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Fredericton Chamber International Students Policy Resolution Passed at National Conference

FREDERICTON,​ ​NB​ ​​–​ ​The​ ​Canadian​ ​Chamber​ ​of​ ​Commerce​ ​hosted​ ​its​ ​annual​ ​general​ ​meeting​ ​and conference​ ​in​ ​Fredericton​ ​over​ ​the​ ​past​ ​weekend​ ​-​ ​showcasing​ ​New​ ​Brunswick’s​ ​capital​ ​city​ ​to​ ​350 business​ ​leaders​ ​from​ ​coast-to-coast.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​estimated​ ​that​ ​the​ ​economic​ ​impact​ ​to​ ​the​ ​city’s​ ​local businesses​ ​was​ ​nearly​ ​one​ ​million​ ​dollars.

At​ ​the​ ​conference,​ ​delegates​ ​supported​ ​a​ ​​policy​ ​resolution​ ​​submitted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Fredericton​ ​Chamber​ ​of Commerce​ ​that​ ​is​ ​aimed​ ​at​ ​attracting​ ​and​ ​retaining​ ​higher​ ​numbers​ ​of​ ​international​ ​students.​ ​The resolution​ ​calls​ ​on​ ​the​ ​federal​ ​government​ ​to​ ​change​ ​rules​ ​regarding​ ​the​ ​ability​ ​for​ ​international students​ ​to​ ​have​ ​expanded​ ​opportunities​ ​to​ ​gain​ ​work​ ​experience​ ​while​ ​studying​ ​in​ ​Canada,​ ​to​ ​remove unnecessary​ ​red​ ​tape​ ​and​ ​the​ ​extend​ ​the​ ​post-graduation​ ​job​ ​search​ ​period.

“The​ ​measures​ ​we​ ​are​ ​advocating​ ​for​ ​will​ ​allow​ ​international​ ​students​ ​to​ ​obtain​ ​more​ ​Canadian​ ​work experience,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​important​ ​for​ ​employers,”​ ​said​ ​Krista​ ​Ross,​ ​Fredericton​ ​chamber​ ​CEO.​ ​“This measure​ ​also​ ​encourages​ ​these​ ​students​ ​to​ ​make​ ​connections​ ​with​ ​business​ ​and​ ​the​ ​community generally​ ​while​ ​they​ ​are​ ​studying​ ​-​ ​which​ ​is​ ​key​ ​for​ ​retention​ ​efforts.”

The​ ​Fredericton​ ​chamber​ ​worked​ ​closely​ ​with​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Brunswick​ ​Student​ ​Alliance​ ​with​ ​input​ ​from​ ​the Canadian​ ​Alliance​ ​of​ ​Student​ ​Associations​ ​preparing​ ​the​ ​resolution.

“It​ ​was​ ​important​ ​to​ ​us​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with​ ​the​ ​student​ ​community​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​our recommendations​ ​were​ ​targeted​ ​to​ ​international​ ​students’​ ​specific​ ​needs,”​ ​added​ ​Ross.​ ​“This​ ​measure addresses​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​big​ ​issues​ ​in​ ​New​ ​Brunswick​ ​such​ ​as​ ​skills,​ ​entrepreneurship,​ ​aging​ ​and​ ​declining population.”

The​ ​resolution​ ​adds​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Fredericton​ ​chamber’s​ ​​ ​ongoing​ ​work​ ​with​ ​both​ ​immigration​ ​and​ ​student retention.

“Earlier​ ​this​ ​month,​ ​the​ ​chamber​ ​signed​ ​a​ ​2-year​ ​agreement​ ​with​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Brunswick​ ​Student​ ​Alliance that​ ​gives​ ​their​ ​members​ ​-​ ​including​ ​nearly​ ​10,000​ ​post-secondary​ ​students​ ​in​ ​Fredericton​ ​-​ ​access​ ​to our​ ​networking​ ​events,​ ​committees​ ​and​ ​member​ ​rates​ ​on​ ​larger​ ​events,”​ ​said​ ​Ross.​ ​“We​ ​also​ ​founded the​ ​Choose​ ​Fredericton​ ​event​ ​and​ ​campaign​ ​and​ ​run​ ​three​ ​immigrant-entrepreneurship​ ​support programs.”

