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(Medicine Hat) The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce represented the local business community at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting (AGM) and convention, held virtually on October 26th and 27th. A record number of delegates attended via a virtual platform experience including a main stage with speakers and panelists, exhibitors, networking and a social lounge with a photo booth.

A contingent of local chamber representatives joined over 900 delegates from across the country and heard from speakers including the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Honourable Erin O’Toole and Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Doug Ford. All three leaders spoke to delegates about the impact of the pandemic on Canadian business and strategies on how to recover and grow the Canadian economy. These topics were echoed by the Minister for Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, the Honourable Mary Ng and in numerous panel discussions throughout the two-day event.

The focus of the annual meeting was the policy conference where delegates debated 60 policies from local Chambers across the country, setting the policy direction for the chamber network and providing a playbook for the Canadian Chamber to use when advocating to government.

Among the 60 policies debated, 47 were passed for inclusion in the Chamber’s policy book with one policy referred to the board, one being merged and eleven that were defeated. The local Chamber submitted four policies, three of which were adopted by the delegates.

The recommendations in the local policy ‘Streamline Size of Government’, which were adopted provincially, were determined to be ones that the Canadian Chamber is actively working on and are aligned with existing reports and previously published positions.

The two local agriculture policies, Improving Risk Management for Agriculture Producers and Promoting Canada’s Agriculture Industry were both adopted by delegates, in addition to two other national agriculture policies brought forward.

Tracy Noullett, President of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce commented, “Our Agriculture Policy Committee has worked hard to bring both of these agriculture policies to the forefront. We consulted with industry experts and stakeholders on agriculture risk management to ensure that we fully understood the challenges, resulting in 14 recommendations needed in order to capitalize on potential opportunities and future risk mitigation.”

The second agriculture policy adopted focuses on the need for a more unified public education strategy to showcase the agriculture industry’s practice of environmental stewardship and reliable, sustainable and high quality agri-food production while also expanding on the “Canada Brand” program.

“Supporting and advocating for the agriculture sector, which has strengthened the economy of our region for over a century, is a priority for our organization.” stated Noullett. “By having these federal policies adopted by the greater national network we can ensure that our region, and this industry, are involved in the essential work of promoting this vitally important driver of our local, provincial and national economy.”

The last local policy that was adopted by the national chamber network was Commercial Border Crossing Access. This renewing policy and its recommendations push for adequate access to trade infrastructure to ensure that provinces with high volumes of bilateral trade and corridor traffic have access to sufficient 24-hour commercial border services.

“With the fewest number of land border crossings within Canada and only one 24-hour commercial port of entry, Alberta needs to be able to ensure that goods and services produced have easy access to markets in both countries and internationally. It is critical that we encourage government to remove barriers and the congestion on a single 24-hour commercial port and corridor.” stated Noullett.

“The three local polices that were adopted by the chamber network all emphasize the important role government has in creating the environment that allows businesses and industries to reach their potential. We continue to emphasize the need for government and business to work together collaboratively in order to create the conditions that allow businesses to prosper so our economy and communities can thrive. Our ability to work with all levels of government to find solutions for businesses will be more essential then ever in this recovery,” Noullett concluded.

Issues debated included topics on finance and taxation, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, digital economy, human resources, skills and immigration, indigenous issues, natural resources, energy and environment, international affairs and social policies.

In discussing Canada’s economic outlook and recovery plan, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, said, “Over the past two days over 900 business leaders came together at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s AGM to determine what this economic recovery plan should look like. They focused on reinvigorating investment, building industrial capacity, health innovation and research, accelerating the rollout of national broadband, ensuring supply chain resiliency and getting Canadians back to work. In short, addressing the myriad ways in which the pandemic has affected our economy. Canada needs a growth-focused plan for businesses, focused on these issues to fuel and, hopefully, accelerate this recovery.”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce media releases:

For more information on the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce’s policies, please visit the Our Voice page on our website.


Please direct all media inquiries to:

Tracy Noullett, President
c/o Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce
(403) 527-5214 ext.225

The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 25,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.

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