Lower labour costs for small businesses following minimum wage legislation


TORONTO – Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner says the Liberal government should follow today’s passage of legislation increasing the minimum wage by immediately lowering labour costs for small businesses.

The GPO plan to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll would automatically and immediately benefit small businesses, and they wouldn’t have to fill out paperwork to apply or wait until they file their taxes.

“Payroll tax reductions help small businesses by immediately lowering labour costs, improving their monthly cash flow and creating incentives to create jobs,” said Schreiner. “Lower labour costs help businesses create more jobs and better paying jobs.

The Liberals’ corporate tax cut isn’t enough to help small businesses cope with the hike in the minimum wage, but it helps them maximize their profits, even if they do that by cutting jobs, warned Schreiner.

The Green Party is the only real voice for small businesses in Ontario.

“It’s clear there are two parties of big business and one party of no business at Queen’s Park,” said Schreiner. “Only the Green Party has a balanced plan that supports a living wage for workers and gives their employers immediate help to offset the cost of the increased minimum wage.”

The GPO supports the legislated increases in the minimum wage, to $14 an hour Jan. 1, 2018 and $15 in 2019, but would also like to see increases in social assistance rates to help Ontario’s most vulnerable residents.

“Both policies would inject more money into local economies, benefitting local businesses,” said Schreiner. “We are the only party advocating for a balanced approach, supporting a decent living wage for workers and lower payroll taxes for their employers.”

The Green Party of Ontario is made up of real people who simply want to make the world a better place.

Sign our petition to support lowering payroll taxes for small businesses here.

Statement in response to the Auditor General’s report


The Auditor General's report confirms that the Liberals' electricity pricing scheme is a financial disaster for Ontario.

Create better paying jobs by lowering taxes on small businesses


(Queen’s Park): The GPO is calling on the provincial government to lower taxes on small business.

“At Queen’s Park, there are two parties of big business and one party of no business,” says Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner. “Greens are the only party standing up for small business.”

“Small businesses feel under attack by Liberal governments,” says Schreiner. “We need to help small businesses create more jobs and better paying jobs. We will do this by making it less expensive for businesses to create those jobs.”

The GPO is calling on the government to more than double the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption. Businesses with payroll of less than $5 million would not be charged the EHT on the first $1,000,000 of their payroll. The policy would help small businesses save up to approximately $20,000 per year and inject over $800 million into our local economies.

There are over 400,000 small businesses in Ontario. Small and medium-sized enterprises do more to create jobs, support sustainable local economies, and bring new ideas to market than any other kind.

“If we want more good paying jobs in Ontario, then the government needs to lower taxes on those jobs,” says Mike Schreiner.

The GPO’s tax reduction plan for small businesses will also help entrepreneurs and small business owners adjust to a rapidly rising minimum wage.

“I have always done my best to pay my employees fairly,” said Neil Kudrinko, award winning entrepreneur and owner of Kudrinko’s in Westport. “My biggest disappointment is the speed of the changes and lack of consultation and support to help me as an employer adjust to the changes. As is, this has definitely put a chill on my HR decision making.”

“We need to support small businesses in paying a living wage to workers,” says Schreiner. “The GPO is the only party with a balanced plan to support small businesses and living wages for workers.”

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and policies that work for people to Queen’s Park.
Sign our petition to support lowering taxes on small business.


Labour Day: Supporting and celebrating workers


On this Labour Day, we pay tribute to the people who have worked hard to fight for strong rights, fair wages and safe workplaces for workers in this province.

We are fortunate to live in a province and country where our laws protect us and ensure a safe workplace with fair wages. However, there is still work to be done.

We must continue to build on the labour movement’s efforts to defend workers’ rights and ensure that we create quality full-time jobs in Ontario with living wages.

Greens support a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour and fairer taxation for both workers and small businesses. We want to ensure that the implementation of a living wages benefits all workers, does not lead to job losses or a reduction in hours for workers. A living wages should benefit workers and employers.

Greens also support efforts to reduce the rising trend of precarious and part-time work. We urge the government to provide stronger protections for employees who work irregular hours and for temporary and seasonal workers.

Greens also support efforts to make it easier for workers to unionize and the right to bargain. Stronger unionization efforts is a step toward reversing the rising levels of income inequality in Ontario.

The GPO is committed to working for a more responsible and just economy that protects, promotes, and respects all workers. Greens will continue to work hard to foster a prosperous economy that defends the people and places we love in Ontario.

Greens support giving municipalities more power


(Ottawa): “Municipalities need more power and autonomy to address 21st century challenges,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner while attending the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa.

The Green Party supports providing municipalities with more flexibility, autonomy and tools. Schreiner believes cities need more flexibility to close the infrastructure gap and fund services while reducing the tax burden on municipal property tax payers.

“Cities should be able to diversify revenue sources to reduce demands on property taxes without begging for permission from the province,” says Schreiner. “The province cannot stand in the way of municipalities ”

Schreiner supports giving cities the power to implement revenue tools such as congestion charges on city roads to reduce gridlock and pay for infrastructure. Cities need more autonomy to address infrastructure, transportation and housing challenges according to the Greens.

“The Liberals should be ashamed of the way they threw Toronto Mayor Tory under the bus on road pricing,” says Schreiner. “The NDP and Conservatives are more interested in playing political games than solving gridlock in municipalities across Ontario. We need honest answers to how municipalities can pay for infrastructure to make our communities more livable.”

Schreiner is also calling for municipalities to have more power when the province issues water taking permits. The GPO supports managing water as a public trust in the the public interest. Greens are calling on the government to prioritize public drinking water for municipalities over other users when issuing permits to take water.

“It’s ridiculous that a multinational corporation could outbid the Town of Centre Wellington for access to water,” says Schreiner. “Or that the City of Guelph has to fight a private corporation and the province to protect the city’s water from a quarry. This has to change.”

The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and solutions that work for people to Queen’s Park.