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For the Canadian Chamber, 2013 was another successful year. We worked hard on your behalf advocating for measures to restore Canada’s competitiveness to ensure businesses, like yours, can prosper, compete and succeed. We are proud of our achievements in 2013 and have highlighted them for you in our Annual Report, which I invite you to read.
On behalf of all of us at the Canadian Chamber, I thank you for your support this past year. I wish you a healthy and prosperous new year and look forward to our continued collaboration in 2014.
Perrin Beatty President and Chief Executive Officer
Modern and efficient infrastructure is a core component of a competitive economy. Public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, highways, water systems and the electrical grid provide services critical to economic competitiveness, sustainability and quality of life. Without sufficient investment and upkeep of public infrastructure stock, countries rapidly fall behind.
Unfortunately, Canadian public investment in infrastructure has not kept up with our economic needs and our investment needs far outstrip the availability of public funds. To succeed, we not only need to attract new levels of private investment, but we must also ensure our investments are made strategically, effectively and efficiently.
Bringing infrastructure in Canada back to the level needed to support prosperity will not be easy. It will require an ongoing commitment by all levels of government and active engagement with private sector stakeholders. We have to change the dialogue from “catch-up” investments or “economic recovery” to investing in our competitiveness as a country.
February 11, 2014 | Ottawa Convention Centre | Ottawa, ON
Canada is facing a competitiveness challenge and lagging productivity. The Canadian Chamber’s Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness is an ongoing initiative aimed at getting Canada back on track. These 10 critical policy and regulatory barriers are preventing Canadian businesses from achieving their full potential. But, something can be done. We must identify and implement real, tangible solutions for breaking down the barriers to our competitiveness and for creating more opportunities and greater prosperity for Canadian businesses and families.
Join other business, government and academic leaders to discuss four priority areas for 2014 led by competitiveness experts: • Skills shortages: Nobina Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Polytechnics Canada • Infrastructure: John Gamble, President, Association of Consulting Engineers Canada • Commercial diplomacy: Peter Harder, President, Canada-China Business Council • Manufacturing: Allan O’Dette, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce Solving these issues will sharpen our competitive edge and allow us to prosper in the global economy.
In our Economic Outlook, we observe that, although Canada continues to recover from the recession better than other countries, the pace of growth has been slower than hoped. Consumer spending and housing activity are proving more resilient than expected, while the slow pace of global growth and ongoing competitiveness challenges have reduced demand for our exports and weighed on manufacturing production. Businesses also remain cautious when it comes to hiring and investing.
Against this backdrop, Canada’s economy is on track to expand by 1.7 per cent in 2013, matching the previous year’s sluggish pace. The economy is projected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2014 and strengthen moderately to 2.5 per cent in 2015. To reap the full benefits of an improving global outlook, we need to strengthen our competitiveness, tap new markets and secure and grow our involvement in global supply chains.
NEW OCC RELEASE ARE WE THERE YET? AN EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVE ON WSIB REFORM
Creating a leading-edge workforce requires an effective, solvent, and efficiently managed workers' compensation system. The OCC has long argued that Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) framework is in need of repair.
According to an OCC survey of over 2,000 Ontario businesses, only 36 percent believe that the WSIB provides value for Ontarians. This report, Are We There Yet? An Employer Perspective on WSIB Reform, chronicles recent progress in the reform of the WSIB. It is based on extensive consultations with many of our members under the umbrella of our WSIB Task Force.
While we acknowledge that significant progress has been achieved throughout the last year, our bottom line is that there is still considerable work to do.
Informational Webinars for EnAbling Change Applicants
Please join staff from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for an informative webinar that will provide insight into applying for this year’s EnAbling Change Program.
Aimed at potential program applicants, the webinar will cover the parameters of the program, the basics of the Grants Ontario application portal, and a question and answer period with ADO staff who evaluate proposals.
Please join us on: Tuesday January 14, 2014, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.