3 November 2021 – For Immediate Release
FREDERICTON, NB – Representatives of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce recently attended the virtual 2021 Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting and conference. 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 a policy resolution titled “Attracting and Retaining International Students Through Canadian Work Experience” that was approved by 94% of delegates in attendance. The resolution calls for more opportunities for international students to work during their time in school, such as being eligible for the Canada Summer Jobs program, and counting all that time towards their permanent residency requirements.
“International students are already coming to our community for years at a time – it is critical that we make the most of that opportunity and help facilitate connections with local businesses and the community in general,” said Fredericton chamber CEO Krista Ross. “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 policy now becomes part of the national chamber’s advocacy efforts and will remain so for the next three years.
“Of course we need more people, including international students, to fill job vacancies and create new businesses through entrepreneurship,” added Ross. “But newcomers add so much more to our communities than an economic boost – injecting diverse cultures, traditions and perspectives has intrinsic value and makes New Brunswick a better place to work and live.”
Prior to submitting the resolution, the chamber collaborated with the New Brunswick Student Alliance and co-hosted a roundtable with international students to get their feedback on the proposed resolution and identify any gaps in the chamber’s advocacy efforts.
“The insights we gained from internationals students themselves were really eye-opening,” said Ross. “Not only did their first-hand experience help us on the work experience issues relevant to the current resolution, but we were also able to identify other barriers that we will work into our other advocacy vehicles.”
The resolution was co-sponsored by the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, the St. John’s Chamber of Commerce and the Westshore Chamber of Commerce.
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, a nationally accredited organization with nearly 1,000 members, is an active business organization engaged in policy development and advocacy that affects the competitiveness of our members and the Canadian business environment. The Chamber’s vision is ‘Community Prosperity Through Business’.
Contact: Krista Ross, CEO – (506) 458-8006