FREDERICTON, NB – Representatives of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce recently attended the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting and conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Central to the conference are the policy resolution debates, which gives local chambers the opportunity to submit federal government-related issues to the national chamber. If a resolution is passed by ⅔ of delegates in attendance, it forms part of the Canadian chamber’s advocacy efforts.
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce submitted two policy resolutions that were approved by delegates in attendance.
The first, titled “ Attracting and Retaining International Students Through Canadian Work Experience ” was approved by 100% of delegates. It calls for more opportunities for international students to work during their time in school and counting all that time towards their permanent residency requirements.
“In New Brunswick, a weak economy and stagnant population numbers go hand-in-hand,” said Ryan Boyer, Fredericton Chamber President. “We need to do everything we can to attract and retain as many working-age people as possible - whether through repatriation, retaining young New Brunswickers, attracting immigrants and the like. With a number of post-secondary institutions in the province, we need to focus on keeping these young and highly-skilled people in New Brunswick for the long haul.”
The second, titled “ Accelerate the Twinning of Highway 185 ” was approved by 86.6% of delegates. It calls for the federal government to speed up the twinning of Highway 185 in Quebec and relieve the infrastructure bottleneck that experts estimate would have an annual GDP gain of $1 billion to $1.78 billion for Canada.
“The bottleneck created at Highway 185 has a major economic impact nationally, but especially so for Atlantic Canada,” said Fredericton Chamber CEO Krista Ross. “In fact, Kent Fellows, a Calgary based economist concluded that if twinning Highway 185 reduced the delivered cost of a traded good by 1.5% to 2.5%, then there would be annual GDP gains of $350 million to $600 million for each of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.”
The policies now becomes part of the national chamber’s advocacy efforts and will remain so for the next three years.
With more than 950 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy
development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.
Contact: Krista Ross, CEO – (506) 458-8006