OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The measures announced in today's budget
are a significant step forward in the federal government's attack on
Canada's skills challenge. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomes a
more activist approach by all Canada's governments to confront a
"The skills problem leads our Top Ten list of critical barriers to
Canada's competitiveness," says Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the
Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "It's showing up all across the country,
in every industry. We are pleased to see the government is moving to
confront it, and to include business directly in the solutions."
Mr. Beatty said the Canadian Chamber has long believed training programs
should be designed and run by those closest to the workforce. "We
believe in the leadership role of the provinces and territories, which
these measures respect, but we're pleased to see business and educators
will now have a central role as well. Of course, small and medium-sized
businesses have specific challenges when it comes to training their
employees and we are pleased the government recognises that."
"Mr. Flaherty reiterated the government's commitment to erasing the
federal deficit by 2015. We think that's going to be tough, but it's
essential. Much of our recent economic success is tied to our
reputation as a prudent country which follows through on its fiscal
The Chamber President also expressed strong support for new federal
measures to improve training and education for Aboriginal peoples.
"Although these are very modest measures, they are a step in the right
direction. Most Aboriginal peoples are young. They represent a huge
potential workforce, but we have to support them more. Funding for
Aboriginal education at all levels has lagged for many years, and
education results have, too. It's not hard to see the connection."
Finally, Mr. Beatty expressed disappointment with the Budget's plan for
research and innovation funding. "Last year Ottawa made a $770 million
reduction to the incentives available for research in Canada. We urged
the government to have a dialogue with the leading research
corporations in Canada, to make sure the replacement model met their
needs. Reviewing today's budget, many of Canada's most important
innovators will be disappointed. It will be hard for those companies
to maintain their commitments to research in Canada when other
jurisdictions are more supportive."
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between
business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and
decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families
across Canada with a network of over 420 chambers of commerce and
boards of trade, representing 192,000 businesses of all sizes in all
sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are
available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.
SOURCE: CANADIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
For further information:
Émilie S. Potvin
Director, Public Affairs & Media Relations
Office: 613.238.4000 (231)