(OTTAWA) – November 28, 2018 – Canada would be much more competitive if fewer cases involving relationships between business and Indigenous communities had to be settled in the courts. When projects have to be adjudicated, businesses and Indigenous communities are left to bear the costs, which can undermine efforts towards broader reconciliation.
During the spring and summer of 2018, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce spoke with its members, representatives of Indigenous governments and economic development corporations, and leading business people to gain greater insight into this challenge, and the economic and social consequences of repeated failures.
Getting the business relationship right is both essential and within our grasp, however, according to the Canadian Chamber report Within Our Control, Improving the regulation of business-Indigenous peoples’ relationships, released today.
The report recommends the concrete policy tools needed to improve how businesses and Indigenous peoples work together to create prosperity for all. Everyone wins when all parties work towards common goals and understand what is expected of them in creating economic and social benefits across the country.
“While our discussions covered many subjects, four themes that kept emerging highlighted a regulatory oversight problem. Specifically, the process around the duty to consult and accommodate is unclear and unpredictable, the Indian Act has a number of limiting factors for Indigenous businesses, the government’s reconciliation agenda is confusing, and proposed amendments to the environmental assessment process lack well-defined criteria to help businesses meet the new demands,” said the Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“Addressing the regulatory oversight of relationships between business and Indigenous peoples would go a long way to foster reconciliation not only between businesses and Indigenous peoples, but amongst all Canadians. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in all facets of our society is critical. If we succeed, it will create greater certainty for business, and be good for Indigenous peoples and all of Canada,” said Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, Sr. Director, Parliamentary Affairs and author of the report.
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 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 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.
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