Canadian Council of Chief Executives

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The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), founded in 1976 and formerly known as the Business Council on National Issues, is a lobby group based in Ottawa Canada that represents business interests in Canada and around the world. By their own account they have “played a private sector leadership role in shaping fiscal, taxation, trade, competition, energy, environmental, education and corporate governance policies.”[1]

The council states, “As Canada entered the 21st century, it became clear that ‘national issues’ increasingly had global dimensions. Addressing the key challenges facing the country therefore required a much greater degree of global engagement on the part of Canadian chief executives.”[2] To this end, the council are vehement supporters of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and, along with the North Amercian Competitiveness Council (NACC), co-govern the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The organisation claims that they are a “not-for-profit”, “non-partisan” organisation composed of CEOs and entrepreneurs, who collectively are responsible for administering C$3.5 trillion in assets and who have annual revenues in excess of C$800 billion. [3]

In 2003 the CCCE raised $2 million to launch the North American Peace and Prosperity Initiative, now called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). Under the direction of Rick George, president and CEO of Suncor Energy, the CCCE made 15 recommendations concerning North American integration.[4] Maude Barlow notes of the initiative, “This process culminated in a 2004 report calling on the Canadian government to seek a new relationship with the United States based on the twin notions of security and prosperity, in order to keep the border open to Canadian exports.” Barlow points out that the initiative recommended, “harmonized policies, including security and defense, immigration and customs, trade and commerce and a North American resource pact”[5] In March of 2005 the Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, along with Mexican President Vicente Fox and US President George W. Bush signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement. Though water is not specifically mentioned under the ‘resource pact’ it is not exempted.

Critics are concerned that the ‘negotiation of a comprehensive resource security pact’ would further open up markets in the areas of agricultural and forest products as well as energy, metals and minerals, including water. These resources would be considered continental resources under the SPP agreement and, consequently, countries’ ability to make decisions in their own national interests would be circumscribed as a result.

The Chief Executive and President of the CCCE is Thomas d’Aquino. Mr. d’Aquino is chief of policy and strategy. The Council’s Chairperson is Gordon M. Nixon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Bank of Canada.

Executive Committee Members

The Board of Directors


  1. Canadian Council of Chief Executives, About CCCE, accessed 4 December 2008.
  2. Canadian Council of Chief Executives, History and Background, accessed 5 December 2008.
  3. Canadian Council of Chief Executives, About CCCE, accessed 4 December 2008.
  4. Andrew Nikiforuk, On the Table: Water, Energy and North American Integration, accessed 23 June 2009.p.3.
  5. Maude Barlow (2007) 'Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water', Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. p.194.