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Surrey Board of Trade Calls on Federal Government to Focus on Arctic Economic Opportunities

Today, the Canadian Government announced the creation of a new marine protected area near Arctic Bay — an Inuit hamlet on the northwest corner of Baffin Island.

The Canadian Government also needs to focus on arctic economic opportunities specifically their  infrastructure needs and its economic potential for Canadian businesses.  Today, the Surrey Board of Trade releases their position paper titled “Canada’s Economic Opportunity in the Arctic’.

“Many will wonder why the Surrey Board of Trade is focusing on arctic opportunities,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “The Surrey Board of Trade is a well-known leader in instigating change and presenting new ideas to different levels of government. This policy specifically relates to providing local Surrey businesses, such as our manufacturing industry, with new business opportunities in our nation.”

The Surrey Board of Trade calls on the Federal Government to create an economic investment strategy focused on the Canadian Arctic that includes feasibility studies, priorities for development, economic climate models, risk analyses, models for public-private-partnerships, role of artificial intelligence and smart infrastructure, transportation and a detailed roadmap with specific metrics and timelines identified to ensure that the Government meets identified investment needs.

“There needs to be a conversation about Canada’s Arctic sovereignty that should include a focus on a long-term economic strategy.”

Canadian Arctic infrastructure, including roads, housing, ports, fibre optic cable, and other necessary components of an effective economy have been underdeveloped. The Canadian national discourse about its own North and the significant infrastructure deficit that persists needs to be discussed in the context of the environmental, cultural and economic value that the North has to offer.

Recognizing the critical importance of indigenous reconciliation, finding ways to encourage the Canadian financial sector to invest in the North would go a very long way in contributing to the Federal Government’s aims of economic reconciliation and towards offering meaningful solutions to enhance and stimulate economic prosperity and sustainability in the North.

‘We are pleased that the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce supports our policy.”

The recommendations will be debated at the upcoming Canadian Chamber of Commerce Convention where federal government policies are debated by 450 chambers of commerce/boards of trade in Canada – that focus on supporting business and attracting business.

For the full position paper go here: SBOT Arctic policy Submission.

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