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'Get back to work' Canadian business groups urge new Liberal government

Canadian business groups urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's newly elected minority Liberal government to immediately work with other parties and focus on growing the economy.

The Liberal Party under Mr. Trudeau won its third election on Monday evening, but fell short of securing a majority mandate that he sought. With the election now over, Canadian business and industry groups say the government needs to focus on guiding the country through the fourth wave of the pandemic and spurring economic growth.

Perrin Beatty, president and chief executive of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement released Tuesday that the clear message from the 2021 election is "that our politicians need to get back to work on the issues that matter."

"With an election that lacked a meaningful debate on the economy, it is critical for Parliament and the government to resume the business of governing the country," Beatty said, adding that Canadians want "less politics and more leadership" from their political representatives.


"Businesses and the millions of Canadians they employ need action on two critical issues: safely managing the fourth wave of the pandemic without further lockdowns, and implementing a strategy to restore economic growth to address our urgent and growing fiscal challenges."

Goldy Hyder, the chief executive officer of the Business Council of Canada, echoes Beatty's statement and says the immediate priority must be restarting the economy in a safe and responsible way.

"The fundamental challenges that faced Canada before the pandemic have not changed," Hyder said in a statement released Tuesday.

"They include an aging population, inequality, Indigenous reconciliation, climate change, an uncertain geopolitical environment, and the increasing burden of public debt."

Hyder also says partisan interests must be set aside, as "no party can claim to have won a convincing mandate."

"It is time to bring people together to get us through the pandemic and chart a path forward that strengthens the economy, creates jobs and promotes confidence in our shared future," he said.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) also urged the new government to extend some of the COVID-19 programs that were implemented through the pandemic to help small businesses.

"With the election behind us, it is critical that we return to the important work of getting Canadians and Canada's job creators through the difficult months ahead," CFIB president Dan Kelly said in a statement.

"Most importantly, with vaccine passports and new provincial restrictions causing additional revenue losses and higher costs, CFIB is calling on the government and all opposition parties to extend the wage and rent subsidies and return them to the maximum 75 per cent level."

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce also says the government should extend the wage and rent subsidy program to ensure support for sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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