Briefing

Business Council calls for tax and red-tape overhaul, promises to buy more from startups and scale-ups

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Its report on Canada’s economic competitiveness recommends, among other measures, a third-party review of the tax system and the creation of independent agencies to advise governments on regulatory reform and infrastructure investments. The group, which represents the CEOs of the country’s largest firms, also promises to match U.S. counterparts’ investments in training by 2025; to adopt diversity policies; and to invest more in and procure more from tech startups and scale-ups. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The Liberal government has already offered versions of some of these recommendations: it launched the arm’s-length Canada Infrastructure Bank in 2017 and, in May, it named an advisory committee on regulatory competitiveness. A tax review was among the promises in its fall election platform. But the BCC argues independent watchdogs—not arm’s-length groups that ultimately report to ministers—are needed to ensure things get done between campaigns, and across governments of different levels and parties. The group’s own promises could be expensive: Canadian firms spend $0.81 on workplace training for every dollar spent by U.S. companies.