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Les conservateurs nous avaient dit qu’un gouvernement majoritaire leur permettrait de: compléter leur plan de relance économique, créer des emplois et, assurer une stabilité pour les familles et les entreprises canadiennes. Avec la majorité obtenue hier soir, le gouvernement conservateur a maintenant la responsabilité de livrer la marchandise pour les entreprises canadiennes.
Aujourd’hui, la Chambre de commerce du Canada demande au gouvernement d’aller de l’avant avec une stratégie de croissance qui s’appuiera sur la création d’emplois, l’augmentation de la productivité, assurer la relance économique et développer le commerce international.
Tout au long de la campagne électorale, la chambre de commerce du Canada a répété qu’il était faux de penser que les canadiens devaient choisir entre les entreprises et les familles. Au contraire, quand les entreprises canadiennes réussissent, tous les canadiens en sortent gagnants. Lorsqu’elles sont en difficulté, tous les Canadiens s’en ressentent. C’est exactement ce message qui a été envoyé à Ottawa hier soir.
Je vous invite à visionner ce vidéo pour en apprendre davantage sur nos réactions aux résultats d’hier soir
Like other organisations, the Canadian Chamber has an important role to play in informing Canadians during an election. We promote policies, not parties or candidates. We are strictly non-partisan and we will work with whatever government is formed after May 2. Canadians, and the 420 Chambers and 192,000 businesses that belong to the Canadian Chamber network, have a right to know what we advocate and where the parties stand on the issues that matter most to Canadian families, such as whether our kids will have jobs, how your tax money is used, and how to keep the businesses that line the main streets of our communities healthy.
The Canadian Chamber, along with many Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across the country, has been involved in a number of activities during the campaign. We had hoped to give the parties the opportunity to speak directly to our members across Canada by inviting the leaders of the four parties represented in the House of Commons to provide us with short videos setting out their approaches to business issues. These videos would be prepared by the parties and would be posted to our website. They would be one more tool for our members and all Canadians to use.
Yesterday, we were advised that we could be putting the party leaders that had provided us with videos in a potential conflict of interest if we made their messages available to you. Therefore, we have decided not to do so. According to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada:
``...these party leaders are subject to the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. The Prime Minister, as an MP and as a minister, is subject to both the Code and the Conflict of Interest Act.
There is no simple, universally applicable answer, as the facts of each individual case must be considered. However, given that the Canadian Chamber is a registered lobbyist, we would advise caution in approaching Members whom you lobby. Under the Code and the Act, Members and public office holders may not accept a gift, benefit or advantage that might reasonably be seen to have been given to influence them in the exercise of a duty or function of their office.
We would recommend that this offer not be extended to the party leaders, but if it is, it would be up to individual leaders to contact my Office to determine if it is acceptable.”
Most Canadians believe the parties have a duty to let voters know where they stand. To the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada, however, for the leaders to speak directly to our 192,000 members and to any other interested Canadian might be considered “a gift, benefit or advantage.”
Such a response is deeply disturbing. It isn`t just the business community whose rights are restricted. The same rules presumably apply to organisations that want to let their members know where the parties stand on healthcare, support for the arts, university research and the environment, among others. The law isn`t explicit and is subject to interpretation on a case-by-case basis, but it puts a very effective chill on their freedom to participate in the democratic process. Unclear laws and regulations that are subject to capricious interpretations are particularly dangerous when they affect people`s ability to participate in the democratic process.
Deciding who represents them in Parliament is the right and duty of every Canadian citizen. Over the years, millions of people have come to this country for a chance to exercise that freedom. For our democracy to flourish, government should encourage debate and discussion, not restrict it.
While we`re sorry that we will not be making these videos available to you, we hope that the other material available on our Web site will help you make an informed decision. Decide for yourself who you think should form the next government, but please make sure to vote on May 2.