Thursday
Sep222016

Peterborough Chamber instrumental in setting policy agenda

The parliament of business has wrapped up for another year.  The almost 350 delegates attending the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting (#CCCAGM16) voted on the advocacy needs of the business community.   

Among the 70 resolutions debated were two from the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.   

The first resolution, Advancing Canada's Competitiveness using Short Line Rail, asks for a tax credit program and a separate funding program for capital reinvestment in short line rail.  Increasing the opportunity for short line rail companies to improve their rail track infrastructure helps to open up regional economies and increase the efficiency of rail traffic around Canada.  The Peterborough Chamber was pleased to see that it passed with 98.7% support.   

The second resolution from the Peterborough Chamber was called Restoring Canada's Innovation Competitiveness.  This resolution asks for an innovation stream tax credit to complement the Scientific
Research & Education Development (SR&ED) credits that currently exist.  The resolution also asked the government to simplify any processes and to create an innovation environment that encourages private sector innovation.  

“Thank you to the members of the Peterborough Chamber Policy Committee for helping to advance these two issues that will help our Canadian and Ontario economies grow,” says Jim Hill, member of the policy committee and incoming 2017 Chair of the Board, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.  “It was very exciting to see them receive the approval of the delegates.”

Also passed during the two-day policy debate sessions were resolutions on scaling up, broadband connectivity, marijuana distribution, increasing the efficiency of the regulatory review process around natural resource development, air travel competitiveness, and improving the Express Entry immigration system to recognize the value of graduating international students to our workforce.   

"The annual policy process is quite remarkable. Most of the recommendations to government come from chambers just like ours, from across the country. There is a lot of research that goes in to the typical policy resolution," says Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. "The resolutions are then studied by Chamber committees across the country in order to make sure they are accurate and reflect all regions of Canada. The AGM provides a final opportunity for tweaking, wordsmithing, and collaboration, but more importantly for approval by the delegates."

The work of the delegates now becomes the work of the Canadian Chamber. With a strong mandate the CCC will now lobby the appropriate ministries within government.

"An approved policy resolution has the weight of the entire business community behind it and is a very powerful tool when lobbying the government on behalf of our members," adds Harrison.  "This is the core work of the Chamber network." 

For a full look at the policy decisions go to: peterboroughchamber.ca

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