- Between July 26 and August 18, 2017, the Business Council of Canada conducted an online survey of its members to gauge their perspectives on the Canadian investment environment. A total of 61 business leaders took part in the survey.
- Asked whether “the business investment environment in Canada over the past five years has worsened, improved or neither worsened nor improved”, almost two-thirds of respondents (64 per cent) said it had worsened. Twenty per cent said the investment environment had improved and 16 per cent said it had neither worsened nor improved.
- Among those who said the investment environment had deteriorated, the most frequently cited reasons were: an uncompetitive tax system; unwieldy and uncertain regulatory processes; and increasing costs of doing business (such as the costs of labour, utilities, and transportation).
- Sixty-one per cent of those surveyed disagreed that “the regulatory environment in Canada is efficient and does not impose substantial additional costs on my company”. Thirty-six per cent disagreed that “tax rates are attractive” in Canada, and an equal number took issue with the suggestion that the costs of doing business in Canada “are globally competitive”.
- A clear majority of those surveyed (57 per cent) said that investment conditions in Canada are less attractive than in the other countries in which their company invests. When they were asked where their companies tend to invest most, other than in Canada, the top response was the United States.
- Survey participants represented a range of sectors including finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, oil and gas, information, communications technologies, culture and recreation, and manufacturing.
- The business leaders identified a number of steps that governments could take to improve the investment climate. They included: reducing the regulatory burden; introducing more certainty into regulatory approval processes; improving Canada’s global tax competitiveness; and investing in infrastructure.
Canada’s prosperity relies on global stability, the rules-based multilateral trading system, cooperation among like-minded partners and respect for sovereign states.
Canada is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, which are the source of much of the country’s prosperity. Canadian energy producers and mining companies are key enablers of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Sound fiscal policy, investments to enhance growth and productivity, and competitive tax rates are fundamental to success in the global economy.
To succeed in today’s global economy, Canada needs a strategy that brings ideas to life and enhances the country’s competitive advantages.
An aging population and increased global competition for talent requires that Canada work harder to attract, retain and develop its human capital. Employers have a responsibility to contribute to this effort by ensuring healthy, diverse and inclusive workplaces.