(OTTAWA) – March 21, 2020 – Four of Canada’s leading business organizations are calling on governments to support a national effort to protect jobs and to postpone non-essential new measures.
“Canadian businesses are ready and able to step up to overcome the challenge of COVID-19. We will work to ensure that Canadians have the food to feed their families, the fuel to heat our homes and to keep essential services moving, the equipment and facilities to treat the sick and the communications systems that unite us even as we are kept apart from one another.
To win this fight, we need every possible human and financial resource and we must be able to focus all of our attention on this struggle. The proposed 10 per cent wage subsidy for small businesses was a step in the right direction by the government. But more needs to be done to help businesses and workers through this crisis and maintain the connection between employers and employees.
We call on governments to provide more direct funding for employees. Other countries have recognized this need and are offering to cover as much as 80 per cent of the incomes of workers who are laid off as a result of the health emergency. We encourage the government to backstop the economy by implementing income supports at similar levels as Denmark and the United Kingdom.
We also ask governments at all levels to support our efforts by postponing any increases in taxes, non-essential new regulations, and unnecessary consultations that take us away from this mission. Businesses and governments need to be focused 100 per cent on the current crisis, leaving other priorities aside until the crisis abates.
We thank Canada’s governments for their efforts to mobilize Canadian society to win this fight. The business community is ready to meet the challenges we will face in the coming weeks and months. For the first time in decades, the entire country and the entire world is focused on one problem. Governments and the business community must collaborate in new and innovative ways to support Canadian families while we try to solve it.”
Joint statement made by:
Perrin Beatty, PC, OC, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Goldy Hyder, President and CEO, Business Council of Canada
Dan Kelly, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Dennis Darby, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Business Council of Canada
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters