Chamber Message to Queen’s Park: Focus on a Safe and Sustainable ReopeningMarch 1, 2022
(Toronto – March 1, 2022) –The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have created an unstable and unpredictable environment for Ontario business. Meanwhile, vulnerabilities, such as inflation, labour shortages and supply chain disruptions, have been exacerbated by the global state of emergency. Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) kicks off its 2022 Advocacy Series by meeting with all four of Ontario’s political parties this week to advocate for public policies that support business predictability, stability and growth, including through a safe and sustainable reopening.
“As the indispensable partner of business, we recognize that the COVID 19 pandemic has demonstrated that Ontario cannot have a healthy economy without a resilient health care system,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Our message to Queen’s Park is simple: focus on immediate measures that support business predictability and growth while building capacity within the economy and health care system to withstand future challenges.”
Throughout this week, Ontario Chamber Network leaders from across the province will advocate for the right conditions to support and protect business resilience in Ontario throughout the 2022 Advocacy Series. As the non-partisan voice of our diverse 60,000 members, these are the key priority areas we will focus on:
- Economic Recovery and Growth. Ontario needs a clear plan to safely and sustainably reopen, which includes economic recovery measures to support business success. This means access to talent, markets, and regulatory frameworks that enable business growth.
- Resilient Communities. COVID-19 has exposed and amplified challenges for those who call Ontario home. Ontario needs to invest in community resiliency by addressing important business issues such as climate change, housing, infrastructure, fiscal resilience, and healthcare to ensure an inclusive post-pandemic recovery.
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Entrepreneurial success and innovation should be supported and recognized as strategies for Ontario’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity.
- Business Confidence & Predictability. After two years of uncertainty, government messaging needs to shift to encouraging the safe return to activities like dining in restaurants, going to the gym or the movies, attending events, and travelling. This must be accompanied by clear guidelines and standards for promoting safety in businesses and public places to help reinforce to the public, and particularly the most vulnerable people, the necessary steps are being taken to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
“As today marks a significant milestone in Ontario’s reopening plan, we need to use every tool in our toolbox to promote a safe and sustainable reopening, boost consumer and business confidence, and mitigate against future threats,” added Rossi.
“Our 2022 Ontario Economic Report highlighted a domino effect of structural issues. Jobs are going unfilled, demand is outpacing capacity, and these issues are driving up prices for consumers and uncertainty for businesses,” said the report’s co-author, Claudia Dessanti, Senior Manager, Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Two years into the pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we need a long-term plan that will provide stability and lay the groundwork for economic growth.”
OCC’s public policy is developed through feedback gathered from businesses, associations, labour, post-secondary institutions, chambers of commerce, and boards of trade.
The Ontario Economic Report (OER) is the landmark research platform, offering a unique perspective on the experience of businesses of all sizes across the province. The OER is a data-driven, evidence-based document rooted in the OCC’s annual survey of its members, the Business Confidence Survey.
This year, the data and content contained within the OER reflect the unprecedented year that was 2021 and the unpredictability of 2022, examining the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate impacts it has had on certain businesses and individuals in Ontario. Read the release.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
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