Red tape and high taxes among challenges highlighted on Caucus district tour: Lantz
CHARLOTTETOWN – Ongoing challenges like high taxes and red tape were among the concerns Progressive Conservative Leader Rob Lantz and the Opposition Caucus heard about as their district tour of Island communities continued yesterday.
“The spirit of enterprise is alive and well among Island small businesses but a combination of red tape,high taxes and a lack of supporting infrastructure are holding back private sector economic growth and job creation. We saw many businesses and communities that would benefit from policies like an Island Food First Strategy, more sensible regulation and better regional cooperation on procurement and food processing,” says Lantz.
Lantz and members of the Opposition Caucus continued the tour yesterday, meeting with businesses and municipalities in East Prince and Central Queens.
“Our tourism sector draws over a million visitors to the Island each year but high taxes, excessive regulation and infrastructure gaps like a lack of quality Internet access are putting our operators at a competitive disadvantage.These are the types of small businesses that we need to succeed to grow the economy," says Kensington-Malpeque MLA and Opposition Economic Development and Tourism Critic Matthew MacKay.
Lantz and the Opposition Caucus also saw how technology is being applied to traditional industries to enhance food safety and improve operational efficiencies.
“We saw how businesses from manufacturing to aquaculture processing are using and adapting technology to meet and exceed traceability standards and better manage their businesses which was exciting but also underscores the importance of reliable, quality internet access in rural communities," says Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers.
Supporting local food producers through procurement policies for public institutions and reducing regional barriers to trade were other issues raised with Lantz and the Opposition Caucus.
“You would think that a province that produces high quality food using natural methods would want to make sure its citizens can enjoy better health through consumption of that food. That's why we were surprised to learn that roadblocks of red tape to doing just that in public institutions remain thick as ever. We need to find a better way to benefit Islanders, support local producers and open new markets,” said Borden-Kinkora MLA Jamie Fox.
The Opposition Caucus district tour will continue this week with stops in Southern Kings and Eastern Queens.
Photo Cutline: Progressive Conservative Party Leader Rob Lantz (centre) and Opposition Caucus members (L-R) Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward;Borden-Kinkora MLA Jamie Fox; Belfast-Murray River MLA Darlene Compton; Morell-Mermaid MLA Sidney MacEwen; Kensington-Malpeque MLA Matthew MacKay; Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers; and Georgetown-St. Peters MLA Steven Myers following a tour of production facilities at Prince Edward Aqua Farms in New London.