CANADA’S LARGE CITIES MEET TO DISCUSS SHIFTING ECONOMIC SANDS

Consider Canada City Alliance holds Consultations with Federal Government on a Wide Range of Economic Issues

Vancouver, BC/Ville de Québec, QC, FEB 23, 2017  – Collaborating as members of the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA), thirteen of Canada’s large cities met in Ottawa to continue building the urban contribution to Canada’s economic success. In addition to discussing recent shifts in the geo-political situation and consulting key federal stakeholders regarding new initiatives in the federal Fall Economic Statement, the CCCA welcomed Hamilton as its newest member and elected Ian McKay, the CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission, as Chair, and Hubert Bolduc of Montreal International as Vice-Chair.

When it comes to Canada’s sustained economic prosperity and game changing shifts in global geopolitics, Canada’s largest cities—and their Economic Development Organizations (EDOs)—are at the centre of the action. The federal government has committed to consult with cities on key economic issues, and two initiatives offer CCCA members the opportunity to translate these policy initiatives into action.

Canada is an exporting nation. Access to foreign trade and investment is critical to the economic success of Canada and our members. The changes in global trade and economic landscapes, which include Brexit, the growth of the middle classes in Asian countries and the subsequent shift of economic power, and the election of Donald Trump as President, all present challenges and opportunities to our city economies.

Two initiatives in the federal Fall Economic statement address key barriers to the economic success of cities. CCCA sought to ensure that the on-the-ground experience and capabilities of the CCCA members would be fully integrated into the federal government’s new activities. The organization’s goal is to integrate the resources at municipal and federal levels to provide one-stop service to foreign investors. To achieve this, the CCCA held direct discussions with the Ministries of International Trade, Innovation Science and Economic Development, and KPMG, the research and accountancy firm leading stakeholder consultation.

Talent and diversity are key differentiators in the Canadian value proposition. Members welcomed the announcement of the Global Skills Strategy in the economic statement and its aggressive plan for implementation. Both Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC) briefed the group and welcomed their participation in the consultation and pilot implementation of the strategy.

“Our timing could not have been better,” noted Ian G. McKay, the incoming Chair and CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission. “The successful trip to Washington by Prime Minister Trudeau on February 13th confirmed the commitment of the Trump and Trudeau governments to the growth of middle class prosperity. Following approval in Canada, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on February 15.”

“Canada is one of the most urbanized countries in the world,” observed outgoing Chair Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International. “According to population figures from the 2016 Census released last week by Statistics Canada, the economic influence of CCCA members reaches 59.6% of Canadians. Recently-released Labour Force statistics showed eight CCCA members with unemployment rates below the Canadian average of 6.8% and Vancouver and Quebec City with unemployment rates below 5%. These statistics demonstrate that Canada’s large cities are an important partner and critical driver to the economic success of Canada.”

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About the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA)

13 economic development agencies from Canada’s large cities work together as the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA) to promote Canada as an ideal destination for global trade and investment. Each of the members – Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Waterloo Region, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City and Halifax – help international companies determine the best strategies for business expansion and continually improve Canada’s ability to attract new investment and trade opportunities.

Media Contact

English
Ingrid Valou, Vancouver Economic Commission
ivalou@vancouvereconomic.com

Français
Sylvie Fortin, Québec International
sfortin@quebecinternational.ca