Cham­ber urges lower trade bar­ri­ers, reg­u­la­tory re­form

The Peterborough Examiner - - NATIONAL - DAVID AKIN NA­TIONAL POST

OT­TAWA — Canada’s Cham­ber of Com­merce is push­ing Ot­tawa for lower trade bar­ri­ers, reg­u­la­tory re­form, and sup­port for small busi­ness when it tables the next fed­eral bud­get.

The cham­ber, which rep­re­sents tens of thou­sands of Cana­dian busi­nesses, is to pub­lish Thurs­day a list of 10 “op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic suc­cess,” hope­ful that Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau will pick up on some of its rec­om­men­da­tions for use in his 2017 fed­eral bud­get.

The cham­ber’s rec­om­men­da­tions, a copy of which was pro­vided ex­clu­sively to the Na­tional

Post, fall on what cham­ber pres­i­dent Per­rin Beatty calls the “un­cer­tain can­vas” of global eco­nomic con­di­tions.

“How­ever, we con­tinue to pos­sess im­por­tant ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing our rich re­source in­her­i­tance, the skills and in­dus­try of our ci­ti­zens and our prox­im­ity to the world’s rich­est mar­ket,” Beatty writes in the in­tro­duc­tion.

Rec­og­niz­ing that Canada’s com­pet­i­tive­ness abroad may be un­der threat, the cham­ber has three rec­om­men­da­tions that speak to main­tain­ing and boost­ing a strong ex­port econ­omy.

It asks the gov­ern­ment to con­tinue to fight global pro­tec­tion­ism, to pro­vide funds and sup­port for an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing ef­fort to build Canada’s brand, and to pro­vide more sup­port for small busi­nesses to tap into new ex­port mar­kets.

A suite of rec­om­men­da­tions also speaks to a de­sire by cham­ber mem­bers to see gov­ern­ment sup­port busi­nesses in Canada.

There is a rec­om­men­da­tion, for ex­am­ple, to over­haul Canada’s reg­u­la­tory sys­tem to be more open, trans­par­ent and ef­fi­cient, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to de­vel­op­ing the coun­try’s nat­u­ral re­sources.

Hand in hand with that mo­tion, the cham­ber asks the gov­ern­ment to in­clude Cana­dian busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the “de­sign and ex­e­cu­tion” of Canada’s cli­mat­e­change strat­egy.

The cham­ber also be­lieves the fed­eral gov­ern­ment could do a bet­ter job of en­cour­ag­ing new in­vest­ment in the Cana­dian econ­omy by cut­ting the cost of do­ing busi­ness and by dis­man­tling in­ter­nal trade bar­ri­ers.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, the cham­ber also be­lieves there is great un­tapped po­ten­tial among abo­rig­i­nal en­trepreneurs, many of whom face unique chal­lenges in at­tract­ing cap­i­tal for their busi­nesses. The cham­ber is ask­ing Ot­tawa for spe­cial help for in­dige­nous en­ter­prises.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also be­lieves the gov­ern­ment could do more when it comes to giv­ing Cana­di­ans dig­i­tal skills for what it calls “the new tal­ent econ­omy.”

Fi­nally, the cham­ber is en­cour­ag­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to lead the way when it comes to cre­at­ing and shar­ing “big data,” in the be­lief that dis­cov­er­ing new ways to find, share and an­a­lyze data will pro­vide a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

But the cham­ber cau­tions that a new frame­work to share data must come with some clear bound­aries for law-en­force­ment agen­cies.

“Law en­force­ment and na­tional se­cu­rity or­ga­ni­za­tions must not de­mand ac­cess into com­mer­cial data stores or oblige busi­nesses to work with se­cu­rity agen­cies with­out ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal pro­cesses,” the cham­ber writes.

Per­rin Beatty

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