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Business Council of Canada

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Business Council of Canada
TypeAdvocacy group
Legal statusActive
PurposeEconomic and social advocacy and research[2]
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
President and CEO
John Manley[3]

The Business Council of Canada (formerly Canadian Council of Chief Executives, CCCE) is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization comprising chief executive officers of a number of major Canadian corporations.[2]

The organization was founded in 1976[1] as the Business Council on National Issues, but renamed itself in 2001. The council actively comments on public policy in Canada.

Member CEOs lead companies that collectively administer $4.5 trillion Canadian dollars in assets, and more than $850 billion CAD in annual revenues and employ more than 1.4 million men and women. The Chief Executive and President of the organization is The Honourable John P. Manley, P.C., O.C.. Its members "are responsible for most of Canada’s private-sector exports, investment and training."[4]

The Council's member CEOs and entrepreneurs come from all sectors of the Canadian economy. Governance and the overall direction of the organization is provided by the Board of Directors, a 24-member body which meets three times annually. The process of developing policy, however, involves all members of the Council.

The full membership meets twice each year to discuss priority issues and review progress on the Council's work programme. Members also engage directly in policy work throughout the year in three major areas: Canada, North America and the world. Within Canada, the Council's work on national issues addresses primarily fiscal and monetary policy, taxation, regulatory, environmental, competitiveness and corporate governance.

The Council's North American agenda focuses primarily on issues related to Canada - United States economic interdependence, integration and security as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Globally, the Council's work addresses primarily international finance, trade, investment and development policy as well as multilateral, regional and bilateral relationships beyond North America.

In addition, the Council creates special initiatives and temporary task forces to deal with specific priority issues. Members also participate in a variety of special events, roundtables and other initiatives relevant to the Council's mandate.

Day-to-day leadership of the Council is provided by the Chief Executive and President working in concert with the Council's Chairman and with the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The current Chairman is Linda Hasenfratz, Chief Executive Officer of Linamar Corporation.


The Business Council on National Issues (BCNI) was founded in 1976 and renamed as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) in 2002. The Council changed its name to the Business Council of Canada in 2016.[5]

Stagflation characterized the 1970s as Canada felt the full impact of the 1973 oil crisis. During the Great Inflation, in 1975, following the lead of President Nixon, at a time when inflation had reached double-digit numbers, and was the worst it had been in twenty year, in an attempt to "secure restraint against inflation," Prime Minister Trudeau imposed a compulsory scheme of wage and price controls. This active, more interventionist role on the part of the federal government was one of the frustrations that compelled the retiring CEO of Imperial Oil, W.O. Twaits to create the Business Council on National Issues, bringing together a group "of far-sighted corporate" male leaders to "strengthen the voice of business on issues of national importance and put forward constructive courses of action for the country."[5]

The founding members of the Business Council on National Issues commissioned research into models of business organizations in similar industrialized nations. They modeled themselves somewhat on the Business Roundtable, which formed in 1974 in the United States bringing together 196 top corporate leaders that had become a powerful lobby group.[5]

Given Canada's history of strong union and labor movements, especially from the 1960s - 1970s,[6] the Business Council on National Issues chose to cooperate with labor unlike the more anti-labor stance taken by the Business Council.[5]

In its first decade the Business Council was successful in "designing a new Competition Act and an Energy Accord with the western provinces", recommending "wage restraint, increased military expenditures, and trade enhancement with the United States."[5]

List of members[edit]

A list of members is posted on the Council's website and is updated frequently, as new members join and others step down.


The Business Council sponsored an invitation-only conference called "Canada in the Pacific Century" in Ottawa, on September 24–25, 2012 bringing together more than "200 top CEOs, senior government officials, educators and other leaders from across Canadian society" with the goal of raising awareness "of Asia’s growing economic clout and the implications for Canada in the 21st century." This was followed by regional symposiums in Calgary (December 2012) and Toronto (March 2013).


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Business Council of Canada". Business Council of Canada. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About the Council". Business Council of Canada. Archived from the original on 2016-06-04. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  3. "President and CEO". Business Council of Canada. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  4. "Canada must be nimble and smart in responding to Asia's rise, John Manley says". Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). 6 September 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Langille, David (1987). "The Business Council on National Issues and the Canadian State". Studies in Political Economy. 24. ISSN 1918-7033.
  6. Leo Panitch; Donald Swartz (1985). From Consent to Coercion. Toronto. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]

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