Canadian and Manitoba Chambers Look To Break Down Barriers

Feb 10, 2014 | Chamber News

Improving Canada’s competitiveness requires an ambitious, aggressive and innovative private sector. Strategic thinking and smart public policies are also needed to address long-standing structural impediments that hinder businesses at a time when they need much greater flexibility to compete. The Canadian Chamber and its network have a role to play in restoring Canada’s competitiveness.

Today, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, as part of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce network, stand united with the announcement of a major advocacy initiative focused on harnessing the power of business and public policy to address the key barriers to Canada’s competitiveness and our national prosperity.

Powerful forces are transforming the global economic landscape and challenging Canada’s prospects in the world. The weight of global economic activity has dramatically shifted from developed to developing countries. Emerging economies like China and India are sparking a wave of innovation with their critical mass of researchers, scientists and engineers. These countries recognize that research and innovation are the keys to success in the increasingly competitive global economy.

Canada risks being swept aside. Improving Canada’s competitiveness requires an ambitious, aggressive and innovative private sector. Strategic thinking and smart public policies are needed to address long-standing structural impediments that hinder businesses at a time when they need the utmost in flexibility to compete.

Over the past year, the Canadian Chamber network, comprised of local chambers of commerce, large corporations and small businesses, has worked together to identify key barriers hindering our ability to compete. Through these consultations 10 critical policy and regulatory barriers have been identified which will be the focus of our advocacy and outreach activities. Effectively addressing these issues will sharpen our competitive edge and allow us to prosper in the global economy.

Over the past few months, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, as the voice for Manitoba’s business community, has established committees to identify key issues related to tourism and workforce. These committees, made up of business leaders and stakeholders from across Manitoba industries, will provide the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce with the needed information to best advocate on their behalf and address the barriers they are facing.

The Canadian Chamber network, including the the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, is uniquely positioned to lead this effort. We have long served as a key resource to solving the issues-by connecting multiple stakeholders including businesses, workers, educators and governments. This is an approach we will continue to pursue in a collaborative effort to establish practical solutions toward a common goal: strengthening Canada’s competitiveness in a knowledge-based global economy so that our future prosperity and standard of living can be assured. As the voice of business in our community, it is important to continue the dialogue at all levels to reverse the trend.

Tackling the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness 2014 will go a long towards restoring Canada’s competitiveness. We are calling on our own me membership, on governments, on labour organizations, on educators and others to tackle and overcome these barriers as tolerating them is simply not an option. Effectively addressing these 10 barriers will sharpen Canada’s competitive edge and allow us to prosper in the global economy.

The need for action is urgent. The standard of living of every Canadian depends on how well we respond to the challenge. We all must work together to identify and implement real, tangible solutions for breaking down the barriers to our competitiveness and for creating more opportunities and greater prosperity for Canadian businesses and families.

 

Chuck Davidson

President and CEO

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

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