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Canadian Chamber Newsletter April 2021


On April 19, the federal government will deliver its first budget in over two years. The budget is expected to provide a full accounting of all government spending through the pandemic, which has sent the deficit for the fiscal year to almost $400 billion. Our team will be watching to see what commitments are made and how the budget shapes up for businesses. A few weeks ago, we shared what we hope to see in the budget, which includes helping business create jobs, getting women back to work, investing in Canada, going digital and reducing the impacts of climate change.

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Yesterday’s announcement that the government will be implementing a one-time program for recent temporary permit holders, including international students and temporary foreign workers, is an important step towards the inclusive pandemic recovery we need.

Immigration will continue have an important place in filling labour market gaps as Canada starts planning for economic recovery and getting Canadians back to work. International students and temporary foreign workers are essential sources for talent pipelines for communities and industries across this country. We have long been advocating for the government to facilitate pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents.

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Our New Initiative to Bolster Canada-U.S. Trade Relations

Canada’s post-COVID economy depends on a business-led recovery. We think the best way to spur the recovery for both countries is to renew and revitalize the Canada-U.S. economic partnership. Earlier this week, we launched a new initiative that will focus on five priority issues: the Canada-U.S. border, Buy American, defence and security, regulatory cooperation and the environment and natural resources.

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Canadian Chamber and Abacus Data Poll: Returning to the Workplace Last week we released the results of a poll examining how Canadians feel about how and where they work during the pandemic. Abacus Data completed the polling.

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Hope Is Not a Strategy: Our Statement on Labour Force Survey Numbers Although data showing two months of solid job gains is encouraging, it’s still likely to be a long, bumpy journey to the end of the pandemic tunnel for Canadian business owners and their employees as the third wave of COVID-19 breaks across the country, threatening to disrupt the positive trends seen in last week’s numbers.

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COVID-19 and Industry: Conversation with the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada April 20 | 3:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. ET | Virtual

Please join our President and CEO, Perrin Beatty, and the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Iain Stewart, for a fireside chat and live Q&A on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Canada recognizes the important role industry has played during the pandemic and the opportunities for partnerships between governments and industry in the pandemic response.

Topics discussed will include vaccination, return-to-work, borders and other emerging issues. Participants will have an opportunity to ask their questions during the live Q&A portion.

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Industrial Revolution 4.0 Continues: Getting Canadians Back to Work May 5 | 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET | Virtual

Canada’s workforce will not be the same when it comes time for recovery. Through the course of the pandemic, we went from one of the tightest job markets in decades to record job loss and from strong initial recovery to flagging job growth through the fall and winter months. Even as recovery starts, employment will not return to pre-crisis levels at any point soon. Available jobs and the skills required will shift. Employers are increasingly looking to automation to maintain operations during future crises and reduce risk. Canadians will need reskilling, upskilling and skills training programs to get them back to work.

Ensuring all Canadians have opportunities to participate in the recovery will be essential for inclusive growth and widespread job creation. We'll explore these themes, what it will take to get Canadians back to work and the future of talent.

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Panellists Just Announced! Executive Summit: Re-globalization in a Business-led Recovery May 12 | 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET | Virtual

Join us for this upcoming Executive Summit: Re-globalization in a Business-led Recovery, which will bring together government and private sector representatives to discuss how global economic developments are affecting Canadian companies. This half-day virtual event will explore the impact of global economic developments in light of COVID-19 and what that means for Canadian businesses. We will also feature discussions on how digital trade and ecommerce are influencing Canadian companies. Featured Panellists:

  • Amgad Shehata, Senior Vice President, International Public Affairs and Strategy, UPS

  • Ben Brunnen, Vice President, Oil Sands, CAPP

  • Colin McKay, Head, Public Policy and Government Relations, Google Canada

  • Peter Hall, Vice President and Chief Economist, EDC

  • Sadiq Adatia, Chief Investment Officer, Sun Life

  • Todd Fox, Vice President, Public Policy, VISA

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GM Canada Completes Order of 10 Million Face Masks for the Government of Canada On April 8, our member GM Canada fulfilled its commitment to the Government of Canada to produce 10 million face masks at cost for the Public Health Agency of Canada. Since the start of production on May 26, 2020, the team at GM’s Oshawa Operations produced approximately one million masks a month to help protect frontline workers and other Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in addition to a donation of nearly 450,000 face masks to organizations across Canada.

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