Robin knows small business in the Kootenay Columbia. She’s brought in foreign workers and understands the deeply flawed system that is stacked against small operators. She’s stood up for our rural and small community businesses in regional and national committees. She pushed hard for the new federal Ministry of Rural Economic Development and got it. And she’s had to develop creative solutions to transportation, housing, government red tape, staffing difficulties and succession planning.
Over the last four years the Liberal government has lowered small business taxes by almost 20 percent, down to 9 percent. They are introducing measures to reduce credit card swipe fees. Business incentives are coming to help new entrepreneurs; same with better training and apprenticeship incentives. By increasing childcare affordability and accessibility the government hopes to free up more people for the workforce. Eliminating provincial barriers is important to trade across Canada. Opening up new markets for our products and services.
Robin brings to Ottawa a plethora of small business ideas. She plans to work hard on the problems we are facing, and will employ her entrepreneurial spirit in Ottawa:
• Succession - By providing incentives for people to move into and take over those retiring businesses, we see local services stay and flourish
• Staffing solutions and finding ways for small businesses to effectively participate in the foreign worker program are a priority
• Stronger incentives for new Canadians to move rurally
• Student loan breaks for those who choose to practice rurally
• Staff housing incentives for businesses
• Transportation – Rural Canada needs solutions
• Greening rural and small community businesses
• Market diversification and value added activities for our resources, and
• A fair shake in our foreign trade agreements and negotiations
Robin also believes the government should be going after foreign owned big business and the dollars that are leeching out of Canada – including Netflix and FaceBook who pay no GST while Canadian operators pay. How is that fair? Robin strongly feels the extremely wealthy Canadians listed in the Panama Papers need to be investigated. Instead of going after poor single parents who have to prove their children belong to them, we should be chasing the big fish. And she’s not afraid to say so.
Robin’s operated small businesses in the Kootenay Columbia for over 25 years. She took her value-added forestry business from a bet she couldn’t sell “kindling” to a peak of 45 employees. Cranbrook motel ownership and a resort on Kootenay Lake helped Robin hone a deep understanding of tourism and hospitality in our region and the many challenges facing the industry. Robin also has owned numerous rental homes and consulted with many local businesses. She has also volunteered prolifically throughout the region. From the Board of EK Community Credit Union to Chamber Committees to the advisory committee for Friends of Kootenay Lake and the Save Queens Bay campaign, Robin has contributed tirelessly. Imagine what she’ll do for us in Ottawa.
FINAL WORD TO AGRICULTURE
Support for our local agricultural sector is essential. Robin will ensure upkeep and improvement for agricultural infrastructure like irrigation and auxiliary services like abattoirs. It’s important the federal dollars available for infrastructure initiatives are pursued and made available to our farmers and ranchers. Robin will also work hard to:
• Support farmer’s markets
• Free up industry regulation so restaurants and other food providers have access to local markets
• Put focus on succession of local agricultural businesses
• Protect our farmers with better financing options and insurance options
• Ensure transportation is on the agenda