We had the privilege of being among the first stakeholders to meet with the new Finance Minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy, one-on-one during his first week on the job—continuing the strong working relationship we have with the Ministry of Finance.
In addition to that meeting we’ve participated in the Ontario Government’s Pre-Budget Consultations. We’ve taken part in these consultations in the past few years and have been able to make a real impact on issues like Auto Reform. They’re an opportunity for select groups to present their interests to the provincial government to influence their priorities before the budget is allocated that year. We’ll share a copy of our written submission once submitted to the Ministry of Finance, but here are the key issues we put forward this year.
The insurance industry has provided and continues to provide substantial relief in light of the pandemic. More support for Ontarians is needed from our industry—something we’re all carefully watching as the industry begins to post its 2020 financial results. Currently, defaults on insurance premiums are more common amongst Ontario businesses than with individual consumers.
Many owner/operators are reporting a difficult time obtaining insurance or affordable insurance. The industry is short of qualified drivers. Ironically New Truck Drivers in particular are reporting barriers and challenges when it comes to accessing insurance. The Letters of Experience required by the insurance industry can be hard to obtain—this is both a process issue and a driver education challenge.
Small businesses—the backbone of the Ontario economy—are struggling to survive during these unprecedented times. We encourage the government to continue taking steps that support small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario, including reducing, or at minimum not increasing their tax burden, cutting red tape and fostering additional hiring locally.
We need a stronger, more cohesive plan with both federal and provincial governments involved in flood mitigation. We’re recommending the development of a National Flood Action Plan that includes moving people out of harm’s way, educating Canadians about flood risk, investing in flood defenses, providing all Canadians with access to affordable insurance and ending the building of infrastructure and homes on flood plains.