Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Through our active involvement with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and its advocacy and policy work, we are influencing their policy agenda and making sure that they are lobbying for issues that are important for Kingston businesses.
Our direct work with the CCC
Some of the policy areas in which we have been directly involved include:
Skills Training: The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce had a resolution adopted that aims to tackle the skills “mismatch”. We have encouraged government to compile better labour market projections, and address challenges such as restrictive apprenticeship ratios. We also work to better integrate foreign-trained workers and immigrant entrepreneurs into Kingston’s business community.
Other work by the CCC
Pension Reform: As of June 2016, the provincial and federal governments announced they had agreed on changes to the Canada Pension Plan.
Although details aren’t available yet – especially how much employers will have to carve out of everyone’s paycheque - it’s clear the increases will be substantial; an additional 2% shared equally between employees and employers (on top of the current 9.9%) phased in over five years beginning in 2019. As you know, our membership anticipated this issue and passed a resolution, authored by Kingston and Peterborough Chambers of Commerce urging the federal government to make enhancements voluntary without imposing new costs to employers. We also sent subsequent correspondence to the Minister of Finance.
Through this debate, we have consistently warned governments that increasing employers' costs will work against various stimulus measures. We have also argued that highly targeted measures were needed to protect only the population actually at risk and not affect all working Canadians. The agreement announced yesterday doesn’t seem to consider either of these points.
The federal government has launched dozens of consultations in recent months. Today, we are asking the government to consult all Canadians on this significant change before governments proceed.
Infrastructure: In a time of heightened international competition, Canada’s transport infrastructure requires significant investment to maintain its trade competitiveness in international markets – including the key U.S. and Mexican markets. Canada’s export-based economy relies upon efficient roads, ports, waterways, railways, airports and pipelines to move Canadian products and services. In a new report released today, The Infrastructure that Matters Most, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canada West Foundation make the case for the need to invest in trade-enabling infrastructure.