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Ted McMeekin
M.P.P. - Ancaster-Dundas
Mowat Block
22nd Floor
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2
Phone: 416-325-4562
Fax: 416-212-3720

Constituency Office
P.O. Box 1240,
Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0
Toll-Free: 888-566-6614
Fax: 905-690-6562

  Home / Advisory Groups / Business Advisory Group  

Tony Wong meets with Business Advisory Group

Opening remarks by Ted -discussing the concept of this advisory group and the outline of the goals for the group (these will be attached to the meeting notes for review)


Highlights of Tony Wong MPP and PA to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade

  • Explained his role at Chair of the SBA (Small Business Agency), recently initiated by the Ontario government

  • Highlighted the need for Ontario business to succeed, as economic development is necessary to bring investments we need into provincial health and education

  • The ministry had province-wide consultations in order to develop an Agency that will assist small business develop and succeed

  • Met with stakeholders in the GTA, Windsor, Thunder Bay, London, Ottawa etc

  • Over 23 consultations held, documenting business issues such as cross-border business, tax concerns, need for information

  • The SBA is comprised of 8 Parliamentary Assistants and 8 members who are small business operators (not named as yet)

  • The intention is that the group will meet monthly with groups including Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade, community organizations

  • Plan is to assist small businesses in the following ways  1. procurement (sm. Businesses should be able to provide services/goods needed by government and the government must make this possible)  2. est. a small business taxation advisory Committee, via the Ministry of Finance 

  • Advise on red tape issues (but cannot be misguided as was the case with the previous government)


For the sake of discussion, small business is defined as less than 50 employees, less than 10 employees being a micro-company, and less that 500 employees is a medium company (these three classifications combined add up to 97% of all business in Ontario)


There are 340,000 sm and med businesses in Ontario


There is a lack of good statistical information on smaller businesses, but we are changing this


There is a recognized problem that micro-businesses are over regulated


There is a plan to consolidate and ease business regulation, much in the same way as the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services has done with the ‘Service Ontario’

Goals of the SBA

  • Decrease regulatory burdens (hope to develop a regulatory registry)

  • To be an advocate for sm business (addressing regional issues)

  • To identify best practices

  • Have regular dialogue with business owners





- Will the SBA deal with lobby groups, who are the major stakeholders, and have a major voice?

  • The 16 member group will be diverse

  • The SBA will work for the common good of business

  • Individual business owners should be in contact with their MPPs

  • Ted, as member of the SBA will be very effective in moving on messages communicated by this Advisory Group


-the government needs to mentor entrepreneurs, to support their efforts to succeed (there is a concern with very sm business owners, who train staff and then loose them quickly to larger companies)


-Procurement issues for sm businesses eg. Do not receive payment for 60 days, required to have insurance


-         need for more people in trades (is being addressed with the recent $6.2 B addition to TCU )

-         are we training people to fit the jobs that the IEC has determined to be needed in a local area, based on studies

-         trade issues with cross border business as the ‘USA is cocooning’. This must be addressed

-         ‘big box’ stores being built everywhere, this is a threat to sm  business (the question is who is responsible)

-         need to understand that the health tax has an effect on small businesses

-         the paperwork required of small business by government is huge and time-consuming

-         the Hamilton Training Advisory Board (joint prov./fed) does annual environmental scan….but are their reports being used?

-         Good news! the fed and prov government are working on the harmonization of taxes

-         Great confusion at to which level of the 3 governments does what for business

-         There is a time issue with respect to when there must be decisions by government that affect business ie business (especially today) must change quickly, but government moves too slowly

-         Issues of skilled Canadians, educated here, are leaving for more lucrative employment overseas. This must be addressed (government recognizes this and is in the process of changing the brain-drain)

-         Need to assist home-based, micro businesses, to ensure they succeed (often these businesses grown and become our larger businesses in time)

-         Must be aware that we are in a fast-paced global economy and we must rise to the challenges

-         Need for support for research institutes which not only attract our skilled work force, but also attract others from outside Canada



The meeting was concluded with thanks from Ted to Tony Wong. Ted’s plan is  to meet again with the group later in 2005 to address  the status of current business in our community.