stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
It's time for Trudeau to show Corporate Canada how far Ottawa will go on competitiveness
space
space
By DAVID PARKINSON
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Thursday, October 18, 2018 – Page B1

The hot-off-the-presses North American trade deal could be a turning point in the Trudeau government's relationship with Canada's business community. Clearly, the government senses the opportunity. But while the cabinet is trying to use trade peace to spread a positive economic message, there's still work to be done to win back the hearts and minds of business.

The government's three top ministers - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Finance Minister Bill Morneau - took to the heart of corporate Canada this week, speaking at the Fortune Global Forum in downtown Toronto, just steps from Bay Street. Mr.

Trudeau went first on Monday and sandwiched his appearance at the economic conference between an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail and a series of one-on-one meetings with chief executives.

On Wednesday, it was Mr. Morneau's turn. In a discussion at the same conference, he laid out the three legs in a tripod of corporate "anxiety" that have been weighing down confidence and holding back business investment. One, obviously, has been trade uncertainty. Another is energy-infrastructure problems - not enough pipelines.

The third is Canada's slipping competitive position, as the government has taken its time coming up with a policy response to this year's sweeping U.S.

corporate-tax cuts. And that's the one that holds the most peril for Mr. Trudeau as he tries to change the narrative on his government's relationship with business.

The government certainly has a story to tell on trade.

It has always said it was in the corner of Canadian business owners and exporters; with the all-important access to the U.S. market now secured (more or less intact), it now has some serious ammunition to back up that message.

On energy infrastructure, the government can also claim it has taken major steps. It bought the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project to take over the push to get the West Coast oil pipeline built and Mr. Trudeau was more than happy to take some of the spotlight in the LNG Canada announcement, which landed at pretty much the same time as the trade deal. (To his interview with The Globe, Mr. Trudeau brought along Andy Calitz, the head of LNG Canada, the international partnership that will make a $40-billion investment in a massive liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia.)

Yet, the government still has to make up for lost time. Through policy moves such as the carbontax plan, the messy small-business tax changes in 2017, the regulatory morass that forced the Trans Mountain rescue and 14 months of walking the NAFTAnegotiations tightrope, the business community has often been deeply skeptical.

What's ahead now is a set of changes to address the third leg in that business-anxiety tripod - competitiveness - and the timing couldn't be better to complete the trifecta.

Mr. Morneau has been working for months on a policy package to address the U.S. tax cuts and the competitiveness disadvantages that they imply for Canada. He spent the summer consulting with business leaders, with an eye on introducing something in the fall. Nailing down the tentative United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has nicely cleared the track for Mr. Morneau to unveil the strategy - almost certainly as part of his fall economic and fiscal update, which will probably be released within the next month.

Expectations in the business sector are probably best described as muted. Mr. Morneau has consistently resisted calls from many quarters - including the Senate banking committee, just this week - to cut the corporate tax rate. On Wednesday, he was steering the conversation toward incentives aimed at levelling the tax-policy playing field with the United States for attracting new investment. He hinted at rule changes that would allow businesses to accelerate deductions on capital investments, saving them taxes.

The government's new push to win over business leaders may hang in the balance, perhaps even more so than the trade and energy questions, because this is the one area of the three that is pretty much entirely in the government's court. It will show Corporate Canada how far the government is willing to go to reduce their costs, provide them incentives and make their lives easier.

It will tell the Canadian and global investment communities just how serious Canada is about laying the groundwork to compete with the United States for new investment.

If the government stumbles with a clumsy and underwhelming plan, the momentum it has enjoyed the past couple of weeks may fade remarkably quickly.


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Rick_Salutin Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page