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Dr. Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement today in response to the Rural Economic Development Strategy.

“The Canadian Chamber is pleased to see the federal government recommit to its previous promises to address the unique skills, infrastructure, and connectivity challenges facing Canada’s rural communities. We are looking forward to receiving new details on this plan.

Rural communities face obstacles to attaining their economic potential that include their distance from markets as well as the skilled workforce and critical infrastructure essential to business operations. Rural chambers of commerce and their members were happy to contribute their feedback throughout these consultations.

With this report, the government outlines its existing initiatives to help rural communities access the skills needed to compete in the economy of today and tomorrow. The Canadian Chamber recommends replicating the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project outside of major urban centers across the country, broadening the definition of work-integrated learning and working together with businesses to support upskilling and re-skilling initiatives to attract and retain rural talent.

Canadian companies are also strong advocates for enhancing access to high-speed internet in rural areas and for building the necessary infrastructure to get our resources to market. We eagerly await the details on the government’s plan and timeline to roll out these initiatives.

The business community continues to look forward to working together with the government in developing a thorough strategy to ignite rural prosperity and innovation.”

The Voice of Canadian Business

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most representative business association, which speaks with one unified voice on behalf of nearly a quarter million businesses. The Chamber’s job is to help Canadian businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions grow their business. We do this by helping them connect to each other, new opportunities, providing essential business services, and influencing government policy on their behalf. For more information visit www.Chamber.ca or follow us @CdnChamberofCom.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
ptaylor@chamber.ca (preferred and fastest response time)
613.238.4000 (2231)