Our most current Government Affairs committee consists of Rob Varnel, Mark Weeks, Marilynn Knoch, Kris Bovay and is chaired by Jennifer McConnell (me).
2018 presents a lot of activity with issues such as Steel/Aluminum tariffs; NAFTA morphing into USMCA; the New Extended Health Tax (EHT) that shifts the collection of MSP premiums to employers in 2019; and the impact on the print industry of Canada Post struggling to keep union postal workers happy.
Our team is committed to keep you informed and advocating on your behalf on issues that directly affect our industry.
Previously, we have reported areas of focus that remain on our radar:
- The relisting of the industry with the Labour Market and Information Division – we will be working on providing updates as they arise.
- Discovering the impacts, if any, of the MMBC program and reporting to the AG’s office in time for their audit – this since has become less imperative but we are still looking at the history of audits conducted over the last couple of years to see if they are ramping up their efforts
- Working with Metro Vancouver to ensure that they have accurate industry information on the impact that print has on air quality and emissions – Marilynn has been in touch with Metro Vancouver and an update will be provided.
- Communications initiatives to promote the value of print to all levels of government and to the public – no immediate circumstance has come up in the last year where we felt action was required but this item will remain on our list as ongoing.
Some new items that have been a topic of discussion for our committee are as follows:
- Steel/Aluminum tariffs implemented by the US – even with the transformation of NAFTA into USMCA, we were not relieved of these tariffs and most of you will have already seen price increases on supplies for our industry, some of which are at a 10% increase. Although our Auto Industry was spared in the trade agreement, the previously applied tariff was not taken off the table.
- The NDP has put in place a new Extended Health Tax (EHT) that will take effect January 1st, 2019. With the Extended Health Tax (EHT) replacing MSP, companies will be looking at an added expense for the year as they will be expected to pay anywhere from 0.98% to 1.95% of their payroll to cover this tax. MSP premiums will continue to be charged to individuals through December 31st
- Canada Post is on topic again due to a strike – rotating strike action began throughout Canada October 24th. Canada Post will strive to keep disruptions to a minimum.
We are looking for motivated new members to join our committee that will bring new energy and perspective to the group. If you have an interest in Government Affairs and would like to participate at the committee level, or if you have government-related issues that you would like to bring forward for discussion, please contact our Executive Director of Member Services, Katy Jackson, or our Government Affairs Committee Chair, Jennifer McConnell.
Jennifer McConnell, Senior Production Coordinator, MET Fine Printers, member of the Board of PrintForward, Printing and Imaging Association, Government Affairs Committee Chair, Membership Committee volunteer. Contact Jennifer at email@example.com