Sharing Economy Will Drive Economic Growth If Governments Move Quickly and Boldly: Ontario Chamber of Commerce

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Toronto, ON (Aug. 26, 2015) – In a new report produced in association with PwC Canada, entitled Harnessing the Power of the Sharing Economy, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has called upon governments to move quickly and boldly to ensure that Canada and Ontario realize the full potential of the sharing economy. The report calls for immediate action to be taken to fill any insurance gaps and ensure tax compliance. If adopted, the OCC’s recommendations would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to take a comprehensive approach to address the growth of the sharing economy.

Fueled by companies such as Uber, Autoshare, and Airbnb, the sharing economy enables individuals to obtain rides, accommodations, and other goods and services from peers via online platforms.

The OCC’s report finds that nearly two thirds of Ontarians believe that the growth of companies in the sharing economy is good for Ontario’s economy. It also finds that nearly 40 percent of young Ontarians (18-34) are consumers in the sharing economy.

“The sharing economy is growing at an incredible rate and the opportunity for Canada and Ontario is an important one,” said Allan O’Dette, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Jurisdictions that are building adaptable regulatory and tax frameworks are more likely to produce new technologies that will drive economic growth.”

“The sharing economy continues to gain momentum as a business model that spans multiple industries while creating unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers alike,” said Ted Graham, Innovation Leader, PwC Canada. “We’re proud to be playing a role in bringing the right stakeholders together in order to stay ahead of the curve and foster innovative thinking in support of the evolving business landscape both in Ontario and across Canada.”

The report also finds that 1 in 5 Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents have used the ride-hailing app. Only 1 in 5 Ontarians believe Uber should be banned from operating in the province.

Among its recommendations, the OCC calls on governments of all levels to revisit the way they regulate.

“We need a regulatory regime that is able to adapt to changing economic conditions and is responsive to the emergence of new sectors,” said O’Dette. “This kind of regulatory system is fair for both established operators and new market entrants.”

Harnessing the Power of the Sharing Economy: Next Steps for Ontario is the product of several months of research by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the members of its Working Group. The report was informed by the results of a survey conducted by Leger in August 2015.

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan voice of Ontario business. Our mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of our network’s diverse 60,000 members.

From innovative SMEs to established multi-national corporations and industry associations, the OCC is committed to working with our members to improve business competitiveness across all sectors. We represent local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in over 135 communities across Ontario, steering public policy conversations provincially and within local communities. Through our focused programs and services, we enable companies to grow at home and in export markets.

The OCC provides exclusive support, networking opportunities, and access to innovative insight and analysis for our members. Through our export programs, we have approved over 1,300 applications, and companies have reported results of over $250 million in export sales.

The OCC is Ontario’s business advocate.