By: Faye Lyons, Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy
Heading into a new year is a good time to plan for new opportunities. For the Chamber this means that we will continue to work with all levels of government to improve the climate and conditions for business. We know that a predictable and stable policy environment underpins business confidence and prosperity.
One of the biggest hurdles for many Oakville businesses is rebuilding their workforce. According to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Report, Q3 2022, 39% of respondents identified recruiting skilled employees as an obstacle to business over the next three months, 37% listed a shortage of labour force, and 31% identified retaining skilled employees.
As well, interprovincial barriers to trade and labour mobility continue to limit our competitiveness and deter further investment. In fact, according to a recent study by Deloitte, removing interprovincial trade barriers would increase Ontario’s GDP by $23 billion and annual provincial tax revenues by $5 billion. 
So, the Oakville Chamber will continue its advocacy efforts working with our local MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos in her role as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Job Creation on both improving conditions for small business as well as removing interprovincial trade barriers.
Oakville Chamber members also cite that investing in infrastructure, from roads to housing need to be a priority. It is imperative that investment decisions today carefully consider where we will be tomorrow.
The Region’s population is forecast to grow from nearly 600,000 today to 1,000,000 by 2041. Similarly, Halton’s strong economic growth—particularly in trade-oriented and high skilled service industries—is anticipated to continue: the Region is forecast to grow from about 264,000 jobs today to 470,000 jobs by 2041.
Infrastructure lays the foundation for building and provides significant opportunities for economic growth, competitiveness, and improved quality of life.
The ongoing collaboration of all three levels of government is needed to ensure critical infrastructure keeps up with the long-term demands of our growing community. To that end, we will continue to press government for the necessary funding for local projects that include Kerr Street Underpass, MidTown and the Royal Windsor Interchange.
Even with economic headwinds creating challenges, renewing and expanding critical infrastructure is a great investment in the long-term prosperity of our community.
Finally, we at the Chamber look forward to continuing working to advance the policy issues that are most meaningful to our members in a positive and substantive way for 2023. We will continue to work with all levels of government on issues that support our private sector in growing our economy and investing in our community.
 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ca/Documents/finance/ca-en-the-case-for-liberalizing-interprovincial-trade-in-canada-aoda.pdf  INTEGRATED GROWTH MANAGEMENT STRATEGY