Does the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Apply to You?

Did you know that you have responsibilities under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act if you manufacture a consumer product; sell a consumer product; advertise a consumer product; test a consumer product; or package or label a consumer product. A consumer product under the Act is a product that may reasonably be expected to be obtained by an individual to be used for non-commercial purposes. Non-commercial purposes would include a broad range of purposes such as domestic, recreational and sports purposes. This definition includes the product itself, the product's components, parts or accessories and its packaging. Under the Act, manufacturing a consumer product includes producing, formulating, repackaging, and preparing it. It also includes reconditioning the product for sale.

Selling a consumer product includes leasing the product or distributing the product to one or more persons even if there is no money or other consideration exchanged for the distribution. A good starting point for most industry members is the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Quick Reference Guide. This introduces the record keeping and incident reporting requirements, and discusses products that cannot be sold in Canada. A large number of additional program requirements and information are available here. Various types of industry would have different levels or areas of involvement depending on the products they market and the regulations they are subject to. Although industry is responsible for ensuring awareness and compliance with the regulatory requirements that apply to them, Health Canada does attempt to reach out to as many industry members as possible to make them aware of any applicable requirements. The local Alberta Region Health Canada offices would serve any industry members located in Southern Alberta and any industry members wishing to contact Health Canada directly can reach out to:

Pierre Denault
Suite 674, Harry Hays Building
220-4th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 4X3
Direct (403) 988-7104
Toll-Free: 1-866-662-0666

Value Added Benefits: Esso Fleet Card Discount

Esso offers all members and their employees up to a $0.035/litre discount on fuel purchased on your Esso Fleet Credit Card. Fleet meaning one or more vehicles. No minimums apply.

News We're Following for the Week of March 27 - 31, 2017


Member 2 Member (M2M) Discount: Perfecting You Fashions

Check out Perfecting You Fashions new location in the Medicine Hat Mall. Show your key tag & get 20% off all regular priced merchandise.

More Support Brewing for Alberta's Liquor Industry

The Alberta government is committing ongoing support for the province's rapicely expanding brewing and liquor production industry. Budget 2017 includes $25 million for the Alberta Small Brewers Development Program. The province launched the program in August 2016 to help small, Alberta-based brewers grow their businesses. A similar program for small distillers, wineries and meaderies is in the works. Meaderies produce a honey wine, known as mead.  

The Alberta Small Brewers Development Program provided nearly $16 million in 2016-17 to help small Alberta-based brewers. Fifty small brewers have accessed the program since it was introduced last year. At the beginning of February, there were 51 brewers and brew pubs across the province, with at least 23 new breweries licensed to operate since May 2015. Read more...


Business Beat: Concerned about your property tax?

Understanding Property Assessment and Taxation

Often the terms “assessment” and “taxation” are considered to be interchangeable. However, assessment and taxation are very different. Although one impacts the other, each is a distinct and independent process. “Assessment” is the process of estimating a dollar value on a property for taxation purposes. This value is used to calculate the amount of taxes that will be charged to the owner of the property. The assessment process is governed by the Provincial Municipal Government Act, however the application of the process is handled locally through the assessment department. “Taxation” is the process of applying a tax rate to a property’s assessed value to determine the taxes payable by the owner of that property and the rate is set each year by a local municipal council.

(Assessed Value x Tax Rate = Property Tax)

The market value based standard is used to determine the assessed values for the majority of properties in Alberta and is based on July 1st of the assessment year. Market value is the price a property might reasonably be expected to sell for if sold by a willing seller to a willing buyer after appropriate time and exposure in an open market.

Key characteristics of market value are:
  • It is the most probable price, not the highest, lowest, or average price.
  • It is expressed in terms of a dollar value.
  • It assumes a transaction between unrelated parties in the open market.
  • It assumes a willing buyer and a willing seller, with no advantage being taken by either party.
  • It recognizes the present use and potential use of the property.
There are three approaches to determine the market value based assessment of a property. The three approaches for market value based assessments are: the sales comparison approach; the cost approach; and the income approach. For non-residential properties, most municipalities will use the income approach to value for assessment purposes.

Locally, the City of Medicine Hat distributed assessment notices on February 28, 2017 and by legislation, property owners have 60 days from the assessment notice mailing date to review and discuss any concerns with the City’s Assessment Department with a deadline of May 1, 2017 to appeal any unresolved concerns. We encourage property owners to contact the Assessment Department prior to filing an appeal, as once an appeal is filed, the case can only be dealt with by the assessment review board and may not be adjusted or discussed by the assessor.  Additionally assessment notices cannot be disputed after the 60 day appeal period. By legislation, assessments also cannot be disputed through an appeal process if the property owner did not file their request for information form by the deadline of September 1, 2016.

