For Immediate Release
September 11, 2019
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Canada has carved out an enviable position as an innovation powerhouse on the global stage creating business opportunities and jobs, but to rest on our laurels, or backtrack on the gains made is to risk Canada’s future prosperity, warns the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) in the first of four reports of its Agenda for Growth, 2019 federal election campaign.
In this kickoff playbook, the CGCC — a coast-to-coast coalition of eight of Canada’s largest urban Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax — is urging the campaigning parties to support policies that will create good jobs and bolster economic growth by focusing on innovation and trade.
“This election, we are calling on all parties to create the right conditions to enable Canada’s businesses to not only cope with the swift pace of change, but also thrive in the new economy,” said David Crawford, Interim CEO for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “For Canada and its metropolitan regions to continue to be the best places to live, work, own a business and invest, this election we are calling on campaigning parties to champion our Agenda for Growth.”
TRADE AND INNOVATION RECOMMENDATIONS:
- To ensure a level playing field and clear rules exist for businesses, and that Canadians’ privacy and data are protected, Canada must BUILD ENABLING FRAMEWORKS for the innovation economy. This can be achieved in three ways:
- Establish a National Data Strategy
- Better leverage the data collected by Statistics Canada
- Capture more of the value of Canadian intellectual property
- To help strengthen and grow business confidence in the current global trade environment, the next federal government should DIVERSIFY TRADE by:
- Ratifying signed trade agreements
- Prioritizing new emerging markets
- Enabling Canada-wide free trade
- Accelerating airport screening
- Supporting SMEs to diversify exports
- Canada has a robust start-up ecosystem, but to spur job creation the next government should SUPPORT BUSINESS GROWTH by:
- Improving procurement opportunities for SMEs
- Encouraging sector collaboration
- Modernizing the tax system
- Streamlining regulation
“For Canada to be at the forefront of the global economy, we must adapt to the changing nature of competitiveness. We need decisive action to build policy frameworks that unleash our ability to commercialize great Canadian innovations,” said Jan De Silva, Chair, Canadian Global Cities Council, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade. “While Canada ranks as the fifth most digitally connected country in the G20, we are held back by a lack of a national data framework that should build off and align with international best practice, establish common rules across the country, and help create the conditions for Canadian companies to commercialize their innovations, here, as first movers.”
“Thriving businesses create jobs, give back to our communities and contribute to the fabric of Canadian society,” said Janet Riopel, President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “By taking bold steps to boost market access and trade both within Canada and beyond our borders, the federal government can ensure Canadian businesses have access to the customers and suppliers they need to grow, compete and succeed.”
Founded in 2015, CGCC members represent half of Canada’s GDP and population to champion national policies to build competitive and sustainable urban economies. Over the next three weeks, the CGCC will release a series of policy playbooks with clear recommendations for the campaigning federal parties to consider and the next government to adopt focused on issues that matter to businesses in Canada’s large metro regions.
For more details on the CGCC’s Trade and Innovation recommendations click here.
About the Canadian Global Cities Council:
Founded in 2015, the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) is a coalition of CEOs of eight of Canada’s largest urban Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade coast-to-coast: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. Representing half of Canada’s GDP and population, the CGCC is a strong voice for national policies that build competitive and sustainable urban economies. For more information visit globalcitiescouncil.com.