Advocacy in Canada
As the equipment industry’s leading voice in Ottawa, the Association advocates for policy issues important to AED’s Canadian membership. Canadian dealers receive a monthly newsletter, the Canadian Policy Update, and AED frequently engages policymakers on tax and trade policies, infrastructure investment and workforce development issues.
Of course, the following policy priorities were adopted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. AED’s near-term goal is ensuring equipment distributors, manufacturers and your customers have the resources you need to get through an unprecedented economic situation.
REBUILDING CANADA’S INFRASTRUCTURE
Canada needs a long-term approach to investing in infrastructure to improve the quality, accessibility and sustainability of services that Canadians use every day – services that significantly contribute to the country’s economic prosperity, job creation and international competitiveness. AED strongly supports the federal government’s plan to invest $180 billion over 12 years to fund infrastructure upgrades. However, AED urges the government to ensure year-over-year consistency and long-term predictability in
funding critical infrastructure projects. Furthermore, the federal government must improve coordination between provincial and municipal governments to more efficiently deliver funding and implement a more streamlined process to speed the start of projects. While AED also supports the concept of Canada’s Infrastructure Bank, reforms are needed to better facilitate investment partnerships between the private and public sectors.
Monthly Canadian Policy Brief Newsletter
AED members have access to a monthly newsletter, the Canadian Policy Brief. This newsletter contains valuable policy updates and political intelligence about issues impacting the equipment industry and the broader business community. If you’re an AED member and you’re not receiving this newsletter, please contact Dominic Filipponi.
Ottawa Parliament Hill Day
AED members are undoubtedly familiar with the Washington Fly-In, an annual event featuring equipment dealers and manufacturers lobbying Congress on issues relevant to the industry. However, did you know that the Association hosts a similar event in Canada, known as Parliament Hill Day?
INDUCING GROWTH THROUGH TAX POLICY
Tax and regulatory policy that incentivizes capital investment is necessary to ensure sustained growth. The United States’ enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put Canadian businesses at a significant disadvantage. AED strongly supported and commends the government’s decision to triple the first-year deduction for equipment purchases from 15 percent to 45 percent. The policy will allow Canadian companies to increase cash flow, which can be used for further capital investment (more machinery, building new locations, etc.), creating jobs and higher wages for current workers. However, AED continues to advocate for further pro-growth modifications that simplify the tax code while incentivizing investment and entrepreneurship.
Providing Regulatory Relief for Equipment Dealers
AED strongly supports efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on job creators and pursue regulatory harmonization with the United States. To that end, finalizing an electronic logging device mandate that mirrors U.S. requirements should be a priority.
However, the government should reform current hours of service (HOS) rules to allow greater flexibility, particularly for equipment service technicians. Service technicians spend 80 percent or more of their duty time on non-driving activities, such as repairing and maintaining heavy equipment and related administrative duties and do not face the same demands or fatigue concerns as long-haul truck drivers. For these drivers, operating a vehicle is incidental to their primary job responsibilities, and they should be granted relief from burdensome HOS regulations.
Addressing the skilled labor shortage
The Canadian construction equipment industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers, particularly diesel technicians. The labor shortage encumbers the ability of AED members to service customers, hindering growth and delaying the completion of
infrastructure projects. While the federal government has made targeted investments in apprenticeships, more must be done to encourage all Canadians to consider careers in the skilled trades. AED is continuously advocating for sustained focus on apprenticeships and public awareness campaigns about the opportunities in skilled trade careers. The government must also pursue policies to ensure better collaboration between postsecondary institutions and employers and to incentivize individuals to
enter the skilled trades.
Supporting Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors
Natural resources are necessary for Canada’s international competitiveness and future growth. AED supports climate action; however, particular attention must be paid to continuing Canada’s economic growth and supporting energy development. Furthermore, the federal government must establish a predictable and comprehensive approval process that provides certainty to companies seeking to invest in major projects of all kinds, from pipelines to hydroelectric dams.