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May 26, 2015

Access to Technology & Innovation a Key Economic Issue ahead of the Federal Election

We've added our voice to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's, who released its electoral platform this morning in Ottawa. This document outlines a list of recommendations the Canadian business community has for the federal political parties as they prepare for the upcoming fall election.


Amongst the four key areas outlined in the Canadian Chamber's platform is one that is especially important to the members of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce: access to technology and innovation.


"Access to new technology can be a real game-changer for many businesses. Innovative manufacturing and export methods can significantly reduce costs and help create new products," said Ken Carmichael, President of the Kelowna Chamber. 

Specifically, we are requesting that the federal parties commit to the following:

  • Providing incentives to move ideas from mind to market, such as an "innovation box" regime in Canada that would see any sales/revenues earned on a patent or a new technology developed here in Canada taxed at a much lower rate
  • Investing in digital infrastructure (networks and switching required to handle the volumes of next generation data transfer) and rewarding private sector investment driven by profit motives
  • Providing incentives that encourage collaboration through technology clusters or centres of excellence

Three other key areas that are critical to enabling Canadian businesses to compete and win in the global economy were identified by the Canadian Chamber in its platform today: access to a powerful workforce, access to capital and access to markets.


"The challenge, today, is that we are racing against the greatest competitors in the world's toughest marathon-the global economy-and are losing ground to the front-runners. Only by putting in place the measures that we recommend in our platform can our next federal government turn this trend around and bring us back into the leaders' circle. We certainly hope the candidates are listening because local chambers are counting on them to contribute to the discussion and will be voting accordingly," said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. 


"We look forward to hearing from both the national parties and their local candidates on how we can address the issue of access to capital and we are, of course, open to meeting with our local political representatives," said Carmichael.


To download a copy of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's electoral platform, please click here