Ottawa, November 21, 2018 – The federal government’s Fall Economic Update contains a number of important measures to address Canada’s competitiveness gap with other countries, but more urgently needs to be done, says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“Faster write-offs for new investment, regulatory reform and concrete actions to accelerate the removal of barriers to trade within Canada are all important steps in the right direction, and we applaud the government’s initiatives in these areas,” said Canadian Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty. “In advance of today’s update we have been calling for targeted tax cuts to stimulate investment, concrete measures to reduce the regulatory burden, and accelerated investments in the National Trade Corridors Fund. With today’s announcements it is clear that the government has clearly heard the message from job creators.”
Specifically, the Canadian Chamber welcomes the commitment by the Finance Minister and by Treasury Board President Scott Brison to regulatory reform. Today’s announcements reflect some of the core elements of the Canadian Chamber’s report Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, which was released earlier this year.
“If the government follows through on its commitments, this can be the most important series of regulatory reforms in recent years,” said Mr. Beatty. “I hope that the Prime Minister will add to the momentum by calling for concerted action at all levels of government when he meets with provincial and territorial leaders next month.”
While the measures announced today will help address Canada’s competitiveness challenges, the Canadian Chamber remains concerned that the government has not committed to a full review of our tax system, or set out a clear, realistic strategy for balancing the public books.
Some specific measures announced today that are supported by the Canadian Chamber include, but are not limited to:
- Making competitiveness a permanent part of regulatory mandates;
- Funding to help Canadian SMEs explore new export opportunities; and
- Export readiness initiatives to be delivered to businesses, including through chambers of commerce.
“The Chamber is concerned that today’s Economic Update lacks any plans to help Canada’s struggling energy industry. We call on government to lay out its plans for oil and gas workers during these exceptional times,” said Mr. Beatty. “We would also like to understand the government’s plans to address the need for more attention to skills development and training, as well as to attracting and retaining the best talent available for all industries in Canada.”
“We invite the federal government to continue listening to the business community to build a more prosperous Canada where all Canadians have the opportunity to succeed,” concluded Mr. Beatty.
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Communications & Marketing Officer
Canadian Chamber of Commerce