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(OTTAWA) – July 30, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pressing for a more competitive, simpler and fairer tax system as a critical driver of Canada’s recovery from the economic crater of COVID-19.

“Canada will have to walk a fiscal tightrope between the need to reduce debt and deficits and supporting economic growth. The fastest and least painful path to recovery is by encouraging business investment and job creation. Reconceiving our tax system to  rebuild our economy will be critical to Canada’s ability to recover from COVID-19’s impact,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The first step in the Canadian Chamber’s review process involves broad and inclusive public consultations on how to harness Canada’s tax system to foster growth. Leading the consultation process will be eight respected business and academic leaders, dubbed special commissioners, who will engage Canadian businesses and economic experts across Canada during the months of August and September 2020.

The Canadian Chamber’s special commissioners will solicit ideas on potential tax reforms that will help businesses and individual Canadians recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. In addition to drawing on their own expertise and insight, the special commissioners will consider ideas explored through 50 Years of Cutting and Pasting: Modernizing Canada’s Tax System – an important report produced by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“Economic fundamentals have shifted significantly across the globe, and Canada will not be exempt from the impacts of a long and uncertain recovery. We must mobilize private capital to rebuild our economy, not just public dollars. An independent tax review will help identify what needs to happen to grow our economy out of this crisis and generate the revenue needed to pay for pandemic spending,” said Dr. Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 

Many of our G7 and OECD peers and biggest trading partners have recently conducted major tax reform initiatives. The Canadian Chamber’s review uses the same model as the Mirrlees Review in the United Kingdom and the Tax Working Group Review in New Zealand. These independent reviews operated completely outside of government and their recommendations were later adopted by public officials.

Successive Canadian governments have avoided tackling comprehensive tax reform for 60 years, believing it too complicated to achieve. However, we have recently witnessed how sweeping policy change can be delivered in a positive way with little delay. As political leaders consider their next steps to foster recovery and prosperity post COVID-19, they need to consider tax reform and the recommendations that come out of the Canadian Chamber’s independent review.

The special commissioners appointed to the Canadian Chamber’s independent tax review are:

  • Tabatha Bull, CEO, Canadian Council Aboriginal Business
  • Gael Campan, Senior Economist, Montreal Economic Institute
  • Carole Chouinard, Partner, Gowling WLG
  • Pamela Cross, Partner, BLG
  • Frances Donald, Chief Economist, Manulife
  • Jamie Golombek, Managing Director Tax & Estate Planning, CIBC
  • Jack Mintz, President’s Fellow of the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
  • Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist, Canadian Chamber of Commerce


The Canadian Chamber currently has five public consultations planned, outlined below, focusing on engaging experts from different parts of the country:

  • August 11 @ 1:00 p.m. PDT – Western Canada
  • August 12 @ 1:00 p.m. ET – Central Canada
  • August 19 @ 1:00 p.m. ET – Quebec
  • August 26 @ 1:00 p.m. ADT – Atlantic Canada
  • September 2 @ 1:00 p.m. ET – Northern Canada


Experts and business leaders are encouraged to participate by contacting the Canadian Chamber at lcheng@chamber.ca. The consultations will be captured in a preliminary report, to be released in early October 2020. The report will form the foundational document for the tax review process.

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.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor at ptaylor@chamber.ca