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Fredericton, Saturday, September 23, 2017 — Members from hundreds of chambers of commerce across Canada were not reassured by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s response to their concerns about the government’s proposed tax changes. The Minister addressed delegates at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting in Fredericton Saturday.

“While we are grateful to the Minister for taking time out of his schedule to speak to our members, we did not receive any new information or assurance about the potentially crippling effects his tax reforms could have on small and medium-sized enterprises,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber.

Following Minister Morneau’s post-speech press conference, Mr. Beatty was accompanied by representatives of provincial chambers and by five local business owners, who are deeply concerned about these measures.

“In speaking with our network of more than 200,000 businesses, it is the farmers, mom and pop shops, and entrepreneurs who invested everything into their businesses who are most scared of the government’s proposed tax changes,” Mr. Beatty said. “The government has not answered their concerns today. It has left them high and dry, wondering how they will survive if the weather or the economy takes a turn for the worse.”

Tomorrow, delegates at the AGM will debate more than 70 resolutions, setting the Chamber’s policy agenda for the year ahead. Included in this year’s resolutions is a call to government to extend its 75-day consultation period for the tax changes and bring in an independent commission to review the full impact of the changes.

“Businesses have a right to be heard. The government’s process on this issue needs to be stopped and replaced with genuine consultations”, concluded Mr. Beatty.

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 or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Guillaum W. Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
Canadian Chamber of Commerce