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Thunder Bay, September 24, 2018 — The key issue for Canada and Canadian business in 2019 will be competitiveness. That was the consensus at this year’s Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM), the largest gathering of business leaders in Canada.

“Canadian companies, from very small to very large, have been consistent about the barriers they face in being truly competitive: taxation, regulation, and innovation,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The ability of Canadian companies to compete on a global level starts at home. The Chamber will be working hard in the coming year to develop real-world solutions to the administrative and regulatory burdens that companies face, ones that will work for mom and pop shops and leading companies alike.”

Referencing the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, Beatty added that “the trading world is a lot tougher now than it was a year ago, and our members agree that business and government need to work much more closely to build a Canada that wins.”

More than 300 business leaders, associations, and provincial and regional chambers of commerce representing more than 200,000 Canadian businesses come together during the CCC’s AGM, sometimes described as the Parliament of Canadian business. The democratic nature of the AGM debate and resolution voting process ultimately provides the mandate for the CCC’s policy activities in the upcoming year.

“The real power of the Canadian Chamber lies in its grassroots, with more than 400 chambers mobilized across the country, that, collectively, reflect the voice and concerns of business owners from every main street in the country,” added Beatty. “It is an incredibly powerful and effective voice, and the AGM policy debate is the lifeblood that supports it.”

Trends discussed included the burgeoning cannabis industry, the future of work and the skills gap, Canada’s aging population, the millennial workforce, and diversity and inclusion, among many others.

The delegates also heard a keynote address from the Honourable Patricia A. Hajdu,Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Member of Parliament from Thunder Bay-Superior North.

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. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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For more information/interview requests:

Phil Taylor Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs

ptaylor@chamber.ca  (preferred and fastest response time)

613.238.4000 (2231)