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Ottawa, February 16, 2017—In a year of political and economic uncertainty, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins, a list of key opportunities that Canada can seize right now to give itself a stronger competitive edge, improve its productivity and grow its economy.

“Canada can’t sit still while our competitors run laps around us. Our list outlines specific recommendations on what Canada can do better, and the opportunities to improve our economic success. We need every advantage, and the Canadian Chamber will work with government to put these new measures in place,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “If we take advantage of these opportunities, we’ll give our businesses new tools to ensure their growth and success.”

In this fiercely competitive world, business needs more than its own skills to win—it also needs a supportive environment and public policies to encourage competitiveness. This new version of an annual Canadian Chamber analysis moves away from identifying self-inflicted wounds that have prevented Canada’s economy from achieving its full potential, and instead describes the opportunities for us to do better.

“From fighting protectionism to upgrading Canada’s regulatory system or building a stronger Canadian brand abroad, each of these measures can have real and lasting effects on our economy,” said Mr. Beatty. “We’ve emphasized opportunities that touch Canada’s internal economy, from reducing the cost of doing business to dismantling internal barriers to trade. What we need now isa commitment to get the job done.”

“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we can look back at the essential role business played in shaping our country. But as we look forward, it’s clear we’ll need every advantage to continue building a more prosperous country. These ten opportunities can provide a foundation for the next 150 years of Canadian business success,” concluded Mr. Beatty.

Consult the Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins document.

Watch a short video on the Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins.


Ten Ways to Build a Canada That Wins 2017

  1. Promote Innovation and Harness the Power of Data
    Canada’s innovation agenda must leverage the private sector and help companies get from idea to  product. Harnessing the power of “big data” and ensuring data are secure will also be critical to competitive success 
  2. Fight Global Protectionism
    As a trade-dependent nation, Canada must combat protectionism by leveraging its critical resources and other products and services its partners need. The completion of CETA and the Trade in Services Agreement will also open markets to Canadian business.
  3. Upgrade Canada’s Regulatory System to Get Natural Resources and Other Exports to World Markets
    Canada needs a regulatory environment that makes it possible to develop natural resource projects and to build the infrastructure required to get those resources to customers. Its regulatory system must also be open, transparent, fact-based and efficient.
  4. Work with Business to Combat Climate Change and Maintain Canada’s Competitiveness
    Canada needs a national carbon-pricing policy that has one objective: lowering GHG emissions while preserving Canada’s competitiveness. For the benefit of the environment and of the economy, Canadian business must be at the centre of the design and execution of Canada’s climate change strategy.
  5. Build Canada’s Brand
    Canada must provide reliable and sufficient funding to Destination Canada’s international marketing budget. A well-marketed national brand would increase foreign investment, encourage the world’s most talented people to immigrate to Canada and add value to quality-dependent exports, like agri-food products.
  6. Grow Small Business to Take on the World
    Canada must ensure small businesses have innovative access to capital, the talent and the programs that will get their goods to international markets so they can grow and flourish in the global economy.
  7. Build Digital Skills to Compete in the New Talent Economy
    Canada must build its capacity to harness digital technologies and apply them across its economy. It must also grow its pool of information and communications technology workers by encouraging student enrolment in computer-centric fields, improving the digital literacy of Canadians or hiring foreign workers.
  8. Assure Better Access to Capital for Indigenous Entrepreneurs
    Canada must support Indigenous entrepreneurs in their efforts to access the capital needed to invest in equipment, training and other tools that can translate the benefits of short-to-medium-term projects into the long-term benefits of jobs and wealth for their communities.
  9. Dismantle Internal Barriers that Cost Consumers and Discourage Investors
    Canada must develop a new Agreement on Internal Trade that includes the mutual recognition of regulations. Allowing business to operate more freely between provinces and territories will increase economic growth and job creation.
  10. Encourage Investment by Cutting the Cost of Doing Business in Canada
    Canada must reduce the cost of doing business in this country. Reducing those rising costs will provide a significant boost to our competitiveness and leave more money for businesses to invest.


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. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Guillaum W. Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce