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(OTTAWA) – March 23, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has taken a leadership role in working with the Federal Government as it develops measures and programs to help businesses and employees adapt to the economic impact of COVID-19.

The Canadian Chamber’s role within the Team Canada response to COVID-19 has led to greater public interest in its consultations. As a result, the Canadian Chamber will provide regular updates to that effect.

Here are the Canadian Chamber’s current efforts in the response to COVID-19:

Friday, March 20

  • Our policy experts spoke with the International Chamber of Commerce about global cargo pilot standards to ensure a smooth flow of air cargo
  • Our policy experts held consultations with international counterparts on efforts to ensure medical equipment is able to move across borders to get where it is needed most rather than be subject to export controls by foreign countries.
  • We held consultations with Canadian financial institutions to discuss feedback from our members regarding flexibility on payments; needs of small business clients; urgent need to speed up emergency loans; retirement investment activity; supporting community / non-profit needs.
  • Participated as the business representative on the daily Innovation, Science and Industry (ISI) daily briefing call. The topics discussed were that the 10% wage subsidy were insufficient; additional measures to support for businesses whose landlords won't defer rent payments; options for staggering the introduction of support programs so ease the strain on/processing time of government.

This coming week

  • Today, we will host a teleconference for our members regarding travel exemptions for temporary foreign workers in key industries.  The call will include a technical briefing by experts from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • On Tuesday, we will host a teleconference call with energy sector CEOs to discuss the impacts of COVID-19, falling oil prices, lack of critical infrastructure and regulatory uncertainty. Feedback and proposed solutions will be shared with the government as the final part of its consultative process.
  • Working with the government to develop technical briefing teleconferences for small businesses (not just Canadian Chamber members) on topics such as new border regulations, impacts to supply chains and how to mitigate them, and how to access to capital programs and private sector measures.
  • On Thursday, we will host a teleconference for our members, over 100 business associations and local chambers of commerce participated in a call on COVID-19. Members will hear from government representatives on specific programs for small businesses, including experts from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) (both the department and the EI Commission – Employers) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to advise on how employees, employers and the self-employed can access the new programs. The Canadian Chamber will be sharing feedback and questions from the group with the government during its regular consultations.


The Canadian Chamber’s work is informed by a coalition of 60 business associations and hundreds of local chambers of commerce in order to effectively brief the government on business concerns. It is also working alongside the Canadian Labour Congress in advising the government on employee and worker concerns. 

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About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor, Managing Director of External Communications, at ptaylor@chamber.ca.