National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

RE: Addressing Climate Change and Economic Growth in the Federal Budget

Dear Minister:

Recent events demonstrate that Canada must urgently find common ground on how to balance climate policy with a commitment to support economic growth. Canadian businessesunderstand the serious need to address climate change and weurge you to use the upcoming federal budget as an opportunity to find a balance with our economic development.

The role of business is greater than just creating and providing the goods and services that people use . Business matters for other reasons: We invent. We innovate . We invest. We build wealth and,yes, we create the jobs that allow us to provide for ourselves and ourfamilies. We contribute to building strong communities and to addressing social problems, including climate change.

Climate change Is real, and all of us, including business , have a role to play in finding a solution. For instance, we drive the innovation that is helping to reduce emissions and develop new,cleaner technologies and energy sources.

But responsible stewardship fighting climate change and a strong economy are not mutually

exclusive goals and we have to get past this false choice. The transition to a lower-carbon future and adapting to climate change will be challenging and expensive for governments, businesses andCanadians alike.

The simplest and quickest path to a greener future is a bigger and more efficient economy. In fact if we want the Innovations that will helpus reduce emissions and invent new technologies that enable a transition to a cleaner world, then we need a strong , vibrant business community. If we want strong , healthy communities, and the social supports needed to help those that need it most, then we must have a strong economy .

We will continue playing our part but we cannot do it alone. We needgovernment to work with business to address climate change in a real way, while also creating the conditions for business – and all ofthe families and communities we support – to succeed.

At last month’s Canada 360° Economic Summit the Canadian Chamber of Commerce convened some of Canada’ s greatestbusiness mind s, all coming together with a common purpose: tofind and develop new ideas to stimulate our economy. Specifically,there are steps the government can take to address some of theissues most challenging to business:

  • Build a regulatory system that works for everyone, includingbusiness .
  • Invest in the infrastructure and innovation to makeCanada the most connected country in the world.
  • Ensure Canada’s workforce has the skills, education andtraining needed to help businesses succeed .
  • Help businesses access new markets around the world andeliminate trade barriers at home.
  • Develop a tax system that is fair , efficient and modern.
  • Provide SMEs with resources to help them grow and succeed athome and abroad.
  • Create a pharmacare system that closes the gap betweenthose who have and those who do not have prescription drugcoverage.

Without a strong economy, our country will not be able to meet the serious challenges Canada faces as a result of climate change. Without a focus on growth, we will not be able to foster the innovation and sustain the vita l public services needed to address the challenges of a sustainable economy . We encourage the government to address both Canada’s unprecedented economic and environmental challenges in this year’s federal budget.

Sincerely,

Hon. Perrin Beatty,P.C., .C. President and Chief Executive Officer Canadian Chamber of Commerce

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