Leaders of the Canadian equipment industry convened at the nation’s capital on Oct. 30 for Associated Equipment Distributors’ (AED) inaugural Ottawa Briefing.
The meeting featured remarks by Chris Alexander, Canada’s citizenship and immigration minister, panels on infrastructure, energy, tax and workforce policy, a discussion about provincial road construction programs and a preview of the 2015 Canadian federal elections.
“One of AED’s most important responsibilities is to make sure distributors understand how they’re affected by government policy and to make lawmakers understand how their decisions affect our industry,” said Brian McGuire, AED’s president and CEO. “You won’t find a better example of that work than what’s happening right here, right now in Ottawa. We’re planting seeds on Parliament Hill that will bear fruit across the country for years to come.”
The conference reflects the continuing evolution of AED’s Canadian public policy program and a commitment by the association to raise the industry’s visibility in Canada. The association is ramping up its activities in Ottawa at a critical time, as lawmakers are laying the groundwork for the new federal budget and devising party election platforms.
AED’s Canadian priorities include the continued implementation of the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan, which promises to generate more than $3.4 billion in equipment market activity nationwide; policies to build Canada’s skilled technical workforce; tax reform to create a more favorable capital investment climate; and regulatory policy to ensure the continued strength of Canada’s energy and mining sectors. The association also is leading efforts in Washington, D.C., to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and build the new Detroit-Windsor bridge, issues that impact distributors on both sides of the border.
Considering both the opportunities and tests facing Canadian industry, it is essential for equipment distributors to be engaged in Ottawa, advised Christian A. Klein, AED’s vice president of government affairs.
“We’re working hard to get our members a seat at the table in Ottawa, to ensure their voices are heard and that their issues are at the forefront,” Klein said. “We’re thrilled that so many dealers rose to the challenge, joined us in Ottawa, and helped make this meeting such a success.”