A Letter to Members
Dear St. John’s Board of Trade Members:
It has been a tumultuous, productive, and lively past few weeks in our province. From the release of the reports on recovery, to steady progress in vaccinations, there is no shortage of newsworthy discussion happening in the community. All this considered, I wanted to check in with all of you, our valued members, to share our perspective as well as invite you to share yours.
I, like many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, have been digging into the PERT report and subsequent releases of data and discussion. Here are my initial thoughts:
It’s fair to say that tax increases are never easy, especially right now. That said, we understand the gravity of the situation we are facing, and the recommendations outlined by the PERT in the report. We believe everyone is going to have to do their part to get us out of this challenging and unsustainable situation. Provided our tax structure, both corporate and personal, remains competitive with other jurisdictions and government spending is reduced, we understand that some tax increases may be required. Every stakeholder group doing their part will mean a more stable economic climate, resulting in increased outside investment, higher levels of consumer confidence, and increased immigration. All of which are good for business.
We are out of time. We can no longer punt this problem down the road and hope someone else at another time deals with it. Everyone in our province must come together with an understanding of the situation and knowing they have a role to play in the solution. Simply saying “no” is not an option—we need alternatives and solutions.
We don’t need to implement everything that’s in the report, I don’t think anyone expects that will happen. But, we are holding a document that has many possible solutions for us to consider and we need to come together as a province to give prompt consideration to the solutions and talk about the role we’re going to play in ensuring that we are setting Newfoundland and Labrador on a more sustainable path, leading to economic and social prosperity.
The St. John’s Board of Trade is here for our members, in good times and in bad. During this especially challenging time, I welcome your feedback. Please reach out to our team and let us know what you think, how you’d like to be involved in our advocacy work, or what elements of the proposed solutions your organization could get behind.
All the best,
CEO, St. John’s Board of Trade