Brampton Board of Trade
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Will There Be an Early Election? Here’s a Snapshot of BBOT’s Advocacy Priorities

As rumors swirl about the Ford government calling an early election, we may be entering an unprecedented campaign season. What does this mean for our advocacy efforts? 

Election  When is it expected to take place?  Advocacy areas for BBOT (as of now) 
Federal  October 2025 (or earlier) 
  • Study permit cap 
  • Transit funding  
Provincial  June 2026 (or earlier) 
  • Transit infrastructure 
  • Good roads 
  • Healthcare funding 
Municipal  October 2026 
  • Land use planning 
  • Downloading of services from region to municipalities 


Federal Election (likely 2025) 

The Brampton Board of Trade is focused on several key federal issues that we will advocate for. We will be watching for candidates to speak to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) study permit cap as well as funding for the LRT extension. 

Study Permit Cap 

Recently, our attention has been on the IRCC’s announcement in January to cut study permit approvals by 35% for 2024, allowing provinces to decide their specific allocations. By the end of March, it was announced that 96% of study permits would go to public universities and colleges, 4% to language schools and private universities, and none to private career colleges. This raised concerns, especially among schools, about the impact on revenue. Algoma University is the only one facing a reduction from 2023 permit levels. 

It is important to consider that Ontario’s 2024 budget highlighted a potential $3 billion loss in international student revenue over the next two years. And notably, only 10 Ontario public colleges accounted for nearly 30% of all study permits issued nationwide in the past three years. Additionally, 12 Ontario public colleges have tripled their annual permit numbers since 2018. It appears that the 35% reduction is a blunt policy instrument for a problem largely influenced by a handful of actors.  

We are looking to understand the impact of study permit reductions on Brampton’s labour force. Many businesses rely on international students, and a decrease in admitting students could significantly affect access to talent. Collecting data on this remains a priority for BBOT. While there are important reasons for reforming how students pursue education in Canada, we are open to learning about alternative approaches to how the federal government is currently pursuing the cap. If you have insights on federal immigration policy and its effects on your workforce, please contact to discuss this further. 

Public Transit Funding 

The Hazel McCallion LRT extension into downtown Brampton was announced in January 2024 and mentioned in the Ontario Budget 2024, but no explicit funding commitment was included. We understand the cost of the LRT extension will be shared between the provincial and federal government. There is an opportunity for BBOT urge the federal representatives to share updates on cost sharing for the LRT. 

The federal budget tabled on April 16th mentions a new public transit fund available from 2026, after the scheduled federal election. This could be a potential route to ask for LRT funding.  

Provincial Election (scheduled for 2026, possibly earlier) 

Several provincial public policy areas are relevant to BBOT. Although the PCs hold a majority, there is speculation that Premier Ford might call an early election to secure another win before a potential Pollievre-led Conservative win federally. 

Highway 413 

Ottawa and Ontario reached a tentative deal to drop the federal impact assessment, paving the way for construction to begin. Highway 413 is purported to save commuters about 30 minutes and aid the movement of goods across the GTA. Our PGR committee wants to ensure proper process and explore public transit integration and residential density. Engaging our members to gauge sentiment on these issues is crucial.  

Public Transit Priorities 

As mentioned, The Hazel McCallion LRT extension into downtown Brampton was revived in January 2024 and explicitly included in the provincial budget. However, the design choice between a $2.8 billion tunnel or a cheaper surface option remains undecided. 

Other priorities include advocating for a third track to the Brampton Innovation District GO and updates on the Queen Street Bus Rapid Transit project.  

Healthcare Advocacy 

BBOT supports the Peel Memorial upgrade to a full-fledged inpatient hospital, William Osler’s call for a cancer care center at Brampton Civic Hospital, and the new TMU medical school. We also participate in the city’s Medtech task force. We are eager to monitor development on this file and reiterate our role in connecting advocates to the business community and amplifying their message when needed. 

Municipal Election (2026) 

Many municipal priorities align with our provincial advocacy efforts, including infrastructure projects. The next municipal election is scheduled for 2026. 

In addition to monitoring council decisions, BBOT meets with city staff for updates on municipal priorities. In March, the PGR committee reviewed the urban planning department on their plans with the heritage block redevelopment and other strategic urban planning goals downtown. BBOT has also met with members of council to align our efforts on seeking federal funding for the Main Street LRT.  

In the dust up of the Peel Region dissolution talks, we await recommendations from the transition board. We’re also assessing the cost of downloading services from regional to municipal governments and are prepared to advocate for a just transition, wishing to ensure the provincial government steps in for funding where necessary.  

If regional issues are of concern to you or you are seeking clarity on the responsibilities of regional governments, join us at our State of the Region event on June 24th for more on these topics. 

BBOT wants to hear from you 

As of now, these are the main issues that have come up in our engagement. The upcoming federal, provincial, and municipal elections will be opportunities for BBOT to advance our advocacy goals with candidates that are hoping to win over the electorally significant community of Brampton. 

The Brampton Board of Trade serves as an advocate for Brampton, advancing community interests at every government level. We aim to engage the Brampton community to develop strong policy positions for our advocacy. Of course, much of this work is nascent and we can only advocate for Brampton if we know what matters most to the community. 

In the fall of 2023, BBOT commissioned Narrative research to conduct a survey of businesses in Brampton on issues ranging from business confidence to nitty gritty policy preferences such as a preference between a surface or tunnel options for the LRT extension.  

While we have data to drive some of our advocacy decisions, it is important that we hear directly from you about your real-life, day-to-day experiences. 63% of Brampton businesses report seeing reduced profits due to rising inflation but tell us about the implication inflation has on your financial decision making. Have you put off any plans for growth in the past year because of inflation? 47% of businesses surveyed support a surface level option for the LRT as opposed to 24% who support a tunnel. Tell us why so we can learn how best to advocate for funding from the federal government. 22% of respondents say that affordable housing is a top issue facing Brampton businesses. What are the stories of how the housing crisis affected your business? Has it affected your ability to attract or retain talent? 

We have many questions for you on these topics. If any of these issues resonate with you and you wish to be part of our advocacy process, please contact me at to share your perspective.  


Upcoming Events

The Brampton Board of Trade has developed a dynamic series of events tailored to the needs of Brampton businesses. Whether it’s to recognize the individual and collective success of Brampton businesses or to share best practices in a webinar or workshop, our events are designed to connect Brampton’s business community and foster your growth and development.

With ongoing forums, networking events, and Signature events such as our Business Excellence Awards, another event is always around the corner.

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