Chambers Of Commerce Nationwide Want To Make It Easier For Immigrants To Settle, Work Here

John Wishart. Image: Submitted

SAINT JOHN – More than 300 delegates at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in Saint John last weekend adopted two immigration-related resolutions put forth by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton.

The resolutions were approved and will be included in the Canadian Chamber’s advocacy strategies in the coming years.

The first resolution seeks to improve front-line settlement services by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in Atlantic Canada and other underserved regions across the country. The resolution was voted in by 73 per cent of delegates.

“More and more immigrants are settling in our communities and to better serve them we need better services in Greater Moncton, but also in similar regions from coast to coast,” said CCGM CEO John Wishart in a release.

The second resolution focused on the recognition of immigrants’ foreign credentials by provinces, territories, and self-regulating professional societies and associations in charge of establishing standards for training and certification. All of the delegates approved of this resolution.

“We need to grow our workforce to be in a better position to respond to increasing demands from employers in our region and across the country,” Wishart said. “New Canadians are one of the solutions, but our country, provinces and territories need to expedite the process to recognize their skills and their education.”

Three resolutions sponsored or co-sponsored by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce were also passed by delegates at the gathering.

One resolution calls on the federal government to speed up processing times of the Startup Visa Program – administered in Fredericton by Planet Hatch – and improve communication with applicants and designated institutions.

Another is related to the taxation of the digital economy, asking the federal government to be ready for pending OECD recommendations so that Canadian businesses don’t become less competitive.

And the third resolution calls for increased tools and communication to beef up cyber security in Canada.

“For Fredericton – the Startup Capital of Canada, growing cyber security hub, and global-facing export economy, these policy priorities are particularly relevant. We hope that leveraging the advocacy weight of the national chamber will have a positive impact on our local economy, sector development and immigration efforts,” said Fredericton chamber’s CEO, Krista Ross, in a release.

In addition, Wishart was elected to the national board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada. He will represent New Brunswick for the coming year.

The Moncton chamber also received accreditation for 2019-2021 over the weekend, for achieving a level of excellence in its overall operations.