Media Releases Dec 21, 2021

Canadian Chamber urges government to use National Supply Chain Summit to drive forward economic growth agenda


(OTTAWA) – December 21, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, Mark Agnew, issued the following statement about the business community’s priorities for next year’s National Supply Chain Summit.

“Last week’s Fall Economic and Fiscal Update included forecasts from leading economists, which indicated that after the post-COVID bounce back, growth will again slip below 2%. The causes of this have been well-documented for years and sub-par economic growth can no longer can be the accepted normal.

These unaddressed challenges, combined with the weight of the pandemic, have caused significant strain on supply chains that raise the costs of doing businesses, which makes our companies less competitive and ultimately raises the sticker price facing consumers.

The Canadian Chamber has been urging for an economic growth strategy to be delivered. An economic growth plan will not be a single silver bullet, but instead a multi-step process. The government’s National Supply Chain Summit is a positive step, which should not be squandered. A successful Summit will be contingent on who is there, what are the issues on the table, and what are the tangible results government and business can produce to allow goods to move efficiently through our supply chains.

We welcome the government’s intent to make this a broad stakeholder process, which should include bringing together the companies that make, move, and buy the products along the value chain. We also urge for the Summit to bring together all federal departments with an economic role since supply chains are what enables the economy to function as we know it.

What is on the agenda is critical. Supply chains are a label that mean everything and nothing all at the same time. Some of the key issues that need to be on the table include:

  • Infrastructure and ensuring we have the capacity we need to move cargo in all modes of transportation.
  • Trade and ensuring our companies have the tools – and don’t face barriers – to get products to their customers as a trade-dependent economy.
  • Labour shortages and filling the one million job vacancies that prevent companies from operating at full capacity.
  • Cybersecurity issues to ensure our critical infrastructure is fully protected in an ever-evolving threat environment.
  • Border and regulatory measures that create complexities, particularly for small businesses, which prevent business owners from running their company.

The Summit cannot afford to be a flash in the pan. The business community needs to see a tangible set of action items and timelines covering both short and long-term issues to unstick the supply chain. This will ensure transparency and accountability in order to keep us on track as we go into 2022.”

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
ptaylor@chamber.ca