Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Meet the new Small Business Minister

The previous post refers to our new Small Business Minister, Bardish Chagger, but you might not know anything about her yet. She's a ridiculously young 35-year-old rookie MP who combines youthful spunk with seriousness of purpose.

She's very different from the more staid individuals who have occupied this post in past governments. Yes, I have high hopes for her.

Here's are a few things you should know about Minister Chagger:

Chagger comes from a working-class Sikh family that immigrated from Punjab, India. Her grandparents and father worked in a Waterloo carpet factory when they came here in the 1970s... 
Chagger's family lived through ugly racism at first, including rocks thrown at their house and graffiti spray-painted on its walls. But they always kept their eyes on that better life for which they came to Canada.
See more at:

She represents Waterloo, that vital city of can-do technology and entrepreneurship. Her official bio reports:

Prior to becoming MP for Waterloo, Bardish Chagger worked at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, an organization that assists new Canadians as they transition to full participation in our community’s life. As the Special Projects Coordinator, Bardish planned and coordinated the annual Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival in Kitchener’s Victoria Park, bringing together community, cultural and business groups in Waterloo Region. She also worked with other agencies to offer an annual Global Skills Conference to introduce foreign-trained professionals to related professions and to find meaningful employment.

She loves Twitter:

Her mandate includes: 
  • Support the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in launching an Innovation Agenda to expand support for incubators and accelerators, as well as the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support. In addition, work with him as he clarifies innovation and business development programs, including the Industrial Research Assistance Program, and new programs, to ensure we are world leaders in clean and sustainable technologies and to ensure that our programs are supportive of small businesses that are seeking to become more productive, more innovative and more export-oriented.
  • Work with the Minister of International Trade to prepare and execute a new Canadian international trade strategy to ensure that programs and approaches are supportive of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  Specifically, work to make it easier for SMEs to take advantage of government financing and export-oriented supports.
  • Work with the Minister of Finance as the small business tax rate reduction is implemented to ensure that it is used to support small businesses, rather than used to reduce personal income tax obligations for high-income earners.
  • Engage provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to create as much alignment as possible with complementary programs delivered by other governments to support SMEs.
  • Work with your provincial, territorial, and municipal counterparts to promote Canadian tourism and strengthen the Canadian brand abroad for tourists.
  • Support your Ministerial colleagues as they seek ways to reduce the administrative burden on small business.

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