So what are your next steps:
  1. Make sure you have opened, read and understand your assessment notice. While it’s not your tax notice, it is equally important, as it has a direct correlation to the tax you will be paying.
  2. If you have a concern, call the assessment department at 403.529.8114 or email them prior to the May 1st appeal deadline at [email protected]
  3. If your concerns are not addressed and you have just cause to file an appeal, make sure you submit the proper documentation by the deadline of May 1, 2017. There is also more information online here: http://www.medicinehat.ca/index.aspx?page=304.  (Government » Departments » Finance » Assessment » Appealing Your Assessment )
  4. City Council will be setting the annual tax rate on May 1st and through the budget information presented and approved by Council, we are anticipating an estimated increase of 3.5% and potentially the same increase for 2018. Knowing your assessment value and tax rate, helps in terms of budgeting for your business.
  5. Tax notices will be mailed in May with tax payments due on June 30, 2017. If you have trouble paying your taxes, consider the monthly payment plan. You can apply for TIPP up to June 30 for the current year's taxes.
  6. Request for Information (RFI) forms will be due during the summer of 2017, similar to 2016. Make sure you submit your RFI form so that you don’t relinquish your ability to appeal. You can view the forms online on the City’s website http://www.medicinehat.ca/index.aspx?page=320 (Government » Departments » Finance » Assessment » Request for Information RFI)

The Chamber of Commerce has been actively involved in the Assessment and Taxation discussion since early 2013, having created three related policy positions which can be viewed on the advocacy page of our website (https://medicinehatchamber.com/pages/Advocacy). Our policy positions include the impact of increased non-residential property assessments, tax equity: narrowing the gap between residential and non-residential property taxes and enhancing municipal financial planning and tax equity. In addition, our Chamber of Commerce represents the Alberta Chambers of Commerce on the provincial assessment and taxation stakeholder advisory committee and is involved in regular discussions related to the municipal government act and assessment and taxation regulations.

For more information on assessment, visit the City of Medicine Hat website: http://www.medicinehat.ca/index.aspx?page=278 . There is also additional information on assessment and taxation on the Government of Alberta Municipal Affairs website http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/1538.

Source: Guide to Property Assessment and Taxation in Alberta, Alberta Municipal Affairs


New Member: First Impression Hair & Body Studio

First Impression Hair and Body studio is a salon and spa, offering all services needed to make you look and feel as beautiful as you are. With a large range of hair and body services we provide we'll make sure you leave happy. Thank you for following us on Facebook, make sure to check out our website to learn more about our staff and services, or give us a call!

New Member: Spice Hut

Try the subtle and complex flavours of East India today at Spice Hut! Whether you’re familiar with Indian cuisine or a newcomer to this style of cooking, Spice Hut’s six family-owned locations are sure to provide a dining experience you won’t soon forget. Our menu offers the gamut of made-from-scratch East Indian cuisine, including: delectable appetizers, bold curries, several vegan and gluten-free options. We’ve been delighted by the positive response from our customers. We love to share our culture with our guests, so don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about Spice Hut’s many locations and menu options! Spice Hut offers you a 10% discount when you hold your parties, business lunches and business meetings at Spice Hut. We also have a VIP room to celebrate your special occasions. We serve imported Indian beer and wine and host free Wi-Fi for our dining guests. Spice Hut offers dine-in, take-out and delivery options for your convenience. For world cuisine with local hospitality, try Spice Hut! You’re sure to find something deliciously out of the ordinary at Spice Hut, so stop in or call us today to let our chefs take you on a tour of authentic East Indian dining.

New Jobs and Investment to Come From Renewables

Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program is expected to attract at least $10.5 billion of investment into the Alberta economy by 2030, creating more than 7,200 jobs for Albertans. The Alberta Electric System Operator is set to open the first of a series of competitions to create greener energy in the province, putting Alberta on track to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

The first competition will see companies bidding to provide up to 400 megawatts of renewable electricity, which could power up to 170,000 homes. Successful projects will be announced around the end of the year. The expression of interest stage officially opens on March 31. The program will not be funded by consumer electricity charges. Successful projects will be private investments supported by carbon revenues from large industrial emitters. As a competition-driven process, it will achieve the most renewable energy development for our investment, keeping costs as low as possible while maintaining a reliable and sustainable electricity system.

The projects are expected to be operational by the end of 2019. In total, the Renewable Electricity Program will support the development of 5,000 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity by 2030. The recent proclamation of the Renewable Electricity Act formally brings into force the Renewable Electricity Program, sets the 30 per cent of renewable electricity target and allows for the development of interim targets for the program. In addition, it ensures that environmental protection is in place for all large renewable projects, including wind and solar projects, under the program. More information about the Renewable Electricity Program is available from the Alberta Electric System Operator.

Click here to read the full press release from the Government of Alberta.

New Member: Agro Plus Solutions

Agricultural Crop Inputs retail focused on providing agronomic solutions to producers in Southeastern Alberta and Southwestern Saskatchewan. Agro Plus Solutions is independent which enables us to have the ability to provide solutions based on best agronomic practices and products options that are flexible and individualized to each of our customers unique business situation. We have three locations in Southern Alberta: Medicine Hat, Foremost and Lethbridge. We specialize in agrologists, agronomists, Pioneer Hi Bred Dealer, agricultural seed, inoculant & pesticide products, agricultural chemicals, agricultural consulting.

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