LASER TALK: Building Bridges with the Private Sector


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STATS CANADA: What percentage of the population works for small, medium and large businesses

In 2012, Stats Canada reported that over 7.7 million employees, or 69.7 percent of the total private labour force, worked for small businesses and 2.2 million employees, or 20.2 percent of the labour force, worked for medium-sized businesses. In total, SMEs employed about 10 million individuals, or 89.9 percent of employees.

Small businesses are a cornerstone of our economy and communities. Small business owners are motivated to vote because their cash flow depends on good policies enacted by governments. They tend to be networked throughout our community and they often donate to political campaigns.

Thus, having business owners in your corner  will help you generate political will locally and perhaps capture the attention of your MP.

Here some ways to engage the private sector locally: 

  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Ask to meet with the leaders to discuss carbon fee and dividend using the same strategies we use with politicians and editorial boards
  • Collaborate with your local Chamber of Commerce and/or other business and business groups to bring experts to community to give presentations on climate change
  • Give a presentation at your local Rotary Club at their meetings.
  • If a small business organization holds a debate during election time, endeavor to get a carbon pricing question on the agenda at their debate.
  • Recruit small business owners to your CCL group so they can: 1) provide feedback on the work you are doing locally; 2) be the face of small business for your local group and; 3) provide networking opportunities with your CCL group to other local business owners

Carbon fee and dividend could be especially helpful to small businesses. All other ways of pricing carbon are essentially a type of tax, since the government either keeps the money (non-revenue neutral tax) and/or has to fork out money to run the program (regulation and cap and trade). With carbon fee and dividend, local residents will have more money to spend and thus stimulate the local economy. As well, there will probably be less red tape with carbon fee and dividend compared to cap and trade for some businesses.


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