Select Page

Fredericton Chamber 2023 Policy Priorities


The vision of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is Stronger Community Through Business Prosperity. This is a recognition that as members of our chamber, board of directors and staff are primarily local residents, we believe that a symbiotic relationship that exists between business, the community and the citizenry. Citizens support local business, which creates jobs, grows the economy and provides government with the resources to provide the social programs, recreational activities and infrastructure needed in our communities.  

Our mission is to Support business prosperity through networking, shared services, advocacy and events. The Fredericton chamber’s vision and mission, along with our close connection to the community, guides every decision we make as an organization, particularly our policy and advocacy work.  

Each autumn, our board of directors discusses and updates our policy priorities in draft form. These draft priorities are then put to the membership in our annual member survey for their feedback. Our policy priorities in 2023 are: 

  1. Competitive Business Environment 
  2. Workforce Development 
  3. Immigration and Population Growth 
  4. Technology and Innovation 
  5. Innovative Solutions to Accessing Primary Health Care 


Competitive Business Environment 

Traditionally, cost competitiveness has been an advantage that we have had in New Brunswick, but this has eroded over the past five years (pre-pandemic). NB businesses have seen increases in minimum wage, property tax, corporate tax, HST, EI rates, carbon tax, CPP increases, land transfer tax and WorkSafeNB premiums (amongst other costs).  

But the business environment is about more than just costs. It also includes the regulatory environment (red tape, roadblocks to development, overlapping jurisdictions, etc.), availability of housing, health care and more. 


Workforce Development  

For decades, New Brunswick has been staring down a demographic shift that has seen significant outmigration to other provinces. This trend, combined with a low birth rate has made us one of the oldest and slower growing provinces. The past couple of years have seen an uptick in the right direction, but the province must continue to focus on growing our population, lowering our average age, and increasing the number of people in the labour force to fill positions that enable business growth. It’s this growth that funds the programs, services and infrastructure that New Brunswickers deserve.  


Immigration and Population Growth  

Growing New Brunswick’s population is one of the foundational goals to sustained economic growth moving forward and the Fredericton chamber addresses this issue primarily through working closely with New Canadians and post-secondary students/institutions.  

In 2019, the City of Fredericton five-year immigration strategy was launched. The three pillar organizations of the strategy are the chamber (responsible for advocacy), Ignite Fredericton (programming) and the Multicultural Association of Fredericton (settlement).   

The chamber advocates on the provincial nominee program, express entry program, startup visa and others. We also actively work to connect post-secondary students with local businesses and the community generally by working with businesses, our economic development organizations, post-secondary institutions and students themselves. There is substantial alignment of goals between these four groups and the chamber works to connect them and advocates for policies that put this alignment into practice.  


Technology and Innovation 

A healthy knowledge sector is critical to Fredericton’s role in creating wealth for New Brunswick. Our post-secondary institutions are some of our most valuable economic development assets – they drive research and innovation, draw international students to the province, propel the technology sector and the startup community – in addition to providing highly-skilled training for our future employees.  

Technology and innovation are becoming part of most industries – cyber security, information technology, software development and the like perhaps first come to mind, but also includes the green economy, services and more.  


Innovative Solutions to Accessing Primary Health Care  

Easy and efficient access to primary health care continues to be an issue for our members, particularly in relation to attracting skilled employees. That is why we established a Physician Recruitment & Retention Committee in 2009 and are still actively assisting efforts of Horizon Health and the NB Medical Society to attract and welcome physicians to our community, while seeking other ways to expand easy and efficient access to primary care. More recently, we’ve engaged with a broader group of local stakeholders to identify gaps in the system and where we might have an impact.  

Of course, many issues arise during the course of a year that affect chamber members that may not fit neatly into one of these five priorities. We still always respond to matters of importance to our members, but prioritizing our policy areas allows us to be more efficient in our work and give members more value for their membership.   


As always, please contact Policy Manager Morgan Peters anytime to discuss any policy/advocacy issues your business may be facing – or (506) 451-9742.  


Share This