April 2015

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/489019

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Page 39 of 59

>> PUBLIC POLICY CHRISTIAN A. KLEIN A ED's recent survey of Cana- dian members is helping the association refine its policy priorities and has provided critical data to support the association's advocacy north of the border. Key takeaways from the survey, which was conducted in late 2014, include: n Workforce development is the top priority for Canadian distributors. Ninety percent of respondents said their company had difficulty over the last two years finding skilled technical workers. Respondents also rated "increasing the pool of skilled technical workers" as their top policy priority. n Canadian distributors' other top policy priorities are reducing tax complexity, incentivizing equipment purchasing through shorter cost recovery periods, water infrastructure investment, and reducing federal and provincial regulatory complexity (see Table 1). n e most important markets for Canadian dealers are mining and quarrying, water infrastructure construction, road and bridge construction, energy resource extrac- tion, and commercial and industrial construction (See Table 2). n e average respondent derives 20 percent of their revenues from direct business with government (i.e., direct government sales) and 26 percent of their revenues from indirect business with governmental entities (i.e., from business with contractors working on government projects). However, only 20 percent of respondents reported doing direct business with the federal government. n Asked to forecast the economic conditions and business activity their companies would encounter in 2015, the majority of respondents (70 percent) expected conditions to stay the same. Twenty percent expected improvement and 10 percent expected a decline. n Sixty-seven percent of respondents expected to increase the size of their workforce in 2015. Twenty- two percent said their workforce would remain same and 11 percent expected workforce reductions. Approximately one-quarter of AED's Canadian members participated in the survey, the first conducted by AED in both English and French. Forty percent of respondents classified themselves as dealers of heavy equipment (majority of equipment >100hp), 10 percent were light equip- ment dealers (majority of equipment <100hp), and 50 percent identified themselves as special- ized equipment dealers (processing, industrial, or engines). Collectively, participants represented more than $400 million in market activity and 79 dealership locations. irty percent indicated that their authorized distribution area included some part of the U.S. anks to all who participated! n Workforce Is Top Strategic Threat, Policy Priority for Canadian Members AED survey results help shape legislative agenda for 2015 and beyond. 38 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | April 2015 CHRISTIAN KLEIN (caklein@aednet.org) AED's vice president of Government Affairs. He can be reached at 703-739-9513. Table 1. Top Ten Canadian Dealer Federal Policy Priorities Issue Score (5 = very important) Increasing the pool of skilled technical workers 4.6 Reducing the complexity of the federal tax code 4.4 Shortening capital cost recovery periods to encourage equipment purchases 4.4 Increasing federal water infrastructure investment 4.3 Improving the regulatory environment for business 4.3 Eliminating barriers to trade between Canada's provinces (e.g., preference policies and regulatory inconsistencies) 4.1 Reducing regulatory inconsistencies between Canada and the United States 4.0 Increasing federal transportation infrastructure investment 3.8 Negotiating new international trade deals to grow Canada's export markets 3.6 Making it easier for employees of companies with operations on both sides of the border to move between Canada and the United States 3.5

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