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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce statement on today’s GM plant closure announcement

Today is a sad day for the people of Oshawa, for Canada’s auto industry, and for the thousands of people and businesses whose futures depend on it. Our thoughts are squarely with the workers and families involved. 

We must all - business, labour unions, and governments at all levels - work together to provide the workers, their families, and the industries and businesses affected by today's announcement with the support that they need to adapt to this deeply troubling news.

Today's developments provide an important reminder that the Canadian economy must confront serious economic and competitiveness challenges. For some time, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has pressed governments to take bold steps to ensure Canada is an attractive place to start or grow a business and attract investment. No longer are we in the age of nice-to-haves; we must be focused on the must-haves.

Any effective measures to promote Canada’s competitiveness must address the regulatory and tax burdens on businesses and investors. We must also ensure that policy makers invest in measures to help attract the talent industry needs for the economy of tomorrow at the same time as we act to help workers re-skill or up-skill for the jobs of tomorrow.

This is true for autoworkers affected by today's news or oil patch workers forced to seek new opportunities because of our inability to get our resources to market, or others affected by the seismic shifts taking place in business today.

Despite the positive steps taken by the federal government in last week's fall economic statement, today's news reinforces that the Canadian economy faces serious headwinds and that more deliberate action is required. The long-term prosperity of our communities and our country relies on it.

The Canadian Chamber, and all businesses, stand ready to work with government to address these challenges.