Economic Policy in Canada

Economic policy is a tool used by governments to achieve a set economic goal. These goals can be local, regional, or national. Generally, economic policy is targeted at economic prosperity and business development.

Economic Policy Shapes How We Do Business

The Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) understands that national and provincial interests intersect. The CGCC is a coalition of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from the largest Canadian cities. These member organizations use the CGCC as a means to influence national policies for economic prosperity in their cities. 

Relevant and effective economic policies are created for business by business and the CGCC acts as a platform to inform government. By way of the CGCC, the member organizations can share the experiences of the business owners in their local with other areas. They can also collaborate with other business advocacy organizations at the national level. For example, the CGCC works with the Canadian Airports Council. Why? Because both organizations understand the  essential role of airports in connecting our country and the businesses within it, for growing our economy.

Is Economic Policy Just Adding More Regulations?

Policy does not always mean making more rules and regulations. Sometimes, good policy involves removing regulations that hinder economic development. For example, when navigating red tape becomes too costly it may deter business and stunt economic prosperity.

Canadian Global Cities Council Policy Recommendations

Businesses in Canada are heard by government through results-driven advocacy efforts of their Chambers and Boards of Trade, such as the CGCC members. Those organizations also recognized the need to engage with the federal government on initiatives to strengthen the metropolitan economic environment across our nation. In order to do that, the organizations united. The CGCC uses the collaboration of the largest Chambers and Boards of Trade in Canada to advance issues of importance to businesses at the Federal level. 

Through the CGCC and its member organizations, recommendations from businesses is heard at all levels of government. For example, all levels of government are asked to be cognizant of the cumulative regulatory burdens faced by businesses and to act now to reduce them. Overall, the policy recommendations from the CGCC are diverse in subject matter.

Current Events Influence the Priority of Economic Policies

In February of 2020, the members of the CGCC came together in response to the blockades set-up on railways in Canada. Representing over half of Canada’s GDP, the members each signed a letter to the Canadian government to work together with all orders of government, from municipal to provincial, to end the blockades impacting railways, ports and bridges across Canada in a peaceful manner.

The Canadians for Natural Resources campaign is an initiative coordinated by the Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC). The aim of the campaign is to bring conversations to kitchen tables across Canada about the role energy has in our country, and what the future looks like to help drive the right policy. At its core, this initiative has one simple, clear message: Canada can be a leader in natural resource development AND fight global climate change at the same time.

examples of canadian economic policy advocacy

National Urban Policy

The CGCC national urban strategy recommends policy changes to build more competitive and sustainable urban economies. Adopting a national strategy for investment in major cities would lead to three broad urban policy changes:

1. The federal government would take the lead in measuring infrastructure quality, disseminating best practices and identifying national urban policy goals.

2. City and city-region leaders would lead the development of long-range priority plans for urban infrastructure.

3. Federal funding for urban priorities like infrastructure would “fund the plan” with per-capita or near-per-capita grants, rather than funding projects or programs.

“One hundred and fifty years after Confederation, Canada has changed radically. But from a local, urban perspective, the form and design of Canadian federalism has not kept pace with that reality.” Planning for an Urban Future, 2018, Canadian Global Cities Council

There is widespread support for a national urban strategy as it would inform public debate, influence legislation to create more prosperous and sustainable cities. The CGCC found support from Architecture Canada for their policy recommendations that empower people to pursue positive change and sustainable growth.

Airport Policy Reform

The CCGC calls on the Federal government for airport policy reform to align Canada with global best practices, and for our international airports to be factored into transit infrastructure planning by all levels of government.
The CGCC has identified five recommendations for Canada’s airports policy across three categories:

1. Airport Screening
2. Border Entry & Visa
3. Airport Transit Connectivity

economic Policy
to remove
trade barriers

Business leaders across Ontario claim that the restrictions on interprovincial trade are harmful to economic competitiveness in normal times and are hurting economic recovery after lockdowns. According to a 2019 Ipsos poll commissioned by the Montreal Economic Institute, almost nine in 10 Canadians support free trade between the provinces.

The CGCC is a primary advocate for economic policy that removes barriers to smooth trade between provinces.