On April 4, 2018 the GNCC convened a roundtable discussion with local business owners, MPPs Sam Oosterhoff and Toby Barrett, Mayor and PC candidate for Niagara Centre April Jeffs, and the newly elected Progressive Conservative party leader Doug Ford.
The GNCC had been approached by Mr. Ford’s staff, who were keen for him to hear from local businesses. A packed room offered him many suggestions on policies that they felt would aid the success of their firms.
The GNCC took the opportunity to discuss its provincial election platform with Mr. Ford, stressing the need to focus on data-driven policy and on enabling the success of Ontario’s employers, particularly the small businesses which make up 98 per cent of both Niagara and Ontario firms.
The roundtable discussion allowed local business-owners the opportunity to present their concerns to Mr. Ford about the impact of the recent wage increases, regulations, and taxes. Mr. Ford highlighted his desire for a provincial government that supports and enables the success of Ontario’s business community.
Mr. Ford was also pressed to support all-year weekday GO train service to Niagara. The GNCC reached out to his office for further clarification, and received a communique in response which stated that he would “review this project and consult with the people of Niagara before making a final announcement. We will have more to say on this in the coming weeks, but the people of Niagara should not be worried.”
The GNCC held this roundtable as part of its commitment to a non-partisan electoral stance which solely aims at supporting its members and Niagara’s business community, and has opened conversations with the offices of both Premier Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath on similar events for their parties.