Calgary, November 1, 2022 – The Calgary Chamber of Commerce is pleased to release the first of its four-part series, Unlocking our Talent Potential: Refining our Immigration Policies to Grow our Talent Pool, providing insights and recommendations from local businesses, thought leaders, and young Calgarians on key opportunities to address labour issues faced by businesses, with a particular focus on immigration.
"Immigration is critical to alleviating the labour challenges faced by Calgary businesses, for the short and long-term," said Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce. "Although Calgary's business community is known for its resilience and ability to adapt, the ongoing support for immigration from both federal and provincial governments is critical for our sustained economic growth. With immigration attributable to almost 100 per cent of our population growth, and an important component of our current and future labour force, this must continue to be a focus at all levels of government."
Businesses across all sectors are constrained by a lack of available talent, skills gaps, and greater competition for experienced workers. Examining the most effective ways to grow Canada’s labour force, meet demand, and improve businesses’ economic outlook, immigration is a critical opportunity.
There are several barriers to businesses when it comes to leveraging our immigration systems, including complex rules, application processing delays, and high costs associated with navigating systems. Compounding these issues are burdensome and restrictive immigration policies for prospective newcomers.
While we recognize the current efforts by federal and provincial governments, the Calgary Chamber believes there are further opportunities to advance and leverage our immigration systems.
Reform eligibility requirements within federal and provincial immigration programs to expand eligibility for prospective economic immigrants
Our ability to attract talent through immigration depends on the effectiveness of our immigration programs. Ensuring these programs’ policies and requirements are flexible enough to enable the immigration that Canadian businesses require is essential to remedying labour shortages.
Empower businesses to leverage immigration in talent recruitment
Empowering businesses to leverage immigration means equipping them with the information and resources needed to successfully navigate complex programs and policies.
Reduce employment barriers and create meaningful employment opportunities for newcomers
Alberta’s economic growth is predicated on providing newcomers with meaningful economic opportunities once they arrive. With the right support, Alberta can become Canada’s destination of choice for newcomers seeking job opportunities.
Working collaboratively to address the systemic issues in our immigration system will help ensure businesses have access to the talent they require to grow and succeed over the long term. We need to be forward-looking as we address these issues, proposing solutions that create an immigration system that benefits everyone today, and tomorrow.
Unlocking our Talent Potential is a four-part series that provides policy recommendations and tangible solutions to some of the most pressing issues concerning the city’s talent crisis. Local businesses, thought leaders, and young Calgarians came together to share their insights on day-to-day labour challenges. These recommendations provide a framework for addressing the talent crisis today to ensure a resilient future.
Refine our immigration policies to grow our talent pool
Build an inclusive and values-driven workforce
Strengthen Calgary’s reputation and brand
Invest in the infrastructure and programming talent needs
About the Calgary Chamber of Commerce
The Calgary Chamber exists to help businesses thrive. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification, and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization, we build on our 131-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and across the city.