Canadian Chamber sets business priorities for federal election and urges all federal parties to define positions

    OTTAWA, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
urged all federal political parties to adopt policies to improve Canada's
competitiveness and fuel long-term economic growth.
    The Canadian Chamber released its 2008 Election Survey that will clarify
the parties' positions on key business issues.
    As it prepares for its Annual General Meeting in Quebec City Oct. 4-6,
the Canadian Chamber has sent a business issues questionnaire to all federal
political parties and will issue its analysis of the parties' positions before
Election Day.
    "We need a government that supports generating the wealth and jobs that
improve the standard of living of all Canadians," said John Peller, the
Canadian Chamber's chair. "Our members want the parties and the candidates to
focus on improving Canada's competitiveness, increasing our international
trade and attracting more investment and skilled labour to Canada."
    The Canadian Chamber is calling on all federal parties to commit to:

    - Prudent Fiscal Policies - competitive taxes, lower national debt and
      effective spending.
    - Improved Canada/US relations - better border infrastructure, a border
      disruption contingency plan, regulatory cooperation, and major
      improvements to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
    - Enhanced Trade and Investment - working for agreements to dismantle
      barriers to international trade and investment, and eliminating
      internal trade barriers.
    - Sound Energy and Environmental Policies - supporting Canada's market-
      based approach to energy, developing technology-neutral energy
      efficiency standards, and implementing a balanced and effective
      framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    - Competitiveness and Innovation - implementing smart regulations,
      enhancing the environment for Research and Development, combatting
      counterfeit products and protecting intellectual property.
    - Building a 21st Century Workforce - increasing labour market
      participation by immigrants and older workers, gradually phase in an
      employer-based rating system for Employment Insurance.
    - Improving Infrastructure and Transportation - providing an even playing
      field for all modes of transportation, promoting Canada's gateways, and
      increasing public-private partnerships to address infrastructure needs.

    "We will review each party's policies against the Canadian Chamber
priorities," added Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of
Commerce. "It is important for all parties to recognize that business,
investors and Canadians need certainty about Canada's economic policies and
that their promises must be delivered."
    The Canadian Chamber will press for controls on program spending and
personal and corporate income tax reductions. Lower corporate income tax rates
will stimulate economic activity, creating employment and generating the
wealth needed to support social programs.
    In addition to its election issues questionnaire, the Canadian Chamber of
Commerce will release a detailed policy statement entitled An Action Plan for
a Competitive Canada. Both documents will be made available at

For further information:

For further information: Katie Anderson, (613) 238-4000, ext.231, (613)

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