Call to Action # 92: Actions and Commitments

Business Council of Canada


February 5, 2018


Business Advocacy Groups

10 Ways to Build a Canada That Wins Released

“10 Ways to Build a Canada That Wins” that provides businesses, decision-makers and government with a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow our economy.

Number # 8 states “Provide Opportunities for Business Development to Support Self-determination for Indigenous Peoples.”

Entrepreneurship plays a key role in the economic, social, and institutional development of Indigenous communities. So too does their ability to benefit from environmentally sustainable industry, infrastructure and resource development projects on and near their lands. The economic and social benefits of encouraging greater and more inclusive participation by Indigenous peoples in employment and business development opportunities are shared by all Canadians. Canada’s future will be shaped by the more active economic participation of Indigenous peoples. We need to afford ample opportunities to entrepreneurs who are ready to do business to create wealth for their communities and families. Our challenge is to move from good intentions to initiatives that make a real difference in their economic prospects. New approaches need to be developed, and new tools must be made available to do so. This includes:

  • a supportive tax and regulatory environment
  • access to new business opportunities
  • government programs that provide meaningful supports, and
  • ready-access to education and training, leading to employment, apprenticeship and mentorship programs

May 15, 2017


Business Advocacy Groups

Business Council of Canada

Founded in 1976, the Business Council is an organization composed of the chief executives of Canada’s leading enterprises, representing companies from every region and sector of the economy. The 150-member companies employ 1.7 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.

Business Council of Canada 2016-2017 Annual Report

“supports a credible, transparent and efficient review process to ensure that major energy and resource projects do not threaten human health, nearby communities or the rights of Indigenous peoples.


August 28, 2017


Business Advocacy Groups

Environmental and Regulatory Reviews

Letter from John P. Manly, President and Chief Executive Officer:

In terms of the key principles outlined in the discussion paper:

  • We support meaningful public involvement in the assessment process, including ensuring that those directly affected have an adequate voice. However, a balance must be sought to ensure the entire process does not become unwieldly and prone to unacceptable delay.
  • We support meaningful and timely engagement of Indigenous peoples in projects and decisions that directly affect their interests.
  • We support evidence-based decision-making reflecting sound science and incorporating relevant Indigenous knowledge.
  • One project – one assessment must continue to be a guiding principle, both as to how they are handled among multiple department/agencies within the federal government, and also with respect to overlapping provincial/territorial jurisdiction.

August 28, 2017


Business Advocacy Groups

Impacts on Indigenous Peoples

We support the recommendation that legislation be amended to explicitly require assessment of any significant impacts on Indigenous peoples. Proponents of major resource projects, including many Business Council members, are keenly aware of the obligation to understand and be sensitive to the needs and expectations of Indigenous communities. Much progress has been made in recent years and companies are adopting strategies aimed at early engagement with local Indigenous communities and more active involvement throughout the life cycle of a project, through planning, design, construction and ongoing operation. Yet there are almost always questions that are vital to the interests of these communities that only governments can answer. Much more needs to be done to both reflect the principle of genuine consultation and to develop the capacity of Indigenous communities to participate actively and effectively in the regulatory process. Business is more than willing to do its part, but the fundamental responsibility is one that only governments, federal and provincial, can discharge. We are prepared to support the idea raised in the discussion paper, that a single government agency with increased capacity be given responsibility to coordinate consultation and accommodation.

The Supreme Court of Canada has recently provided further guidance on the scope of Indigenous consultation and accommodation. These cases again illustrate the importance of early engagement, that due consideration be given to the rights granted by treaties and that the degree of consultation and accommodation is related to the significance of the impact on recognized rights. They also underscore the proposition that while the proponent and the government must always consider ways to minimize the impact to the largest extent possible, the decision in the end is one governed by the overall public interest.


August 28, 2017


Business Advocacy Groups

National Energy Board governance

We agree with the proposal to separate the roles of Chair and CEO, as well as the creation of an executive board to provide strategic direction to the NEB. We also see the value in creating separate hearing commissioners to participate in project reviews and in broadening the array of skills and expertise among these commissioners, including more Indigenous representation. Maintaining the National Energy Board in Calgary makes sense, as does the proposal to eliminate the residency requirement for Board members and hearing commissioners. And we see merit in investigating more streamlined dispute settlement procedures as an alternative to some formal adjudicative procedures.