Election 2021 NB Policy Priorities

An alliance of New Brunswick business organizations launched a set of policy priorities for the upcoming federal election. The group includes Le Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, the New Brunswick Business Council, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton, the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

The groups three priority areas and specific calls to action include:

  • Grow the labour force through a multi-pronged approach, including return-to-work for individuals on EI, national child care and specific funding through ACOA for automation, digitization, and HR recruitment and retention.
  • Close the federal investment gap in research and development in NB and fund infrastructure projects including housing.
  • Pilot a special Atlantic investment tax credit that encourages inter-provincial investment in start-ups, exporters, and SMEs headquartered within the Atlantic Region.
  • Ensure allocation of immigration spaces to reach a goal of 10,000 immigrants by 2024 (with additional support to achieve a 30% francophone immigration target).
  • Simplify and speed up the overall process of immigration with an emphasis on streamlining and accelerating pathways for international students.
  • Increase investment in newcomer support and retention infrastructure such as settlement services and initiatives for welcoming communities.
  • Adopt a regional policy lens to address unique challenges of all regions and consider Atlantic-specific platform commitments.
  • Provide incentives, tax credits, or program funding to help SMEs with the costs of decarbonization and the transition to a green economy.
  • Work with provinces to remove remaining trade barriers.

For more information on our Election 2021 NB Policy Priorities, please click on the banner below!

Chamber Priorities:

What We’re Fighting For

New Brunswick is the only province to register a net population decrease in the last census. The Government of New Brunswick named a Minister responsible for immigration in the new Blaine Higgs cabinet, the honourable Arlene Dunn, proving that the focus has shifted to immigration as the priority for population growth. We need a plan to grow our population, attract more immigrants and maintain a labour force that meets the needs of our economy.

CCGM Position
We need a plan to grow our population, attract more immigrants and maintain a labour force that meets the needs of our economy. – Two resolutions from the CCGM have been included in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Policy Book: 1st resolution aims at reinstating Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) services in our region. 2nd resolution seeks to expedite foreign credential recognition for new immigrants across Canada.

Action Taken
– The CCGM and 3+ Corporation presented the Workforce 20/20 Summit on Nov. 12-13 in Moncton.
– The Chamber has been listed as the lead of supporting stakeholder in 16 action items in both the Greater Moncton Immigration Strategy and the Southeast Regional Workforce Strategy.

Next Steps
– The CCGM is taking part in the implementation of the immigration strategy.
– The Chamber is working with all stakeholders for the implementation of the Regional Workforce Strategy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The crisis is so broad that it impacted all geographic, demographic and economic sectors. Actions taken now by governments, businesses, organizations and individuals can set the foundation for the economic future of our province and survival of small, medium and large businesses. The CCGM has been active since the start of the pandemic participating in multiple ad hoc committee, advocating all levels of government for help for businesses of all sizes, and informing the business community and residents of our region on programs available and latest initiatives.

CCGM Position
– The government has advised that they do not expect that a vaccine will be available for 8-10 months or more, meaning life will not return to normal for some time. Physical distancing, health screenings, physical barriers (plexiglass), hand-washing, surface cleaning, masks and face coverings will be the new normal.
– Members of the Chamber identified payroll and rent as the two main issues facing the pandemic of COVID-19.
– Entrepreneurs also needed guidance information regarding reopening the economy (Operational Plan, signage, Pre-Screening Tool, Physical Distancing, Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures, Facilitating Personal Hygiene Etiquette, Personal Protection Equipment)

Action Taken
– The Chamber is participating in the Southeast Economic Recovery Task Force initiatives.
– Hosted the regional COVID-19 information website.
– Surveyed members on the effects of COVID-19.
– Participated on a survey with larger businesses of the region on the occupancy of offices in Downtown Moncton with 3+ Corporation and other stakeholders.
– The Chamber participated in a biweekly NB Organizational Check-In with business development organizations of the province and the development of the Turning Points podcast series.

Next Steps
– Work with all stakeholders in economic development in the province to put in place a balanced recovery plan from COVID-19 providing assistance to small and medium businesses, help our larger employers to maintain their employment levels, introduce programs to rejuvenate the retail and hospitality sector, and support for our airports in New Brunswick.
– Ask all levels of government to stay focused on economic measures to help the business community facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Multiple members of the Chamber, and other business owners in our three communities, have identified homelessness and security as the #1 issue our municipalities need to focus on. Members and other business owners are facing theft and vandalism on their property or near their businesses. More police presence is requested in the three municipalities, especially in downtown Moncton. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness doubled in the past year with now 300 individuals identified.

CCGM Position
– Homelessness & Security need to be addressed in our three communities, because media coverage could have negative impacts on business confidence and private investment in the region.

Action Taken
– John Wishart met with the city of Moncton and multiple stakeholders on homelessness in late August. A follow-up meeting with newly-elected MLAs was held in early October.
– The CCGM issued a press release exhorting all political parties to make homelessness and security a key issue of the provincial election.

Next Steps
– From the $300 million from the Federal Government, the province is going to fund only 151 affordable housing units over the next three years. Our community needs to press the government to do more, more quickly.
– The CCGM is trying to link the business community and the homelessness stakeholders to find solutions for our region.

New Brunswick businesses are already some of the most over-regulated, overtaxed in North America. Tax burden is still one of our key issues provincially and also at the federal level. ONB introduced a new Business Navigator Program in 2019. A new Minister responsible for Economic Development, Small Business and ONB has been named to the cabinet, Arlene Dunn.

CCGM Position
– Atlantic red-tape reduction initiative needs to show real bottom-line results. Government has to be cognizant of impact of taxes on business growth.
– We support the new Business Navigator Program.

Action Taken
– Pressed government at every opportunity on overall tax burden and how it is a disincentive to business growth.

Next Steps
– With the introduction of the Business Navigator program last fall, now the government has to introduce ways to actually reduce the amount of red tape.

The Greater Moncton Roméo-LeBlanc International Airport is one of the Top 10 economic contributors in the entire province.

CCGM Position
Our airport needs equal access to federal infrastructure funding to compete.

Action Taken
– A letter was sent to MPs of our region to press the federal government to put in place more measures to help the GMIA.
– CCGM commented the reduction of services by WestJest.
– PAL Airlines announced new connections between Moncton and St. John’s 5 times per week.

Next Steps
– Stay connected to WestJest when they will reintroduce connections in our region.
– Push all levels of government to help airports of the province to have access to funding.
– Pending the purchase of Air Transat by Air Canada, the Chamber needs to protect the number of winter Transat flights heading to the Caribbean.

Get Involved:

Your Voice Counts

The Chambers’ strength relies in its collective voice.

The Chamber of Commerce surveys its members when there are topics that are of concern to the local business community. We also invite you to speak out on issues that you are concerned about or want to bring to our attention. Do you have a concern to share with us? Please let us know by communicating with us!