As the 43rd parliament begins its new mandate, and ministers are settling into their portfolios, we take the time to put forward the business case for Canada.
After the December 5th Throne Speech, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released the following statement: “We have consistently advocated a focus on economic growth as a critical mechanism of national unity, one that can only be successful if it works for all Canadians in every part of the country.
The business community understands that the Speech from the Throne is meant to be a high-level overview of the government’s plans. We will be looking for much greater detail in the ministerial mandate
letters about how the government proposes to address Canada’s numerous economic challenges.
The Canadian Chamber will also be looking for greater detail on how the government plans to engage and work with Canada’s entrepreneurs and job creators to shore up our rapidly declining competitiveness. Accordingly, we call on the government to make all ministerial mandate letters public.
Finally, we ask all members of the House, regardless of party, to support a serious effort to develop a national economic strategy. The 200,000 businesses the Canadian Chamber represents stand ready to do our part by creating jobs and making important investments, but we need the 43rd Parliament to be a willing partner to Canadian businesses.”
The Canadian Chamber also sent the federal government a “Road Map to Prosperity: Minority
Parliament Guide to Economic Growth”. The document highlights platform commitments from the federal election, including two Liberal commitments that could have great impact on rural communities such as ours. These commitments are a Municipal Nominee Program that would allow communities to address specific workforce needs and a program to help Red Seal apprentices get the work experience to finish their
With Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef now the Minister for Rural Economic Development along with continuing as the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, there is an opportunity to have direct conversations about the impact such ideas would have on rural areas.
Broadband access is also an important topic for business. Access increases opportunities and competitiveness, allows businesses to stay and thrive in smaller communities while reaching world markets. Both the Canadian and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) emphasize that public funding for broadband should be “targeted, coordinated, and streamlined” so that private investment in broadband can work with the public funding available to achieve the goals.
The OCC report, Business Priorities for the Incoming Federal Government, also suggests “adapting federal business supports to the realities of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).” This includes the high cost of regulatory compliance and administrative requirements to apply to federal programs. The report identifies that these hurdles may be the reason that government programs are not used to the fullest.
Another area the Chamber Network along with the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is interested in
seeing a reduction in is regulatory barriers between provinces and territories. According to the OCC these barriers cost the Canadian economy between $50 and $130 billion per year and include limits on labour mobility through occupational licensing standards and prohibitions on the free movement of goods.
Other topics include a pharmacare program that fills in the gaps for Canadians, labour market information and creating circular economies to help reduce waste and improve how businesses use their resources.
Whether it’s in the CCC’s Road Map document or the OCC’s Business Priorities for the Incoming Federal Government, the reports recognize the need to reach all Canadians, find common ground and work
together to grow Canada’s economy.