Ottawa, Nov. 1, 2016— As Canada faces an extended period of slow growth, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomes the focus on immigration and skilled workers announced today by Finance Minister Morneau. Improved visa processing times for low-risk, high-skill talent and new work permit exemptions for people spending less than 30 days a year in Canada are both long-standing recommendations of the Chamber, and their implementation will help make Canadian businesses more competitive.
“Today’s economic update provided us with some fresh ideas, which are definitely needed to get the Canadian economy out of the slow lane,” said Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “A skilled workforce is the foundation of a competitive economy. We’ll look for more information about the government’s plans for an infrastructure investment bank which, if properly implemented, could yield significant returns. The key will be having the capacity to choose the right projects to invest in.”
The Canadian Chamber also welcomes the new trade and transport investments planned to start in 2017 – 2018.
“Economic growth is generated by competitive businesses that can easily get their goods to international markets, so the announcement on investments in trade infrastructure is welcome news. And the Canadian Chamber’s remote-community members will be pleased to see sustained investments in Northern and Rural infrastructure, starting in 2018-2019,” said Mr. Beatty. “The private sector is also ready to do its part. Tens of billions of dollars in private infrastructure investments, including pipelines, ports and airports, are ready to be deployed across the country. Government only needs to give the green light.”
The Canadian Chamber applauded the government’s focus on attracting foreign direct investment and the creation of Invest in Canada. “We need both domestic and foreign investment for Canadian projects. The creation of an agency with that specific mandate will certainly help, especially if it is combined with eliminating the other tax and regulatory barriers that discourage investment today.”
“These measures target some of what business needs most right now – a skilled and competitive workforce, and the means to get products to market,” said Mr. Beatty. “There is no quick fix for our current economic situation, but the measures announced today will have long-term impacts. We’re in it for the long game.”
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
G. Will Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
Canadian Chamber of Commerce