The Surrey Board of Trade provided input into the proposed Western Canada Growth Strategy. by the deadline of November 16.
“A Western Canada Growth Strategy is timely for businesses and for our local economies because we need to be more innovative to compete globally,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Western Canadian provinces have unique assets from both a labour and resource perspective.”
In a discussion document, the Canadian government outlined key areas for further exploration in Western Canada: changing demographics, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, the labour market, trade, natural resources, small and medium sized enterprises, innovation and skills. The following questions were specifically asked:
1. What does a stronger western Canadian economy look like 10 years from now?
2. What are the best ways to instigate new growth in western Canada?
3. What will help the Indigenous economy continue to grow?
4. How can we improve economic participation in the west of underrepresented groups, including women, youth and newcomers?
5. How can governments, industry and western Canadians work together to grow the regional economy?
In response, the Surrey Board of Trade recommended the following to the Canadian government:
1. In the face of international trade uncertainties, reduce interprovincial trade barriers. Increase labour mobility, lower tariffs, and harmonize regulations – all of which would improve the economy. In order for the western Canadian economy to be a strong economic power, provinces must have aligned goals.
2. Corporate tax rates match that of the United States to remain competitive. The United States has lowered its corporate tax rates to a degree where businesses are choosing to operate out of the United States and sell goods back to Canada.
3. The Surrey Board of Trade is at the forefront of ensuring entrepreneurs have the resources to create a successful business. The Government of Canada, and western Provincial governments can provide more support to women, and indigenous peoples through more workshops, and online support. High level coaching is required, which can be accomplished by partnering with not for profits to support entrepreneurs.
4. The Government of Canada has imposed a carbon tax plan that is a burden to business. A redistribution of these taxes back to businesses is necessary to provide further incentives to innovate and use alternative energy sources. The carbon offset/credit program is difficult to understand, and businesses are less likely to participate in a program they do not understand.
5. Investment in new energy research is necessary to provide an affordable alternative to pollution-causing energy used today. Until new and affordable energy options are available, further investment into oil and petroleum – as well as the implementation of pipeline infrastructure – is necessary to remain competitive nationally, and internationally.
6. Investment in infrastructure and transportation is necessary for economic growth.
With over 2,600 business members representing 6,000 business contacts, the Surrey Board of Trade supports and attracts business.
For more information on the Western Growth Canada Strategy go HERE