COMPAS Poll/Survey

CEOs and business leaders embrace almost all Conservatives’ programs for the economy, especially on Canada-U.S. border issues, but are divided on loans to new Canadians for skills development.

Members of the business panel are especially enthusiastic about Conservatives’ commitments to

  • Work with the U.S. government to improve cross-border trade and travel flow while ensuring continental security against criminals and terrorists;
  • Double the tax free savings account limit;
  • Extend the 50-percent straight-line accelerated Capital Cost Allowance rate for machinery and equipment;
  • Establish a pooled retirement pension plan for the self-employed; and

Work with willing provinces and territories to establish a Canadian securities regulator.
Panelists are very supportive, albeit less so, with respect to

  • Staying on track for corporate tax rates to be the lowest in the G7 by 2012;
  • Completion of a Canada-EU free trade agreement;
  • Control red-tape through a one-for-one rule, whereby every new rule must be accompanied by elimination of an existing rule;
  • A hiring credit for small business – a one-year EI break for half a million small businesses; and
  • Protect the freedom of western grain farmers to choose to sell their grain independently or through the Wheat Board.

Panelists are less supportive, but still supportive, of Conservatives’ commitments to

  • Allow greater foreign involvement in telecommunications to improve competition and pricing;
  • Make long-term purchasing plans for ships to bring predictability to shipyards and the marine industry;
  • Completion of a Canada-India free trade agreement; and
  • Increase penalties for fraudulent violation of movie DVD and other copyrights.

The one Conservative business commitment on which panelists are truly divided is the proposal for loans to new Canadians to help develop skills or complete accreditation.

These are the key findings from this past week’s Internet survey of CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS panel. The weekly business survey is undertaken for Canadian Business magazine.

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