Op-Ed: Canadian Campgrounds Unfairly Targeted

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May 12, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

The following is part of an opinion piece in the Norfolk (Ontario) News written by Diane Finley, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk. For the full opinion piece in the News, click here.

Canada is known all over world for its natural wonders. As Canadians, we rightfully take pride in our country’s natural environment. It’s our job to preserve our wilderness areas, and to support the people who help make Canada a top tourism destination, year after year.

Not only is there beauty across the country, but here in Haldimand-Norfolk we are proud of what our environment has to offer. From Kelvin to Caledonia, and from Long Point to Lowbanks, we have a wide range of campgrounds and activities that let people of all ages experience the natural beauty that surrounds us, as residents, every day.

However, now the Liberal government is unfairly targeting campground owners and other small operations by saying that they are too small to be a “small business.” Campground owners, they say, simply don’t have enough full-time employees to qualify as a small business. They are doing this because they think that owning and managing a campground is “passive,” instead of “active” work.  What they are actually saying is that campground owners don’t have to work to maintain their property.

This is absurd. If you have been to a campground, you will know that there is a lot of hard work to be done there. Campground owners wear many hats: they are landscapers, janitors, accountants, and security guards. They are constantly making sure that they provide a safe, clean, and fun atmosphere for you and your family to explore the outdoors.

You and I know these things, but I don’t think that the Liberal government does. If it did, it wouldn’t be making campground owners pay more than three times as much tax as other small businesses. This means that some campground owners won’t be able to afford their own businesses anymore, or may have to increase the cost that you pay as a customer.

What this Liberal government is failing to realize is that these businesses create jobs for Canadians. It shouldn’t matter whether that these jobs are seasonal or contract-based: a job is a job. They also aren’t taking into account the fact that many of these seasonal jobs go to young people. For a government that claims to be developing a national youth strategy that will create jobs for young Canadians, actions such as these are a step in the wrong direction.

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