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Weekly Update: November 13 – 19, 2020

Supports for Business

Red Tape Reduction Highlights

The Government of Alberta's first annual report on red tape reduction highlights the red tape burden that Albertans have to deal with which is expressed by the baseline count. The Alberta government has a baseline count of almost 671,000 regulatory requirements with a goal to reduce these requirements by more than one-third by spring 2023. Read more or read the full report. There are a number of measures that have been implemented as outlined in the report. Some of the specific red tape reduction measures that your Chamber has actively advocated for include:

  • Employment Standards and Labour Relations
    Code amendments
  • The Farm Freedom and Safety Act
  • Reducing barriers to internal trade
Supporting Global Entrepreneurship

To support young Alberta entrepreneurs, Alberta’s government has provided multi-year grant funding to Futurpreneur, which will result in 225 new Alberta businesses being created in the next three years. Alberta’s government is also supporting entrepreneurs in the province through the $175 million recapitalization of the Alberta Enterprise Corporation and investments in its Accelerate Fund, ensuring Alberta start-ups can easily access funding. Entrepreneurs in Alberta also have access to funding, coaching, expertise and research through Alberta Innovates. Read more.

Funding for Workforce Development Agreements

The federal government announced details of an investment of $1.5 billion in the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs) with provinces and territories. This investment will help Canadians in underrepresented groups and those in sectors that have been hardest hit by the pandemic – such as construction, transportation, and hospitality – quickly access supports to re-enter the workforce. It could include skills training, on-the-job training, employer-sponsored training, financial assistance and benefits, employment counselling and services, and job opportunities. This funding is in addition to the $3.4 billion provided to provinces and territories in 2020-21 under the WDAs and Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs). More information.

Red Tape Reduction - Legislation Changes and Report

Bill 48, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020 (No. 2) proposes 12 changes across eight ministries. Some of the changes include adjustments to subdivision and development permits, off-site levies, land titles documents and building assessment reports. More information. The provincial government released the first annual report on red tape reduction highlights. See the report. The Alberta Chambers of Commerce released a statement applauding the progress made by the provincial government.

New Telecommunications Funding Opportunity

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is seeking to develop a solution that will extend the range of wireless terrestrial backhaul links, while being cost-efficient without sacrificing reliable high speeds. More information.

Government of Canada: Consultation on proposed Pay Equity Regulations

Of interest to those in federally-regulated workplaces, consultations are open until January 13, 2021. Any questions/comments, please contact Leah Nord. More information.

Government of Canada introduces bill to legislate net-zero emissions by 2050

The Government of Canada tabled the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons.
The Act will do the following:
• Legally bind the government to a process to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
• Set rolling five-year emissions-reduction targets and require plans to reach each one and report on progress.
• Establish the Net-Zero Advisory Body to provide independent advice to the Government on the best pathway to reach its targets.

Read the backgrounder.

Government of Canada Extends Funding to Increase Indigenous Participation in Oil and Gas Infrastructure Development

The Government of Canada today announced up to $12 million in funding over two years for the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships (INRP) program for Indigenous communities and organizations in British Columbia and Alberta to further increase their participation in economic opportunities related to oil and gas infrastructure development. More information.

Invest Medicine Hat seeks to accelerate economic recovery with YXH Gateway

Invest Medicine Hat is pleased to announce the newest commercial business district, YXH Gateway, located at the Medicine Hat Regional Airport. Recognizing the significant role airports play in economic development, the City enhanced the airport entrance with landscaping, sign installations, and other infrastructure upgrades prior to COVID-19, and is now promoting commercial and industrial real estate opportunities. More information.

Community Supports and Resources

Reminder: Budget 2021 Consultation

The provincial government is currently holding a consultation on Budget 2021. Fill out the survey and details on how to register for the Southern Alberta townhall on December 3, 6:30 to 8 pm will be coming soon.


Open Letter to Premiers: Canada needs Coherent and Consistent Approach to COVID-19

Canada’s leading business organizations issued a joint letter to Canada’s premiers urging them to work together to provide coherent and consistent direction and guidelines across all levels of government in the fight against COVID-19. Read more.

Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Released

Statistics Canada released the results from the third survey of Canadian business. Through the data, we now know that our economy will not recover until at least 2022; the most optimistic scenario assuming widespread vaccine deployment by then. The Canadian Chamber take is that Canada needs to carefully consider in the coming months those program supports that are put in place as Canada has a finite pool of money. Look at our statement and some of the data the Canadian Chamber Policy team has extracted from the survey. More information.

Canadian Chamber Addresses Canada-U.K. Relations at House Standing Committee on International Trade

Canadian Chamber Senior Director of International Policy Mark Agnew addressed the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade on matters related to Canada-U.K. relations, with a focus on trade issues. Hear the remarks.

International Affairs Committee and U.S. Chamber Meeting

Last week, the Canadian Chamber International Affairs Committee met with the U.S. Chamber’s Senior Vice President for the Americas, Neil Herrington, to discuss the impact of the presidential election on Canadian businesses. Herrington provided insight on opportunities for Canada to engage on priorities like the border, regulatory cooperation and global trade institutions. Also discussed were ways to engage on more challenging issues such as Buy America, softwood lumber and energy exports.

