Wednesday
Jun242015

"A Canada that Wins" is good for Peterborough

October 19, 2015 is the date for the next federal election in Canada.  That is just under 17 weeks away.  Elections are always an interesting time because the process causes the voting public to reflect on the past four years and look ahead with an eye to the guidance required in the next four years.  

The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is part of a network that prides itself on being non-partisan.  As a business network we advocate for a better business climate that allows businesses the opportunity to compete and thrive in their own communities, across the province, the country and at the international level.  That means the Chamber must be flexible enough to work with any elected government to see these goals achieved.  The network prides itself on presenting ideas and different ways of approaching the challenges facing the Canadian economy.  The solutions presented come from the voice of businesses across the country and right here in Peterborough. 

What is the list of business priorities as we gear up for Election Day?  In March at the Greater Peterborough Chamber Annual General Meeting, Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) Senior Director of Economic, Financial & Tax Policy Hendrik Brakel gave us a sneak preview of the CCC’s approach to Election 2015. 

"Election years are very exciting from a policy point of view, in that, there are challenges and opportunities," said Brakel. The challenge is that decisions are filtered through an election lens and the opportunity is that the economy is the number one issue and that's the realm in which the business community operates.

"Elections are a very good time to influence government," he added.

The platform presented by the Canadian Chamber titled "A Canada that wins" is based on the needs of every successful business. 

In the following press release issued in May, the CCC made public the priorities the business community wants its next government to address.  

“We are expressing the priorities of our members to candidates across the country in our 2015 federal election platform, with the firm intention of ensuring all parties will be mindful of these issues – and develop concrete plans to address them if their party forms government,” explained the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

By presenting this document early in the pre-campaign stage, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is setting the stage for collaboration with candidates and parliamentarians in crafting forward-thinking, long-term public policies that foster a globally competitive business sector. In order to concentrate efforts, the Canadian Chamber has applied a laser-like focus on competitiveness. It has grouped public policy priorities into the four factors that are critical to business competitiveness:

  1. Access to a powerful workforce
  2. Access to capital
  3. Access to technology and innovation
  4. Access to markets

These four key areas were identified by the Canadian Chamber’s members, from small enterprises to multinationals, as the priority targets for immediate change in order to allow Canada to compete on the global markets. “Canada is racing against the greatest competitors in the world’s toughest marathon—the global economy—and we are losing ground to the frontrunners. Our next government has to provide us with the policy tools to turn this around,” explained Mr. Beatty.

He concluded by saying, “Canadian businesses will have to face many challenges in the years ahead, but I am confident that the next government will hear us. By working together, we can make our country a more prosperous nation, a more competitive nation. We can help shape a Canada that wins.”

An interesting and exciting election is on the way on many fronts for the Peterborough area.  Peterborough riding currently doesn’t have a sitting Member of Parliament and the MPs for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and the current Northumberland riding have decided not to run for re-election.  This means the newly elected MPs will be bringing fresh perspectives to the job.  

With new riding boundaries in place the entire area of the City and County of Peterborough will be represented by three MPs, up from the current two. The Chamber network, of which  the Peterborough Chamber is a member, is effective because of strength in numbers, so it could bode very well for the Peterborough region to have a team of three in the House of Commons.   

The full report “A Canada that Wins” 

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn. 

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