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23 September 2021 

Jenica Atwin MP, Fredericton 

154 Main St. 

Fredericton, NB E3A 1C8 

Dear Jenica: 

Re: Congratulations! 

On behalf of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce board of directors and our 1,000 member businesses and organizations, congratulations on your re-election as the Member of Parliament for Fredericton. We have appreciated your accessibility and collaborative nature since you were first elected in 2019 and look forward to continuing to work with you and your team throughout the upcoming Parliamentary session.  

We are also part of a wider network of chambers of commerce and boards of trade across Canada, which collectively represent close to 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors and regions of the country. At the beginning of the federal election campaign, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched the What it Takes to Grow: Priorities for Canada’s next Parliament to set out the areas where we hope to see Parliamentarians address the critical issues to support businesses as the engines of job creation in communities all across Canada.  

This plan includes finishing the fight against COVID-19, addressing the fundamental economic challenges facing our country and getting businesses prepared for the opportunities of the future. 

At a more local level, a group of New Brunswick business associations also launched a set of key priorities called We Choose Growth for the province at the beginning of the election period. These priorities are centred on three pillars: 

  1. Recovery and self-sufficiency 
  1. Immigration 
  1. Competitiveness and Fairness 

The theme that runs throughout these priorities is the need for regional policymaking. In order for New Brunswick and the Atlantic Region to reach its full potential, we submit that Ottawa-centric policy that doesn’t account for regional differences is bound to disadvantage our region. Conversely, the success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot should be viewed as a roadmap for how the federal government can best serve the region.  

Similarly, from our discussions with candidates during the campaign, there was unanimous support for this idea in a general sense but also when it comes to demographically-weighted healthcare funding from federal transfers. The pandemic has clearly exposed the tenuous nature of New Brunswick’s health care system and with a small and aging population, the situation is bound to get worse. Of course, you’re aware of the critical, all-hands-on-deck population growth efforts by government, associations, educational institutions and the private sector in our area, especially as it relates to immigration – but that’s a long-term solution – without more funding now, our healthcare system will collapse before seeing significant benefits of population growth.  

Other key issues that we see during this upcoming parliament include: 

  • Pandemic recovery, including mobilizing the workforce 
  • Speeding up immigration processes 
  • Housing 
  • Employment Insurance reform 
  • Encouraging private-sector investment 
  • Ensuring New Brunswick receives a fair share of federal research and development funding 
  • Reducing interprovincial trade barriers 
  • Incentivizing the Green transition 

In the coming weeks, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the upcoming parliament, how we can best support your advocacy for the Fredericton region as well as key priorities from our perspective. 

Sincerely,   

Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce 

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