Natural gas, electricity costs concern for business

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) has released initial data from the third and final survey of a three-part series—this one focusing on local business opportunities.

The preliminary data reveal that 41 per cent of business operators are somewhat or very concerned about the costs of natural gas utility services to their business. In addition, 54 per cent are somewhat or very concerned about the cost that electricity will add. See more results.

The Business of Business with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)

In our latest Business of Business, Canadian Chamber President and CEO, Perrin Beatty, sits down with CAPP President and CEO Tim McMillan, to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on Canada’s energy sector, how the energy sector can drive a business-led recovery and what he sees as the path forward. Read more.

Canada’s women need help now: COVID’s harmful impact on working women

Business leaders from across the country are increasingly concerned about the critical impact COVID-19 continues to have upon working women and the resulting productivity loss within businesses owned by or employing them. The sentiment has been a stubbornly recurrent theme when business leaders meet, as over more than 900 did during the Canadian Chamber Annual General Meeting last month. Our Council for Women’s Advocacy has been more aggressively sounding the alarm bell. Read more.

By the numbers: a deep dive on how restaurants and hotels are faring amid COVID-19

Data recently released by Statistics Canada and analyzed by our team underscores the dire situation these businesses are still facing. From lower revenue and more expenses to the highest number of businesses with layoffs and the lowest liquidity levels, there is an urgent need for targeted support. Read more.

Workforce Supply and Demand Matchup

This week, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Minister Navdeep Bains regarding the chamber's updated proposal to help Canadians successfully return to productive employment and to support a resilient and inclusive economic recovery.

New Resources

Shop Early, Shop Safe, Shop Local

Although the holidays may look different this year, a little planning will help ensure you and your family have everything you need to celebrate the holiday season. To help support retailers and remind Canadians to plan ahead this year to ensure they have everything the need to celebrate the holidays safely, the Retail Council of Canada, in collaboration with Cineplex and Interac have launched the Shop Early, Shop Safe campaign. Please share the video, download the posters and help spread the word. #ShopEarlyShopSafe, #RetailMatters #LocalFirstYXH

Grim holidays for food service and accommodation workers: stats show layoffs are nearly double other sectors

New data published by Statistics Canada in the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) reveals that businesses in the food service and accommodation sectors have laid off staff at nearly double the rate of other businesses (62.1% versus the national average of 36.5%). Worryingly, this places restaurants and hotels 15 points worse-off than any other industry. See the Canadian Chamber statement.

Five Things Companies Should be Thinking About NEXT, with NATIONAL

In a year where “unprecedented” has truly lost all meaning, how should organizations approach crisis planning? NATIONAL has worked with countless organizations to plan, develop and test crisis communications plans leading up to 2020. Eight months ago, had you suggested a worst-case scenario that saw entire countries in lockdown, strained medical systems around the world and global-scale economic downturns and uncertainty, NATIONAL might have suggested that your test case crisis scenario was too extreme and far-fetched. However, here we are facing a real crisis that is so extreme it did not even make the list of possible planning scenarios. Read more.

Take part in the OECD Global Forum on Productivity survey

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the lead organization for the business advisory group to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD is seeking to understand the experience and future expectations of companies regarding telework or working from home and is undertaking a survey of companies through the OECD Global Forum on Productivity. The Global Forum is producing recommendations for governments to promote productivity-enhancing policies. The deadline is December 4. Take the survey.

ACC townhall with Advanced Minister of Education Nicolaides

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce hosted a successful town hall for chambers and their members with Alberta's Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. The recording is now available (password: dWE2rh8S)


Featured Webinars

November 24th

Executive Western Summit Series with Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos | Register here

Grant Writing 101 - A Live Interactive Webinar | Register here.

Advancing Women in Agriculture Virtual Conference (November 24-25) | Register here.

November 25th

Energy Savings for Business Information Session | Register here.

Is there a Money Gap in Alberta? | Register here.

Cannabis Roundtable: Retail, economic development and environmental sustainability | Register here.

November 26th

41st Agriculture Update for Professionals | Register here.

November 30th

Hospitality and Alcohol Industry Survival and Competitiveness through COVID-19 | Register here.

December 1st

The 5 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes Everybody Makes | Register here.

Successfully Managing Your Workplace During a Global Pandemic | Register here.

December 7th

The Role of Foreign Investment in Canada's Economic Recovery | Register here.

December 10th

Supporting Local Business; Essential To Our Economy And Communities | Register here.

December 17th

Resilience in the Workplace | Register here.

Webinar Series Webinar Series | View Resources here and upcoming sessions below:

  • Adapting to New Market Realities:
    Products, Pricing, Placement, Positioning

    Tuesday, November 24 – 12:00 PM MT
    Register Now
  • Workforce Power Session
    Wednesday, December 9 – 12:00 PM MT
    Register Now

Board Leadership Calgary 2020 Virtual Learning Event

  • Funding and Financial Management - Cash Flow Management in Times of Uncertainty
    Friday, November 27 - 12:00 PM
    Register Here
  • People / Human Work - Anti-Racism and Equity for Everyone
    Friday, December 11 - 12:00 PM
    Register Here

Women Entrepreneurs

  • Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)'s Bold Leadership Courses in November | Register here.
  • Women's Entrepreneur Day Virtual Conference | Register here.


Upcoming Webinars
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