Retail is the largest private sector employer in Nova Scotia.
Over 14% of the population in NS is employed by the retail sector.
KEY ISSUES FOR MERCHANTS THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS NEED TO KNOW:
- Nova Scotia is one of the highest taxed provinces in the country with a 15% HST, a 16% corporate tax and some of the highest worker’s compensation premiums in the country. NS retailers need tax relief.
- In most provinces, if a minimum wage employee works 1 minute beyond their scheduled shift (not overtime), the employer must compensate this extra work in 15 minute intervals. In Nova Scotia, the 15 minute interval can jump to 30 minutes meaning that a Nova Scotian employer could have to pay their worker for up to 29 minutes of time where the employee is not working.
- Progress is being made on red tape reduction through the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness. Atlantic Provincial governments need to continue their support of the Office to create greater regulatory harmonization within the Atlantic region.
- Nova Scotia policies related to solid waste regulations must be harmonized with best practices across Canada. This must include remaining silent on the administration of Environmental Handling Fees (EHFs) and no Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Program for the Industrial
- Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector. The ICI sector already has sophisticated and effective stewardship processes.
- Government must commit to reaching stakeholder consensus before introducing regulations related to a stewardship program for packaging.
- As the largest private sector employer in Nova Scotia, the next government should provide the same incentives to the retail sector as provided to other industries to invest in people, technology and e-commerce