Open Letter to Party Leaders

By Perrin Beatty, President, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Dear Party Leaders:

Without a thriving business sector, Canada’s economic growth suffers, our prosperity declines, and our governments can afford fewer roads, hospitals, schools, and social services. For Canada to succeed, our businesses must also be successful.

Today, Canadian businesses face obstacles our competitors don’t. We call them the seven burdens of business: over-regulation, a complex and outdated tax system, the difficulty finding and retaining skilled workers, the need for improved technology infrastructure, lack of support for SMEs, insufficient trade tools and proposed changes that may undermine employer-provided healthcare.

Managed well, all of these issues could be advantages for Canadian businesses. But today they’re not, at least compared to the countries with which we compete.

As the voice of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing more than 200,000 businesses of all sizes, in all sectors of the economy, from every region of the country, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sees the hurdles our country’s businesses face every day.

That is why we are challenging all leaders and their parties to embrace our election platform, outlining 7 key priorities (with 45 detailed recommendations to get it done):

  1. A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business
  2. A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern
  3. Opening new markets around the world and breaking down barriers at home
  4. Helping small and medium Canadian businesses grow and succeed at home and abroad
  5. Seizing the power of the digital age, and making Canada the most connected country in the world
  6. Helping grow a 21st century workforce with the skills, education and training required to prosper; and
  7. An affordable approach to filling the gaps in pharmacare without disrupting today’s employer-provided plans.

This platform was developed in partnership with Canada’s provincial and territorial chambers of commerce and reflects the major concerns of job creators in communities across Canada. To see the details, please visit

The stakes for Canadian businesses and the millions of families that depend on them have never been higher. Between now and Election Day, local chambers of commerce and boards of trade will hold meetings to give candidates the opportunity to explain their approach to these issues, and we will share the parties’ responses with our members.

For all of our challenges, we Canadians remain the most fortunate people in the world. All we need is the vision and determination to create a better future for ourselves and our families.


Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C.
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Canadian Chamber of Commerce

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