett praises federal invasive species regulations

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett welcomed the new federal aquatic invasive species regulations.

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Auditor General takes government to task on spending, electricity

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s Auditor General confirmed Tuesday what Opposition MPPs have been saying about the province’s electricity pricing.

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PC Critics call for a rigorous scientific and consultative approach to neonics

LONDON – This morning, PC Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Toby Barrett and PC Critic for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Lisa Thompson held a news conference outside the Pollinator Health meeting in London.

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Will government provide mortality insurance to assist beekeepers?

QUEEN'S PARK – MPP Toby Barrett, Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, questioned the Premier today regarding bee mortality insurance, and asked why Ontario has yet to implement a Manitoba style insurance program to help Ontario beekeepers.

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Two area companies honoured for ag innovation

SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett was beaming with pride when he heard two local companies were amongst those who received the Premier’s Award for Agri-Innovation Excellence.

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New production insurance changes needed and must address farmers’ concerns

QUEEN'S PARK– An expansion of production insurance to cover more agricultural commodities is long overdue.

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Barrett’s infectious disease bill receives all-party support
QUEEN’S PARK – Legislation designed to better enable Ontario to deal with emerging infectious diseases has passed second reading with all-party support. The bill has been referred to the Legislative Assembly Committee.

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Liberals’ unrealistic and unaffordable path continues
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is suggesting Ontario residents strap themselves in order to prepare for the next round of rocketing taxes.

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Burning Kiln again chosen by Legislature

QUEEN’S PARK – Dignitaries, politicians and perhaps royalty will be enjoying a glass of Burning Kiln 2013 Strip Room after the Norfolk red wine was chosen as the Ontario Legislature’s official red wine for 2015.

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Barrett bill to address infectious diseases

SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has introduced a bill that will address infectious diseases such as Lyme, West Nile and Ebola.

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When will we see local food in hospitals and schools?

QUEEN'S PARK – Ontario’s Agriculture Minister refuses to answer when the entire Local Food Act will be proclaimed.

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Barrett urges people to testify on insurance bill

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett agrees with committee hearings to allow more input on Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014 in the wake of second reading debate on the legislation Monday.

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Unemployment trend continues
SIMCOE - For 93 consecutive months Ontario’s unemployment has stood higher than the national average.

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Who’s looking out for us when it comes to infectious disease?

Simcoe – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is questioning how well Ontario is prepared to deal with emerging infectious disease.

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