Our Advocacy Agenda
Edmonton’s economy has prospered because of its clear economic advantages: robust natural resource industries, strong regional connections, a competitive business environment, a skilled labour force and an entrepreneurial business sector. Edmonton’s entrepreneurs have generated jobs for workers, revenues for governments, and a vibrant community for all of us.
Edmonton competes for resources, investors, markets, customers, and workers in a rapidly-changing global economy. Our member businesses are proud to compete, because our products and services are among the best in the world. But sometimes, competing is harder than it needs to be, and the playing field isn’t always level.
Artificial trade barriers make our products more expensive or harder to sell. Poor infrastructure makes it unsafe and inefficient to get our goods to customers. Unnecessary government paperwork eats up time we would rather spend with clients and family. High taxes make our products more expensive than our competitors. Cumbersome processes delay projects and make it more attractive to build elsewhere.
As the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, we play a role in making our region more successful by advocating to all levels of government, across industry sectors, and to the community on behalf of our members. Advocacy can make a difference in removing barriers, simplifying processes, and allowing businesses to get back to doing what they do best. Advocacy is the difference between one voice raising a concern, and a chorus calling for change – the difference between speaking and being heard.
We develop policy positions, take them to municipal, provincial, and national decision tables through a policy process, and bring them forward in government consultations, meetings, and media commentary. We look for government decisions that address the issues we raise, for investments to come to the region, for Edmonton businesses to grow, and for innovative new companies to expand our range of industries. A clear strategy for advocacy helps our members succeed, our economy grow, and our city hold its own when competing on the world stage.
Our positions on priority issues are developed through our policy process, and those policy positions drive our advocacy work. The policy process helps identify priority issues and formulate policy recommendations, while the advocacy process takes those recommendations forward to the appropriate municipal, provincial, or federal bodies and other key stakeholders.
The advocacy function starts with our members. They identify issues and concerns in surveys, at meetings, events, online, and through other feedback mechanisms. Issues are taken to committees and working groups that determine whether policy work should be undertaken. If so, policy positions are developed by committees, researched by staff, reviewed by experts and senior business people, and confirmed by the board of directors. Our policy positions reflect the insights of the broader business community, beyond partisan politics and individual commercial interests.
Once policy positions and recommendations are developed, we take them forward to other Chambers, to strategic partners, to governments, to the media, and to the public in an effort to build a greater understanding and heighten awareness.
We also review the policy proposals of other Chambers. Where appropriate, we support their initiatives when they are being considered at Alberta and Canadian Chamber of Commerce decision tables. When an issue changes, or when governments act on the policy matters we raise, we ensure that members know. We report on general advocacy activities, and on matters which directly affect business operations.
The Edmonton Chamber has developed this three-year advocacy plan to outline how we will help expand Edmonton’s economic opportunities. This “living document” will also be updated to reflect other positions on issues that may arise. To foster a resilient and growing Edmonton that can compete in the global economy, we will focus our advocacy efforts on:
With the broader business community working together, we can address challenges and get results. Collectively, we analyze costs, understand impacts, and identify better alternatives. Through our advocacy efforts, we knock on the doors of those whose decisions impact our success, and we bring business issues to the attention of all levels of government. We outline what is working well, and where we see areas for improvement. We work with our partners to find a better way to accomplish our shared goals. For maximum benefit, we focus advocacy efforts in areas that pose challenges for the majority of our members, and we look for results to enhance our members’ success.
For more information on our Advocacy Agenda, please feel free to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.