Driving Oakville Forward

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce encourages Town’s Infrastructure Readiness for connected and autonomous vehicle technology

As our communities become more “connected” through the collection of data, artificial intelligence and technology, it is vital that we are prepared for the business climate of the future.  To that end, the Chamber is encouraging the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning.  Moreover, it is crucial that this Strategy is aligned with the Town’s Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the needs of the business community are top priority.

Transportation infrastructure and congestion remains a top concern for the Oakville community. Congestion on Oakville roads is a barrier to business, and members cite that Oakville does not have the road infrastructure for the development it needs. Additionally, Oakville’s economic growth is an important factor in the success of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA).

According to the Provincial Ministry of Finance, the Greater Toronto Areas (GTA) population is projected to increase from 6.9 million in 2017 to 9.7 million in 2041. Halton is projected to be the fastest-growing census division in Ontario over the projected period, with growth of 56.2 per cent to 2041. [1] 

Similarly, our economy is growing.  Currently, according to the Town’s Draft Economic Development Strategy our local economy supports approximately 116,300 jobs; and between 2013 and 2018, the local economy grew by 9,763 jobs.  However, 64% of residents are commuting to jobs outside of Oakville with most commuting to jobs in Toronto, Mississauga, and Burlington. Oakville is a net importer of labour, with companies attracting a total of 65 per cent of workers from outside of Oakville. This indicates an opportunity to attract the local resident labour market into Oakville employment opportunities. [2]

Increased employment growth, as well as population growth, is positive for our local economy; however it also underlines the Chamber’s call for building a resilient transportation network that works for all modes of transportation to supply the movement of goods and people. 

That’s why the Chamber is calling on the Town to engage with Chamber business and industry leaders.  Oakville is well-positioned in the automated vehicle industry due in large part to the businesses located in Oakville that are leading the way in economic development; such as automotive as well as the information and technology sector, to position itself as an economic development leader around automated and connected vehicle technology.  

Oakville is not alone in needing to explore this space.  Researchers and academics working in the field of connected and autonomous vehicles have strong relationships with their counterparts, paralleled by discussion between provincial and federal governments and information-sharing between municipalities.  It is important that as a community we engage with our local talent as well as reach out to other jurisdictions, including those with similar structures and similar environments.

This underscores the need for the Town to develop a working group of stakeholders.  Working with businesses and a broad set of stakeholders is essential to foster employment and investment growth.  Cross sector collaboration is essential for competitiveness.  This cannot be done in isolation.

Innovation is also key to our communities’ success surrounding the Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning Strategy. The Chamber believes that the strategy needs to incorporate a plan on innovation that includes partnering with the business and tech community, and piloting projects that drive smart city initiatives. 

Finally, the Oakville Chamber strongly encourages the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning that ensures that town policies, programs and activities create an attractive climate for business investment and job creation for economic growth as well as a transportation network that makes the movement of goods and people a priority. 

On behalf of the Chamber members we will look forward to working with the Town on this important initiative and we will be strident in our efforts for results.

[1] Ontario’s Ministry of Finance Population Growth Census Data, June 25, 2018

[2] Town of Oakville, Draft Economic Development Strategy


By Faye Lyons
Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy

Letter to the Town of Oakville: Budget 2020

Dear Mayor Burton and Town Councillors:

On behalf of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce I am pleased to provide comment on the Town’s Budget for 2020. 

The Chamber is pleased to support many initiatives brought forward by the Town’s Economic Development department in an endeavor to strengthen our local economy.  According to the Town’s 2018 Economic Update, initiatives such as the new Brownfields Community Improvement Plan and the Economic Development Strategy have facilitated growth for the Town.  In fact, in 2018 new operations brought more than 1,600 new jobs while existing companies welcomed more than 560,000 square feet of new commercial and industrial development.[1]

An additional 200,000 people, in the next twenty years, coupled with new investment and supporting the growth of the existing business community, underlines the need for Oakville to remain competitive against other jurisdictions when it comes to property taxes, development charges, and industrial land sale values.

Oakville’s non-residential tax base represents 13.02 per cent of the total assessment base and contributes 18.24 per cent of all town taxes levied. In 2018, this amounted to $34.6 million in tax revenue collected.[2]  However, the financial contribution from the business community is further exceeded by the creation of jobs, the spending of funds locally as well as the contribution of companies giving back to the community.