The​ ​policy​ ​recommendations​ ​now​ ​officially​ ​become​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​national​ ​chamber’s​ ​advocacy​ ​efforts​ ​at the​ ​federal​ ​level.

Discussions​ ​at​ ​the​ ​conference​ ​were​ ​dominated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​tax​ ​changes​ ​proposed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​federal​ ​government in​ ​July.​ ​Finance​ ​Minister​ ​Bill​ ​Morneau​ ​gave​ ​a​ ​presentation​ ​and​ ​took​ ​questions​ ​from​ ​delegates​ ​at​ ​the conference.

“We​ ​appreciate​ ​that​ ​the​ ​finance​ ​minister​ ​came​ ​to​ ​the​ ​conference​ ​to​ ​face​ ​the​ ​business​ ​community,​ ​but his​ ​comments​ ​exacerbated​ ​the​ ​concerns​ ​of​ ​delegates,”​ ​said​ ​Ross.​ ​“The​ ​overall​ ​feeling​ ​was​ ​that​ ​Minister Morneau​ ​still​ ​does​ ​not​ ​fully​ ​appreciate​ ​the​ ​concerns​ ​of​ ​business​ ​-​ ​particularly​ ​our​ ​members​ ​in​ ​the accounting​ ​field​ ​that​ ​have​ ​been​ ​clear​ ​and​ ​unanimous​ ​that​ ​the​ ​effect​ ​of​ ​the​ ​proposed​ ​legislation​ ​will​ ​go far​ ​beyond​ ​what​ ​is​ ​being​ ​stated​ ​by​ ​the​ ​government.”

Delegates​ ​also​ ​passed​ ​an​ ​emergency​ ​resolution​ ​that​ ​opposed​ ​the​ ​proposed​ ​tax​ ​changes​ ​with​ ​more​ ​than 98%​ ​of​ ​delegates​ ​voting​ ​in​ ​favour.

“There’s​ ​no​ ​question​ ​that​ ​the​ ​proposed​ ​tax​ ​changes​ ​were​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​topic​ ​at​ ​the​ ​conference​ ​and​ ​the issue​ ​that​ ​has​ ​most​ ​galvinized​ ​the​ ​business​ ​community​ ​in​ ​many​ ​years,”​ ​added​ ​Ross.​ ​“The​ ​conference came​ ​at​ ​a​ ​great​ ​time​ ​for​ ​the​ ​business​ ​community​ ​-​ ​it​ ​gave​ ​chambers​ ​from​ ​across​ ​Canada​ ​to​ ​get​ ​in​ ​the same​ ​room​ ​as​ ​discuss​ ​the​ ​proposed​ ​changes​ ​at​ ​length.​ ​Our​ ​work​ ​on​ ​this​ ​issue​ ​has​ ​just​ ​begun.”

The​ ​official​ ​consultation​ ​period​ ​for​ ​the​ ​proposed​ ​changes​ ​ends​ ​on​ ​2​ ​October​ ​2017​ ​-​ ​a​ ​mere​ ​75​ ​days​ ​after the​ ​discussion​ ​paper​ ​was​ ​released​ ​on​ ​18​ ​July​ ​2017.

 

The​ ​Fredericton​ ​Chamber​ ​of​ ​Commerce,​ ​a​ ​nationally​ ​accredited​ ​organization​ ​with​ ​nearly​ ​1,000​ ​members,​ ​is​ ​an active​ ​business​ ​organization​ ​engaged​ ​in​ ​policy​ ​development​ ​and​ ​advocacy​ ​that​ ​affects​ ​the​ ​competitiveness​ ​of​ ​our members​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Canadian​ ​business​ ​environment.​ ​The​ ​Chamber’s​ ​vision​ ​is '​Community Prosperity​ Through Business'.

Contact:​ ​​Krista​ ​Ross,​ ​CEO,​ ​Fredericton​ ​Chamber​ ​of​ ​Commerce​ ​–​ ​(506)​ ​458-8006