Key Policy Priorities

The Chamber network is the most influential business association in Canada and is the national leader of public policy advocacy on regional, provincial, national and international business issues.

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber is focused on fostering a strong, competitive economic environment that benefits the greater Kitchener Waterloo area and enables the best possible atmosphere to help the business community grow. In order to do that the Chamber strives act as the voice of business in Waterloo Region on Parliament Hill, Queen’s Park, and at Regional Council.

In collaboration with our community partners, our Chamber also successfully lobbied for federal financial assistance related to the local rapid transit initiative.

To help effectively achieve progress in advocacy the Chamber has narrowed its key policy priorities to the following:

  • Increasing funding for post-secondary institutions. The competitiveness of the local business sector is highly dependent on the ability to secure qualified professionals to work in all sectors, including IT, construction, manufacturing and health care.
  • Ensuring all levels of government exercise fiscal restraint and control program spending
  • A competitive corporate tax regime at both the provincial and federal levels of government. Also, local property taxes must be in line with neighbouring municipalities in Ontario
  • Initiatives to assist the Waterloo Region manufacturing sector
  • Fair and open tendering practices for all municipal and school board infrastructure projects
  • The population of Waterloo Region is projected to reach 731,000 by 2031. Strategic infrastructure investments are critical for managing growth and avoiding congestion-related planning issues.

Federal Advocacy

Federal Advocacy

Our organization, in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, has maintained a responsive and progressive federal advocacy program to advance issues of concern to decision makers in Ottawa.

Our priority federal issues include:

  • Competitive tax and regulatory regimes
  • Infrastructure to meet the demands of growing urban and rural centres across Canada
  • Fiscal restraint, particularly on federal government programs
  • Workforce development and support for job training

Provincial Advocacy

Provincial Advocacy

Our Chamber, in collaboration with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, has emerged as leaders in advancing issues of concern to Queen’s Park on a number of different issues. Without doubt, the Chamber’s provincial advocacy initiatives remains a major priority day in and day out.

Our recent successes include:

  • Elimination of the Capital Tax
  • Reductions in Business Education Taxes
  • Changes in financial assistance programs for doctors relocating to underserviced areas
  • Financial assistance for the expansion of Conestoga College
  • Fair and open tendering practices on publicly funded infrastructure projects

Regional and Municipality Advocacy

Regional and Municipality Advocacy

Maintaining strong relationships with elected and non-elected officials across Waterloo Region is a critical priority of the Chamber and the local business sector.

Recent advocacy successes include:

  • Revised development charge increases in response to business concerns over costs during an economic recession
  • Lower business property tax ratios
  • Recognition of employment lands as a local priority