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Protect Competitiveness While Fighting Climate Change

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce sends letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging focus on competitiveness issues.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce have sent a letter for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Chamber urges the federal government ensure Canadian businesses remain competitive while addressing the threat posed by climate change. Doing so will require closer collaboration between governments and the private sector, says the Chamber.

“There’s no denying the cost of doing business in Canada is rising, whether through tax rates, pension fees or rising costs of electricity,” says the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in a news release. “Although businesses want to play a role in the fight against climate change, piling on additional costs without cutting elsewhere is seriously undermining our businesses’ capacity for growth.

“We’re losing competitive ground to the U.S., as their administration proposes slashing regulation and taxes. If we don’t give Canadian businesses breathing room, many will suffocate,” Mr. Beatty adds.

In the letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Mr. Beatty states:

“The solution is not to ignore climate change, but to proceed in a way that makes sense for Canada’s economy. We believe that that negative impact of carbon pricing mechanisms on competitiveness can be minimised if they are designed with competitiveness in mind and offset by cost reductions in other areas.”

Suggested actions include:

  • Bringing together the provinces and territories to assess competitiveness impacts of climate change policies as soon as possible;
  • Ensuring carbon pricing is market-driven and avoids smothering levels of regulation;
  • Ensuring that any changes to Canada’s Environmental Assessment processes respect provincial and territorial jurisdictions, and focus on a clear and simple process that aims for transparency, rigour and fairness rather than consensus in its deliberations;
  • Directing revenues from carbon pricing mechanisms to research and development of climate-friendly technologies, and to protect jobs in sectors most impacted by carbon pricing.

“Governments at all levels need to understand that adding new costs and regulations without reducing existing ones will drive investment from Canada and kill jobs,” added Mr. Beatty.