Media Releases Mar 20, 2020

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Regular Update Bulletin on COVID-19 response

(OTTAWA) – March 20, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has taken a leadership role in working with the 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 prove regular updates to that effect.

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

Wednesday, March 18

  • Our daily call with Innovations, Science and Industry. Issues of note discussed were the impact of border restrictions on supply chain and essential workers (technical and temporary foreign workers) and the exclusion of cannabis sector from financial support programs
  • We hosted a conference call on the issue of supply chains that included companies, associations and local chambers of commerce that are core to Canada’s supply chain health and resiliency. Issues discussed were the need for greater specificity on how various cargo will be treated at the border, whether air, marine, rail or road. The Canadian Chamber will be sharing feedback and questions from the group with the government during its regular consultations.
  • Separately, our policy team was in contact with DPM Freeland’s office to receive updates on Canada-U.S. border measures
  • We hosted a call with over 80 cannabis companies to discuss the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the sector, the applicability of current programs announced by governments and other steps governments can take to protect Canada’s regulated cannabis businesses and their employees.

Thursday, March 19

  • 137 business associations and local chambers of commerce participated in a call on COVID-19. Members heard from legal, accounting, insurance and labour relations experts about how to mitigate against COVID-19 and how to interpret the new measures from the government. They also heard from Export Development Canada about how businesses can access the Business Credit Availability Program. The Canadian Chamber will be sharing feedback and questions from the group with the government during its regular consultations. On next week’s call, we will have experts from EDSC (both the department and the EI Commission – Employers) to advise on how employees and the self-employed can access the new programs.

Forward looking

  • We have set up a call to focus on immigration issues under a restricted border, to be held on Monday March 23, 2020. More details to follow.
  • We have set up a call for 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 it assesses help for the industry during this unprecedented time.

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. 

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