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The Business Community Has Spoken: Assembled Chambers of Commerce Adopt New Policy Agenda Ahead of Election

October 18, 2015 – Over the past two days, delegates at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting adopted resolutions calling for a reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050, for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and addressing pension reform, positions that will serve as the basis for an ambitious advocacy agenda to be addressed to the new government.

“Our new policy agenda is bold, forward-thinking and focused on competitiveness. The resolutions were submitted and debated by the members until we arrived to positions we could all rally around. With these new resolutions that cover a wide array of topics, we’re ready to present the priorities of the business community to the new government that will get elected tomorrow. We expect the new government to put Canada’s competitiveness at the top of its list of priorities,” said Canadian Chamber President and CEO the Hon. Perrin Beatty. 

The Ontario Caucus represented 115 votes among the 329 delegates in attendance. More than 55 resolutions were tabled; 49 were adopted. These resolutions will be incorporated into the Canadian Chamber’s policy resolution book and advocacy strategy. Highlights include:

• A resolution to make significant changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which seeks to simplify the processing of applications and exempt some companies from providing burdensome transition documents for high-demand roles;

• A resolution on pension reform, which aims to alter the Canada Pension Plan by allowing employees to contribute higher amounts;

• A resolution aiming at a substantial reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by using Economic Instruments, where the federal government is asked to work with the provinces to adopt a national carbon tax or cap and trade system to achieve a reduction in GHG by 2050. Over 98% of delegates voted in favor of this resolution;

• Support for TransCanada’s Energy East Project: a Nation-Building Opportunity, a resolution asking the federal government to put in place favourable conditions to move this pipeline infrastructure project forward, as it will have significant economic benefits for the whole country.

• Next steps for trade relationship with the Asia Pacific, which will have the Chamber working to ensure Canada concludes an ambitions Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The annual general meeting of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce was also an opportunity for the member chambers and partners to attend panels on the upcoming elections, exchange information on projects with their colleagues and elect a new Board and Board Chair, Mr. David Paterson.

“The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting is the occasion for the whole of the chamber network to regroup, discuss, exchange ideas and, in the case of this year, prepare for what the election will bring. Our chamber network is energized and motivated to work with government to put in place the measures that will make each region more competitive. Building a Canada that wins starts with our strong chamber network,” concluded Mr. Beatty.