CANADIAN & ONTARIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE UPDATES
2018 Ontario Economic Report (OER)Through consultation with our members across Ontario, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has developed Vote Prosperity, a platform for the 2018 provincial election campaign. This product is designed to provide Ontario with a strategy to leverage our advantages and strengthen our global competitiveness. Ontario is a great place to live and work, but the foundation of our prosperity is shifting. Through extensive research, we have identified several factors that limit business growth in the province, from lacklustre exports to an elevated cost of living to decreased labour force participation. These factors, coupled with high input costs such as rising electricity prices, a cap and trade regime, onerous labour law reforms and a burdensome regulatory environment, mean the cost of doing business in Ontario is high relative to our competitor jurisdictions. Ontario businesses are the backbone of our economy and our communities. To ensure the next provincial election addresses the most important issues to their survival, we have developed Vote Prosperity. Read full report
10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins
Caledon, February 05, 2018 - A strong and prosperous Canada depends on business growth, but businesses are grappling with daunting challenges at home and abroad. To help them compete and grow, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Caledon Chamber of Commerce released 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins this week. 10 Ways provides businesses, decision-makers and government with a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow our economy.
"While the global economy remains risky, there are still tremendous opportunities for business growth, but we need to work together to create the conditions to support business growth and build a more prosperous economy for all Canadians," said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "10 Ways identifies the ways in which business, government and others can work together to improve Canada's public policy environment and create the conditions for businesses across the country to flourish."
10 Ways touches on a range of key issues, including attracting business investment, supporting SMEs, providing opportunities for business development among Indigenous peoples, encouraging innovation and fixing Canada's trade-enabling infrastructure.
This annual list by the chamber network is particularly important given the growing pressures on businesses faced with uncertainty around the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, additional layers of regulation, rapid technological change and low capital investment. 10 Ways not only frames the necessary public discourse around the best ways to enable Canadian businesses to grow, it provides the Canadian Chamber of Commerce with the strategic direction for its policy and advocacy efforts throughout 2018, supported by the Caledon Chamber of Commerce.
1. Make Canada a Magnet for Business Investment - We need a policy environment in Canada that makes this country the preferred location for businesses to invest, employ, export from and grow.
2. Ensure a Globally Competitive North America - The growth potential of Canadian business depends not only rely on our domestic policy environment, but also on our access to business opportunities and capabilities across North America and around the world. We need to expand and streamline business access to resources as we eliminate barriers to trade.
3. Make Canada an Agri-food Powerhouse - Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector has a strong and well-earned reputation. In order to make Canada a global leader in high-value food production and exports, we need a national vision and clear objectives for an agri-food cluster development strategy, a supportive regulatory environment and an increased capacity to export.
4. Develop Agile Workforce Strategies - Agile workforce policies are vital in ensuring Canadian businesses can acquire the skill sets they need to compete and grow. To this end, Canadian businesses need easy access to comprehensive market information and to programs and policies that support diversity and labour mobility. Our workforce must also have access to formative and life-long learning opportunities in essential skills and basic science, technical, engineering and business education. Only then can we attract the best and brightest from all over the world.
5. Make all of Canada an Export Gateway - Trade is the linchpin of the Canadian economy. We can enhance the competitiveness and growth potential of Canadian businesses by building on the gateways and corridors modeled to make strategic, sustainable and long-term improvements in Canada's trade infrastructure. It is time for us to create a single, unified and efficient trade-enabling network.
6. Improve Regulatory Efficiency, Achieve Regulatory Alignment, and Ensure the Unrestricted Movement of Goods and People across Canada - The elimination of trade barriers and unnecessary regulatory differences across Canada could add as much as $130 billion to Canada's GDP by freeing trade and commerce within our own internal markets. Through incentives for regulators, we can concentrate on the big picture: nationally aligned standards and regulations that work for all, instead of a patchwork of regional rules.
7. Help SMEs Trade and Grow - Canada's economic prospects depend in large part on the vitality and growth potential of small- and medium-sized enterprises. We can support our SMEs through tax policies that reward entrepreneurship, regulatory policies that take their reality into account and by giving them easier access to government contracts and international opportunities.
8. Provide Opportunities for Business Development to Support Self-determination for Indigenous Peoples - The economic and social benefits of encouraging greater and more inclusive participation by Indigenous peoples in employment and business development opportunities are shared by all Canadians. This includes a supportive tax and regulatory environment, access to new business opportunities, government programs that provide meaningful supports, and ready-access to education and training, leading to employment, apprenticeship and mentorship programs.
9. Make Canada a Global Innovator - Canada can retain its status as an advanced economy only if its businesses are world leaders in the development and application of new and advanced technologies. Canadian businesses need to be connected to the broadband infrastructure, research expertise and technology resources they require. Intellectual property and other regulatory regimes also have to be supportive and allow for easier R&D, development and, ultimately, commercialization.
10. Make Canada the World's One-stop Shop for Green Resources and Technology - The application of new technologies and production processes is vital if Canada is to meet its goals for reducing carbon emissions and improving the quality of its environment while at the same time sustaining economic growth. This requires support for resource-based technology business clusters and the incentives and support programs Canadian technology companies need to be able to do business with global resource companies and engineering and procurement firms.
NAFTA Talks Pass Round 6 Test, But Much Work Remains, Says Canadian Chamber
Ottawa, January 29, 2018 - NAFTA talks have passed the crucial round 6 test as the three countries moved closer towards a renewed and modernized agreement over the past week. However, much work remains to be done to achieve a positive result for North America's businesses, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
"We're encouraged that all three countries' representatives reported progress toward a modernized agreement," said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "However, the work is far from over, including on several key issues, and there is still no guarantee of success. We urge all three governments to focus on preserving and strengthening this important agreement. Our goal must be a North America that is more competitive, more prosperous and more successful for all our citizens."
Negotiators have expressed cautious optimism about the progress made over the past few days, including significant advances on several chapters, like digital trade, food safety, plant and animal health, and telecommunications.
During the closing press conference for round 6 negotiations, U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer emphasized a number of issues, including the balance of trade between the U.S. and Canada. The Canadian Chamber supports the Government of Canada's position that trade must be viewed in a broader sense, and not simply as entries on a balance sheet.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions.
News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.