The Canadian Council of Chief Executives, composed of the CEOs and entrepreneurs of 150 leading Canadian companies, is entering its fifth decade with a new Chair and a new name.
Wrapping up its first full members’ meeting of 2016, the 40-year-old organization announced that, effective immediately, it will be known as the Business Council of Canada.
The Council’s newly elected Chair is Linda Hasenfratz, Chief Executive Officer of Guelph, Ontario-based Linamar Corporation, a diversified manufacturing company with 48 plants around the world. She succeeds Paul Desmarais, Jr., Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada.
Ms. Hasenfratz congratulated Mr. Desmarais for his contributions over a three-year term as Chair. During this period, the Council championed ambitious reforms to advance Canadian competitiveness, simplify and streamline the country’s tax system, and expand trade and investment opportunities in Europe and Asia.
Under Mr. Desmarais’s direction, the Council also launched a multi-year initiative to better align education and training with the skills Canada needs to attract jobs and investment in the global economy. One outcome was the creation last year of the new Business-Higher Education Roundtable, composed of 27 leaders from the private sector, universities, colleges and polytechnics.
Ms. Hasenfratz said she is looking forward to working with the Council’s President and Chief Executive Officer, The Honourable John Manley, in advocating sound public policies that will spur business innovation, economic growth and job creation.
“Innovation is quite simply the cornerstone to competitiveness and prosperity in any industry,” she said. “I hope to see Canada continue to support innovation and broaden that commitment. Let’s make Canada the most innovative country in the world – a hub of technology, skill and ingenuity. I look forward to working with the Council to support such a vision, along with other critical policy work.”
Mr. Manley added: “Our name is changing, but our core mission and values are the same. The Business Council of Canada is an association of business leaders committed to acting in the national interest, to ensure a better future for all Canadians.”
Founded in 1976, the Business Council of Canada is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization representing business leaders in every region and sector of the country.
The Council’s 150 member companies employ 1.4 million Canadians, account for more than half the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, contribute the largest share of federal corporate taxes, and are responsible for most of Canada’s exports, corporate philanthropy, and private-sector investments in research and development.
Through supply chain partnerships, service contracts and mentoring programs, Business Council members support many hundreds of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs in communities of all sizes, in every part of Canada.