Sweeping Support for Canadian Chamber Policy Resolutions

Ian McLean, President & CEO

Ian McLean, President & CEO

Canada has chosen a new government and new direction. The business community will now be faced with a new set of challenges and opportunities. This past weekend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) held its Annual General Meeting and Convention in Ottawa. Chambers from across Canada met to debate policy resolutions important to business across Canada and guide the CCC in its advocacy focus for the next year.

With 309 Chambers of Commerce from across Canada representing thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of hardworking Canadians, the Chamber network is a powerful voice for ensuring a better environment for business to grow and flourish. This weekend’s policy resolutions will help guide the CCC in its lobbying efforts and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. Your Chamber is guided by the expert work of Art Sinclair, our VP of Advocacy, who once again was instrumental in communicating the resolutions of our local Chamber and articulating their importance to the national economy.

Capitalizing on Growth Opportunities in Canadian Auto Parts Manufacturing – Passed

The first resolution put forward by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce was a policy plank dedicated to help expand export opportunities for Canadian auto parts manufacturers and support manufacturers through R&D incentives to meet the changing requirements of domestic and international assemblers.

This policy garnered much debate and in the end was passed with a strong majority. By honing in on key areas of growth for auto parts manufacturers through added exports markets and R&D programs the Canadian Chamber of Commerce can push hard for Waterloo Region manufacturers to ensure they have growth opportunities in Canada and around the world.

Financial Protection for Canada’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industry – Passed

The GKWCC co-sponsored another resolution that was submitted with the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce that seeks to keep our local food growers and exporters protected from shifting discriminatory trade policies in the United States. There was overwhelming support for this initiative and is now part of the CCC’s advocacy push with the new Liberal government.

Increasing Technology and Productivity in Canadian Food Manufacturing – Passed

Canadian food manufacturing employs thousands in Waterloo Region and hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country. Our ability to develop, package, and export our food products is a strategic advantage for Canada, especially with the growing number of international trade agreements Canada is now part of.

This policy resolution seeks to increase the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance that supports manufacturers in purchasing much needed new equipment to innovate and remain competitive in the global market as well as ensuring our regulatory system is in accordance with other international jurisdictions.

This resolution was passed with almost unanimous support from the 309 voting delegates. This resolution and its support highlights how important a strong food manufacturing sector is to Canada.

Increasing Agri-Food Exports – Passed

The fourth policy resolution was focused on enabling Canada’s agri-food exports to remain competitive as the final details of the TPP are negotiated. Details of the TPP will soon be made public and are critical for this sector.

There were also notable policy resolutions that were presented such as the need to simplify the SR&ED innovation tax credit system to help support small to medium-sized businesses who could use the program, but often find it daunting to use due to red tape and the complexity of the application process.

The CCC AGM is where policy happens! The GKWCC is one of the largest and most vocal Chambers in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, it is important to have our voice heard on a national level and continue to push for the needs of our business community.

And the GKWCC made local business issues heard and felt on the national stage!