This underscores the importance of the Town remaining innovative and progressive in its effort to remain Canada’s best place to live.  As our communities become more “connected” through the collection of data, artificial intelligence and technology, it is vital that we are prepared for

the business climate of the future.  To that end, the Chamber is encouraging the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning.  Moreover, it is crucial that this Strategy is aligned with the Town’s Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the needs of the business community are prioritized.

Furthermore, as the Town continues to grow and intensify, Council needs to prioritize infrastructure investment for the movement of people and goods and services.  Projects such as the Wyecroft Road Bridge and the Grade Separations of Burloak and Kerr will assist in alleviating congestion and improving safety.  However, the Chamber also encourages Council to make the improvements to MidTown a priority by accelerating the planning and design for the Royal Windsor Interchange as well as working with the Ministry of Transportation on this crucial transportation network.

We must support all businesses in Oakville including those located in our downtown.  As Council is aware, businesses have endured construction and decreased business on Lakeshore Road since April as a result of the downtown streetscape renewal project.  The Chamber strongly urges Council to resolve the impediments of this project.  We call on the Town to evaluate the challenges of this downtown project to ensure that future streetscape projects don’t have similar delays and impacts on business. 

Additionally, the Chamber supported the Downtown Mitigation Strategy and encourages Council to continue to support our downtown core by extending the current parking incentives to January 2021. 

On behalf of the business community, the Oakville Chamber encourages Town Council to support budget initiatives that strengthen the local economy.


Yours Truly,

Drew Redden
President & CEO 
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
——————————————————

[1]Oakville 2018 Economic Update

[2] Oakville 2018 Economic Update


Read as a PDF.



Discover South Africa with the Oakville Chamber

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is heading to South Africa with Indus Travel! 

Tour days: April 20, 2020 to May 2, 2020

Tour summaryBegin your tour with one of the most iconic sights on the continent known as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls. Choose an accommodation to suit your style and enjoy a sunset cruise on the beautiful Zambezi River before venturing out to see one of the most spectacular sights in the natural world; the thundering Victoria Falls. 

The South Africa tour gives travellers insight into the history and culture of South Africa. Guests can explore the vibrant city of Johannesburg at their leisure and enjoy a guided tour to the Soweto Township, a cultural melting-pot with a wealth of heritage sites that will fascinate any visitor. Marvel at the awe-inspiring wildlife of Kruger National Park before continuing on to historical, glorious Stellenbosch with its Cape Dutch architecture; it is the warm and wonderful heart of the Cape Wine lands. 

Visit Cape Town, a modern city with a fascinating history that is regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world, enjoy time to stroll along the waterfront, to visit Table Mountain or simply relax and do some last-minute shopping.

Tour Price:
Oakville Chamber Member $5,199 CAD per person
Non-Member $5,349 CAD per person


Airline:
Emirates

Learn more.



Statement on the 2019 Federal Election

Congratulations to Anita Anand and Pam Damoff on being elected in the ridings of Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington.

The Oakville Chamber appreciated the level of engagement from all candidates as we had important conversations about the future of the economy and the priorities of business here in Oakville. 

We look forward to continuing those important conversations with Anita Anand and Pam Damoff as we work together to support our local economy and strengthen Oakville’s business competitiveness.

The Oakville Chamber also extends its congratulations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada on forming a minority government.  

– Drew Redden, President & CEO, Oakville Chamber of Commerce



2019 Federal Candidates Debate

On Tuesday, October 1 the Oakville Chamber of Commerce partnered with Sheridan College and YourTV to host 2019 Federal Candidates Debate for the Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington electoral districts.

Questions were drawn from the Oakville Chamber membership, the Canadian Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity Platform, and the Oakville Chamber’s Roadmap for Business Success

Both debates are being broadcasted on YourTV until Election Day (Monday, October 21st). View the schedule.

You can also watch the debates on their website.

For voter information, please visit Elections Canada.

Thank you to our Partners



The Oakville Chamber of Commerce experienced another successful year. This success would not be possible without the ongoing support of our members. Thank you to our partners who supported us generously throughout the 2018/2019 year!


Nominations Open for the 25th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE), hosted by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oakville West, is now accepting nominations for the awards, now in its 25th year.

The OABE is dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses.

“The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence has been celebrating the contributions businesses make to our community for 25 years” stated Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “Take a moment to nominate a business that stands out as a leader, and ultimately makes Oakville a better place to work, live and play.”

