“Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched Vote Prosperity, the Canadian Chamber Network’s election platform. Vote Prosperity calls on all of the federal parties to support Canada’s job creators by including these seven priorities in their election platforms:
A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern.
A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business.
Access to new markets around the world and the breaking down of trade barriers at home.
Resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses grow and succeed at home and abroad.
Technology that makes Canada the most connected country in the world.
A workforce with the skills, education and training required to prosper.
A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians.
The Oakville Chamber will advocate on behalf of our members on these important priorities. We look forward to working with all of the candidates in the upcoming Federal Election.”
– Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce
“The Oakville Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate that the Government focus on and address four key priorities identified by our members; Transportation, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent and Innovation.
While the Budget delivers on some of our advocacy priorities that will advance the competitiveness of our members, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and housing affordability, it does fail to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burden on businesses.
The Oakville Chamber, along with the Canadian Chamber network continue to look for a commitment from the Federal Government for a comprehensive review of the taxation system to make it fair and less cumbersome for businesses as well as a broad-based commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.
Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Oakville Chamber will continue to engage with Federal representatives to advocate on behalf of our members, ensuring the focus remains on increasing overall business competitiveness and fostering innovation here in Oakville and across our Country.”
– Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce
National Letter for National Day of Action and Senate Committee Testimony
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce, representing 1,200 local businesses, is joining other Chambers from across the country to sound the alarm that Canada is at an economic and social tipping point because of our failure to get energy resource infrastructure built.
The cohesion of our country is threatened by the devastating impact of low oil prices, our inability to get energy resources to global markets and a growing sense of alienation among Canadians who live and work in the resources sector.
Our natural resources should be a source of pride for all Canadians. As producers of some of the cleanest, most ethically-produced energy products in the world, we should be doing all we can as a country to get them to global markets, where they can get a fair price, help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to our prosperity as a nation.
Canada’s economic well-being is at risk and the growing sense that Canadians who live in resource-dependent regions are being ignored is creating deep and serious divisions among our citizens. We need to come together as one country and this letter is intended to deliver a clear message to politicians in Ottawa and across Canada: the businesses in your jurisdictions want you to act and act now.
In order to do so, we are asking Canada’s federal and provincial leaders to:
Make amendments to Bill C-69 to bring greater clarity, predictability and transparency to the bill, as outlined in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senate submission.
Get our energy resources to tidewater, starting by recognizing that the Trans-Mountain Expansion is in the national interest and by expediting its construction in uncontested jurisdictions.
Implement the regulatory changes promised in the Fall Economic Update.
Declare a broad mutual recognition of each province’s standards, across all sectors.
Canadians in all regions believe that we can and should get our resources responsibly to global markets.
Canada’s business community is prepared to do its part. We need Canada’s politicians do theirs. Now.
Drew Redden President & CEO Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Last night business and association executives, as well as senior public servants gathered at our annual Crystal Ball Symposium to hear from leading experts on how trends in technology, the global economy and international politics will affect Canadian business 2019 and beyond.
This year’s event featured Linda Mantia, Chief Operating Officer for Manulife. Responsible for globally leading corporate strategy and corporate development, analytics, technology, marketing, innovation, human resources, regulatory and public affairs, global resourcing and procurement, and the global program office. Ms. Mantia and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist Trevin Stratton discussed topics ranging from the growing economic divide and the national economy to strategies for businesses during this period of change.
In the full report, released today, we lay out what we heard over the course of the last year about the environment businesses expect to be operating in throughout 2019 and the implications that has for policy-makers and business leaders.
This report, which is read widely by decision-makers in government and elsewhere, articulates a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow the economy.
It is key that the 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins reflects the views of our members—businesses big and small throughout Canada—especially in an election year. That is why, this year, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Hill+Knowlton Strategies on this feedback exercise.
Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government. A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, calls on governments to modernize their regulatory frameworks and give businesses in Canada room to thrive.
“Inconsistent and unpredictable rules and processes are making it difficult for businesses—whether large or small—to keep up and comply. This leads to our businesses being less competitive and Canada becoming a less attractive place to invest, start or grow a business,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Regulations are designed to keep us safe and to create a level playing field. But when they start to smother businesses, that becomes a real problem.”
As the U.S., our largest competitor and trading partner, has recently implemented significant corporate tax and regulatory reforms, Canada cannot afford to fall further behind. Today’s report identifies opportunities to increase public and investor confidence in Canada’s regulatory systems and provides clear recommendations to government on how it should be done.
“The Oakville Chamber partnered with the Canadian Chamber to release this important report” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “It supports the results from the latest Advocacy Survey we distributed to our members, in which over 70% stated that regulations are unreasonable and excessive. I look forward to meeting with our local elected government officials to discuss how we can work together with regulators and businesses to improve the competitiveness of our regulatory systems.”
Some of the recommendations to improve regulatory competitiveness include:
Immediately convene a government-business regulatory competitiveness working group. The working group would develop recommendations for the federal government to measure and reduce cumulative regulatory burden. It would also develop recommendations for governments to ensure a consistent application of regulatory guidelines across jurisdictions and ensure the adoption of best practices by regulators.
Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure economic impacts receive appropriate consideration in decision-making while preserving necessary protections.
Increase federal leadership in eliminating internal trade barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
Improve regulatory consultations through earlier engagement with stakeholders while ensuring processes are transparent and evidence-based. Project-based public consultations should be time-limited and focused on projects, not other policy issues.
Make overly prescriptive regulatory frameworks more flexible to better accommodate rapidly changing business environments by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
Increase regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners by integrating regulatory cooperation into free trade agreements and design new regulations with alignment by default where it is in Canada’s economic interest to do so.
Budget 2018 is primarily about spending—new spending initiatives and enhanced spending for programs that aim to support low-wage Canadians, address gender inequality, support First Nations development, strengthen indigenous rights and self-determination, promote skills and research, improve health and environmental stewardship and enhance justice and security.
Some of the spending initiatives announced in the budget will help business, particularly women entrepreneurs and small businesses, but they are limited in scope. There are also some important improvements in government policies—particularly with respect to the tax treatment of small business and the simplification of business support programs.
The government is intent on tightening tax rules and clamping down on tax avoidance. It should be focused even more intently on bringing its books back to balance and creating a tax and regulatory environment to support business investment and economic growth.
The budget projects the federal debt will increase by almost $80 billion over the next five years, although the government’s debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to decline slightly, thanks to continued strong economic performance. The government is counting on a buoyant economy to fund its spending initiatives and meet its fiscal targets. Its rosy economic assumptions will be put to the test by the risks it identifies itself in the budget—growing protectionism and uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations, tightening monetary policies worldwide and the risk higher interest rates pose for an already overextended household sector in Canada. Recent U.S. tax reforms are another serious risk to business investment in Canada that is missing from the budget’s calculations—we are awaiting further analysis.
Higher interest rates are certain to throw the government off its fiscal course—a 1% increase in the cost of borrowing alone translates into a $3-billion increase in the federal deficit over a period of five years. But, what is even more of a concern is that the government now has very little room to respond to an economic slowdown or any other problem affecting the Canadian economy. The leeway it has enjoyed to reduce taxes and increase spending in an era of low interest rates is quickly coming to an end.
Now, more than ever, Canada needs to undertake a comprehensive review of its tax competitiveness—and act with urgency to implement measures that will retain and attract business investment in Canada. That is the only way we can shield the Canadian economy against the headwinds that lie ahead. And, ultimately, it is the only way we will be able to pay for the government’s ambitious spending plans.