Canadian Chamber policy experts provide their Budget 2024 assessments

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been calling for a focus on increased AI business adoption due to its strong link to productivity and Budget 2024 delivered significant investments in AI. PHOTO courtesy KUKA.

Ottawa’s Budget 2024 is still missing a clear plan to promote productivity and restore economic growth in Canada, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“Our lagging productivity and stalled GDP growth means Canadians are becoming collectively poorer and working harder to just remain where they are today.,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Looking specifically at manufacturing the Canadian Chamber says the country requires “robust measures” to reverse its negative productivity trends, improve the labour market, and enhance economic competitiveness.

“We’re overdue for an ambitious and robust manufacturing strategy focused on growth, technology adoption and innovation,” says Alex Greco, Senior Director, Manufacturing and Value Chains

However, the Canadian Chamber was happy to see a focus on streamlining internal trade as strengthening internal trade could elevate GDP growth by up to 8% and fortify Canada’s economic foundation.

“It shouldn’t be easier to trade with Europe than it is within our own country,” Beatty said.

The Canadian Chamber has been calling for a focus on increased AI business adoption due to its strong link to productivity and Budget 2024 delivered significant investments in AI.

“New funding for AI infrastructure and for AI business adoption in critical sectors is an important step in the right direction. However, we continue to advocate for an AI federal regulatory environment that, in tandem with funding, will allow for that critical AI adoption to materialize amongst all sizes of Canadian businesses and across all sectors,” says Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation

The Canadian Chamber also welcomed the government’s announcement of measures to fulfill its commitment to allocate proceeds from the price on pollution to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

“This commitment, coupled with the proposed accelerated and automated return process, will hopefully alleviate the additional barriers disproportionately affecting SMEs as they strive to embrace greening practices,” says Bryan Detchou, Senior Director, Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainability.

Another Budget 2024 move welcomed by the Canadian Chamber was the government’s announcement of the EV Supply Chain Investment Tax Credit.

“Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) are instrumental in driving investments toward decarbonization, facilitating the transition to low-carbon energy solutions across various sectors of Canada’s economy.  We eagerly anticipate engaging with the government to refine the specifics and ensure these credits maximize their impact on advancing Canada’s decarbonization efforts,” Detchou says.

Included below are the comments from Canadian Chamber of Commerce policy experts on other Budget 2024 announcements.

Capital Gains

Canada must end the cycle of tax and spend politics. Fueling economic growth is the key to making improving quality of life and affordability for Canadians, says Jessica Brandon-Jepp, Senior Director, Fiscal and Financial Services Policy.

“We oppose any measure which will increase the costs for businesses and Canadians when both are currently experiencing challenging economic headwinds. Throttling the success of Canadian businesses with new taxes will limit opportunities and employment for Canadians, putting economic growth and productivity even further out of reach,” Brandon said.

International Trade

The Canadian Chamber said it welcomes the government’s commitment to renewing the Canada-U.S. Energy Transformation Task Force, new funding to bolster private sector investment within Latin America, and also the creation of a new Market Watch Unit within CBSA to help protect Canadian workers and businesses from unfair trade practices.

“However, given Canada will hold the G7 Presidency in the coming year, it is unfortunate that this budget’s commitments relating to international economic engagement are piecemeal and do not reflect an ambitious and cohesive international trade agenda for the Indo-Pacific and for North America,” said Gaphel Kongsta, Director, International Policy.


Recurring labour disruptions continue to inflict damage to Canada’s economy and reputation as a reliable trading partner, points out the Canadian Chamber’s Robin Guy, Vice President and Deputy Leader, Government Relations. But he argues that while Budget 2024 will look to address labour stability, it continues to push forward replacement worker legislation that would do the opposite.

“Our already-fragile reputation as a reliable place to do business is at risk if the government doesn’t bolster our ability to resolve labour disputes,” Guy says.

Getting Major Projects Built

We must ensure we shed our reputation of a place where major projects can’t get built in order to attract and retain investment, says Detchou.

“It’s therefore great to see several budget initiatives aimed at getting major projects built faster and shortening permitting timelines, particularly in mining and minerals development,” Detchou adds.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

The new funding made available will help support business research and development and encourage new innovations for Canadian business. It’s important, however, that the funding be made available quickly so enhancements can be made to the program swiftly and efficiently, said Greco.


“We saw the government make significant commitments to cyber defence last week and today’s budget highlights some cyber security investments across government. Now, we need to see more ambition to improve Canada’s cyber security resilience across our economy and business communities,” comments Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation. “If we don’t, Canadian businesses, individuals, and critical infrastructure will continue to be at growing risk of cyber threats.”

Talent and skills

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of building a skilled and resilient workforce ready to respond to today’s labour needs and tomorrow’s jobs, says Diana Palmerin-Velasco, Senior Director, Future of Work. Budget 2024 includes specific measures to support youth employment by creating more work-integrated learning opportunities, job placements and employment support opportunities.

“Missing from Budget 2024 is the inclusion of more measures to upskill and reskill Canada’s workforce, so Canadian businesses have access to the critical talent and skills they need to grow and seamlessly navigate the future,” Palmerin-Velasco says.

Business Data Lab

The government’s commitment of renewed funding for the Business Data Lab (BDL) will allow these important, free, online tools to continue to provide essential data and insights that small businesses, municipalities and other community organizations need to make evidenced-based decisions to innovate, grow and succeed in a dynamic, challenging economy, says Dr. Stephen Tapp, Chief Economist.

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