Media Releases Dec 09, 2021

Fall economic update time for government to step up, not back: Canadian Chamber of Commerce


(OTTAWA) – December 9, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO, Perrin Beatty, issued the following statement ahead of next week’s Fall Economic Statement.

“Next week’s Fall Economic Statement needs to focus on measures that will promote strong and sustained economic growth. Canada’s economic recovery remains fragile, and we need our political leaders to step up, not back.

Canada’s fiscal situation is increasingly troubling. Public debt has increased substantially during the pandemic. We face risks from interest rates that will start rising in 2022 and from future black swan events. The course we set for Canada’s public finances will have an impact on Canadians for decades to come. They deserve more than a cursory update. Canada needs a serious plan at a serious time.

The business community is not alone in its urgent call for a national growth strategy. Canadians from all walks of life have made the same plea which was reiterated by the Government’s own Industry Strategy Council and Advisory Council on Economic Growth, as well as just two months ago by the Senate Prosperity Action Group.

The latter two paint a bleak economic picture where our rate of GDP growth, which drives our quality of life, will be cut in half for the next 50 years. The consensus projection of annual GDP increases of 1.5 per cent to 1.7 per cent isn’t growth at all – it’s stagnation.

Canada has now reached the point where next generations will fall further and further behind where they should be. The time for study and for talk has long since passed. Now is the time for action.

Canadian businesses and the millions of Canadians they employ need to see an urgent, all-of-government effort to develop a national growth strategy. We must answer critical questions like how will we balance budgets, establish a clear fiscal anchor, and focus fiscal measures on the areas of greatest impact.

Unless we can achieve sustained growth at a much higher level than we experienced prior to the pandemic, we won’t be building back better, but failing forward. Without significant growth to pay for our social and climate ambitions, we will find ourselves on a path of ill-timed increased taxes for Canadian families and business owners.

Canadian businesses have been doing their part throughout the pandemic. Given the opportunity, they will lead the country back into economic growth. The fall economic update is the right time for the government to show that it understands the economic challenges that lie ahead and is prepared to partner with the business community to build a brighter future.”

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