Canada’s Chambers call on federal government to protect the next generation of entrepreneurs

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Canada’s business leaders are calling on the federal government to allow the participation of young entrepreneurs to be leaders in their own companies.

“Today’s youth are increasingly looking towards self-employment as a viable career option,” said Val Litwin, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “With a significant chunk of future businesses starting out of apartments, basements, or garages by young people, there is a real need to ensure that B.C. (and Canada) stays at the forefront of the industry and opens doors for innovation to thrive.”

The made-in-BC policy was passed this weekend at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM (September 23-25 in Fredericton, NB). The initiative put forward by the BC Chamber of Commerce, asks the federal and provincial governments work together to ensure entrepreneurs under the age of majority can fully participate in the management and governance of a company. This includes looking at options that ensure the appropriate level of protections are put in place for youth – and the public – particularly in regards to insurance providers.

“By limiting the ability for budding young entrepreneurs to guarantee certain protections for their ideas and businesses, we are restricting entrepreneurship and stand to lose new small businesses and the economic benefits they bring to our economy,” said Litwin.

BC Chambers make up roughly 13 percent of the Canadian Chamber network but were responsible for submitting 41 percent of the policies debated this past weekend, including:

  • Recognition by the federal government of the crucial necessity of a renewed softwood lumber agreement that includes high value-added products as part of any negotiated settlement – a policy initiative led by the Greater Westside Board of Trade;
  • Direct engagement from the federal government with stakeholders and industry experts regarding changes to the governance models of Canada’s major transportation infrastructure, ensuring the safe and secure operation of our airports and ports, while maintaining a competitive and responsibly governed transportation industry – a policy initiative led by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade;
  • Collaboration between the federal government and First Nations to develop legislation for a First Nations Infrastructure Institution dedicated to improving the process of developing infrastructure on First Nations lands – a policy initiative led by the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce; and
  • The creation of a standard testing protocol to detect marijuana impairment, ensuring consistent regulation across Canada, aiming to provide clarity for employers, while balancing the rights and responsibilities of employers with the privacy and rights of employees – a policy initiative led by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.

While Litwin recognizes the progress that’s been made to create and pass these policies, he says the real work of translating policy into reality has only just begun.

“These policies have huge potential for Canada and for British Columbia – but only if Ottawa implements them. So, as Chambers across Canada, we’ll be rolling up our sleeves and working hard to advance these policies to ensure our country’s success.”


About BC Chamber of Commerce

The BC Chamber is the province’s largest and most broadly-based business organization driving insights to its partners, government and Chamber network. With 36,000 members hailing from every nook and cranny of the province, the BC Chamber knows what’s on BC’s mind.

For more information, contact: 

Stephanie Rea
Interim Director of Communications
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8114