From Oct. 26 through Oct. 29, the Yukon Chamber of Commerce is once again working with our sister chambers in Edmonton and the Northwest Territories to host a delegation of business leaders for discussions about business in Canada’s north.
Our theme this year is “Shaping the Future,” and we are asking for input on what is required, truly, to properly shape proper economic growth in the North.
We have priced the conference to be highly accessible for our business audience in hopes that many will join us for this conversation. I highly encourage you to join us, just visit www.opportunitiesnorth.com for more details and for sign up.
So where are we at, and what is needed to properly shape our future? Businesses have been clear with the chambers that there are many things needed for an effective, sustainable and competitive business environment to continue to develop in the north. Prerequisites include:
* Redundant fibre and competitive telecommunications and internet infrastructure, which is the backbone of today’s business environments.
* Consistent and efficient energy supply that is competitively priced, with a view to as much self-sufficiency as possible.
* A regulatory environment that efficient, invites businesses in, and is sensitive to the social, environmental and economic benefits for northern communities.
* Accessibility to southern markets in every sense – from proper air access to communities to a long-term view of the port facilities required to ship out products from Yukon mines.
* Development of a business environment that encourages risk-takers, that celebrates entrepreneurs and that recognizes the accomplishments of our businesses and business leaders.
There are many more large topics that need to be fully understood by the business communities so that its chamber representatives can give a proper voice to what we believe is necessary.
Northern businesses have struggled with getting its chambers to represent it with a singular strong voice that actually makes an effective contribution to policy development, but the expression of such views is critical if the environment is going to be properly shaped.
We believe that there are many groups that need to articulately present their views to government and the community as a whole as policies are shaped that impact our long term future. Environmental groups. Industry groups. First Nation Governments. Those who advocate for the proper social support programs. But amongst these groups business must have a strong and well considered voice that allows us to participate in shaping the way forward. Too often that has not been the case.
The Yukon chamber believes that the we can organize the business voice into a stronger, more well informed component of the overall dialogue. And we believe that our voice is important and must be heard alongside the other important voices that will shape our future. It is for this reason that we invite you to Opportunities North to join us in this dialogue and to help us shape the future of Canada’s north.
Chair, Yukon Chamber of Commerce