12 Days of Policy Wins
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the entire chamber network works hard all year to ensure that business concerns are heard at all levels of government. In a yearly tradition, the Canadian Chamber looks back at the year and celebrates 12 Days of Policy Wins of 2019.
On the first day of policy wins we want to celebrate the success of our election platform!
We outlined 45 recommendations for the federal parties in our Vote Prosperity platform to address Canada’s economic competitiveness. Many of these recommendations were addressed in the election platforms of the different parties. We are continuing to advocate and work with the newly elected Parliament on these issues with Roadmap to Prosperity.
On the second day of policy wins we want to celebrate having the unjustified steel and aluminum tariffs lifted!
Earlier this year, the U.S. lifted its unjustified national security tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products. Our Keep Trade Free Coalition was engaged while the tariffs were in place to press the American business community on the importance of these tariffs being lifted to have them make the case to American legislators and the White House.
On the third day of policy wins we want to celebrate the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program!
The federal government has launched the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) to use immigration to help meet local labour market needs, support regional economic development and foster welcoming environments in rural communities to help long-term retention. This aligns with our recommendation to replicate the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project outside of major urban centres across the country, further supporting a decentralized and demand-driven immigration selection process to address local community workforce needs.
On the fourth day of policy wins we want to celebrate the e-commerce trade negotiations!
Negotiations have launched towards developing new global standards on e-commerce and digital trade. These negotiations are supported by our Canadian Services Coalition as a means to ensure Canadian businesses can compete globally on a level playing field in the digital economy.
On the fifth day of policy wins we want to celebrate our progress in Indigenous affairs!
We have advocated for providing Indigenous entrepreneurs with more reliable sources of affordable capital. In 2019, the federal government created the Indigenous Growth Fund to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and projects, providing up to $100 million through the Business Development Bank of Canada in partnership with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association.
On the sixth day of policy wins we want to celebrate the temporary measures announced by the World Trade Organization!
After advocating measures in partnership with our international colleagues at the B7 and Global Business Coalition, the Canadian government and European Union announced temporary measures at the World Trade Organization that will preserve the ability of Canadian companies to defend our trade rights.
On the seventh day of policy wins we want to celebrate successfully advocating for a national offset system to be part of the Clean Fuel Standard regulations!
We successfully advocated for a national offset system to be part of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) regulations. This will add some flexibility for some companies to achieve compliance, but ultimately the CFS with Output Based Pricing System is a competitive risk. As such, we will continue to advocate that the CFS be paused and a full regulatory impact assessment be completed and incorporated into future design plans.
On the eighth day of policy wins we want to celebrate advancing territorial policy in 2019!
Budget 2019 committed to several of our asks, which included more investment in territorial infrastructure by doubling funds directed to the Arctic in the National Trade Corridors Fund to $800 million starting in 2020-2021, investing in economic diversification including scientific research, fostering Indigenous knowledge and education, as well as adding high speed internet within 20 years.
On the ninth day of policy wins we want to celebrate our successful interventions in Supreme Court of Canada cases!
We intervened in Christine DeJong Medicine Professional Corporation v. DBDC Spadina Ltd., 2019 SCC. This case raised substantial concern for business over the expansion of the concept of “knowing assistance” for corporations. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) accepted our submissions and confirmed that Canadian Dredge sets out the minimum requirements for the corporate identification doctrine to apply. By intervening, we placed a spotlight on the corporate identification doctrine. We also intervened in five other case this year and are awaiting decisions from the SCC.
On the tenth day of policy wins we want to celebrate our advocating on policy guidelines!
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) hosted a consultation on its revised Draft Guidelines on Transborder Dataflows. The revised guidelines presented a significant shift in the enforcement approach to data transfers had the potential to make Canada an outlier in the application of data protection regulations to data crossing international borders and among subsidiaries. We were a strong voice for reason and pragmatism, proving comments on this Draft to the OPC and Department of Innovation, leading to the OPC subsequently withdrawing the draft guidelines.
On the eleventh day of policy wins we want to celebrate our engagement on the Carbon Fuel Surcharge that led to revenue programs for SMEs in federally backstopped provinces!
Our engagement on the Carbon Fuel Surcharge led to revenue programs for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in federally backstopped provinces. Additionally, our advocacy that the federal government fully consider the needs of all SMEs lead to the creation of an advisory council that will allow programs to be changed based on uptake and interaction of the carbon fuel surcharge. We will continue to fight for a carbon price system that is revenue neutral, accompanied by other regulatory reductions and ensures businesses receive supports proportionate to their exposure to carbon pricing.
On the twelfth day of policy wins we want to celebrate the reduction of regulatory burdens with our Regulate Smarter campaign!
In 2019, the federal government continued to respond to our Regulate Smarter recommendations. In response to our recommendation to direct more resources towards simplifying existing regulatory frameworks, the federal government announced the creation of regulatory roadmaps that lay out their plan to implement a wide range of legislative and regulatory changes in specific sectors. Additionally, the Treasury Board Secretariat launched consultations on options to legislate economic competitiveness and innovation considerations as part of regulator mandates in 2019. This was a key demand of ours over the last two years.