Bill 9 – Taxing Machinery and Equipment
Bill 9, which sought to include the value of machinery and equipment in property tax calculations has been withdrawn by MLA Gerry Lowe – stating that he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to submit bills that increased taxes as opposition and that it was never intended to affect SMEs. In withdrawing the bill, Mr Lowe also moved a motion to send the issue to the Legislature’s law amendments committee for study and hearings. Previously, we sent letters to each provincial party leader (with seats in the legislature), asking them to vote against Bill 9 – with the Liberal letter framed as withdrawing the Bill (and to never, never try this again).
Bill C-69 – Federal Pipeline Bill
On 20 February 2019, we participated in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Day of Action regarding Bill C-69. This involved a social media campaign, a letter to MP Matt DeCourcey and a letter to the Senate of Canada committee currently studying the bill.
We met with the NB Student Alliance during their advocacy week earlier this month. They presented their annual advocacy document to us and we gave them some advocacy advice and contacts to assist. We also renewed our MOU with the NBSA which gives their members (students) access to our free events and member prices to our paid events. The organization’s Executive Director also agrees to sit on the chamber’s Government Affairs and Policy committees.
The federal backstop carbon tax came into effect in New Brunswick and elsewhere on 1 April 2019 – adding 4.4 cents to a litre of gasoline in NB. With the UCP’s election victory in Alberta, half of the provincial governments (representing 60% of the pop.) are opposed to carbon tax and a federal election this fall, we are sure to hear much more about it throughout 2019. CEO Krista Ross’ April commentary was on a “Made in NB Carbon Solution” which can be found on our website.
Workplace Violence Policies
On 1 April 2019 the province’s new workplace violence policy requirements came into effect. At a minimum, all NB workplaces must do an assessment of the likelihood of workplace violence. If there is any likelihood, a policy is required for your workplace (many others automatically need a policy – over 20 employers or sector dependent).