The 25th Annual OABE award categories open for nomination are:

  • RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of more than 20 employees and/or primarily serves the provincial, national and international markets and/or generates approximately $10 million or more in revenue annually.

  • Bell Mid-size Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 5-20 employees and/or primarily serves the regional/provincial markets and/or generates between $2 million-$10 million in revenue annually. 

  • Henderson Partners LLP Small Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 1-5 full time equivalent employees and/or primarily serves Oakville and district and/or generates up to approximately $2 million in revenue annually.

  • Professional Services Provider of the Year: This award recognizes a person or employee team with a professional designation and whose practice is regulated by a provincial regulatory body within Canada. Nominees will be considered from the following professional categories (but not limited to): Legal, Accounting, Engineering, Medical or Dental, Financial, Human Resources.

  • The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award: This award recognizes a business that primarily earns revenue through providing products and services. Nominees will be considered from the following industries but not limited to: retail, food service, health & wellness and education.

  • KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year:This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary entrepreneurship, energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits.

  • Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award): This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits. Nominees must be under the age of 40 (as of December 31, 2019).

Nominations will be accepted until 4pm EST on Thursday, October 31st.

All nominations submitted will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges rating them against criteria set for each category.The Judges are individuals from the professional community who bring a wealth of professional expertise and unique business experiences, having made significant contributions to their own professions.

The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence culminates in a gala dinner and award ceremony in April 2020. The proceeds from the evening, including the considerable support from our Partners, provide funds for the Rotary Club’s youth and academic programs.

 “Since its inception in 1995, the OABE has raised almost $1,000,000 for these programs which include the Oakville Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Dreams Take Flight, and the Notting Hill Youth Centre in Glen Abbey” stated Khal Zaid-Kaylani, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West.

To be eligible for nomination, organizations must be physically located in the Town of Oakville and cannot have won in any judged category in the last five years. A complete list of category criteria and eligibility rules can be found here.

Nominate online.
Alternatively, forms are available at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  For assistance, please call Karen Pomfret at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.  



Addressing Regional Imbalances Critical to Ontario’s Future

Industry report outlines strategies to unlock the economic potential of communities across the province

Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber Network, released a new report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies. The report outlines how government of all levels can work with industry to unleash the potential of Ontario’s regional economies and reinforce the competitiveness of the province as a whole.

“We are only as strong as our weakest link and our ability to prosper depends on the strength of our different regions. Economic and population growth rates in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Ottawa have far surpassed those in other areas of the province,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Our communities – and the province as a whole – risk falling behind if we do not leverage the rich and diverse competitive advantages of our local economies.”

The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies examines the opportunities and challenges faced by different communities across the province and offers a framework for thinking about the present and future of Ontario’s regional economies.

“We urge policymakers to take a modern and comprehensive approach to economic development by leveraging the existing competitiveness advantages of Ontario’s regions, and implement deliberate strategies to support long-term growth in communities across the province,” added Rossi.

The Ontario Chamber Network’s report makes 17 recommendations to strengthen the well-being of Ontario’s regions. Key takeaways include:

  • The most cost-effective way to drive economic development is to cultivate talent, trade, and infrastructure. Governments should make it a priority to upgrade transportation and energy networks, modernize their regulations and business supports, offer dynamic education and training opportunities, and encourage labour mobility.

  • Building regional capacity for innovation is fundamental to productivity and growth. This means improving commercialization and technology adoption, strengthening regional innovation centres, expanding broadband internet access, and facilitating cluster development.

  • Modern governance of economic development should empower a wide range of stakeholders including businesses, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations outside government. Regional collaboration, economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and the use of data are all critical to mobilizing local assets.

“In the face of technological transformation and globalization, there is no question that Ontario has what it takes to succeed. We are optimistic that the province can successfully navigate the modern economy if we work together to unlock the economic potential of our communities,” said Drew Redden, President and CEO, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

 

Read the Ontario Chamber Network’s report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies.

Read the Ontario Chamber Network’s full list of recommendations.

 


Oakville Chamber to host Steve Paikin at the 65th Annual Chair’s Dinner

Canadian journalist, author and producer Steve Paikin will be the keynote speaker at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s 65th Annual Chair’s Dinner. The Chair’s Dinner will take place on Wednesday, September 25th at the Oakville Conference Centre.

Steve Paikin has held reporting jobs in private radio and print media and is best known as the face of TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin. Since joining TVO in 1992, he has produced several feature documentaries and has sat in the anchor chair for more than two decades.

The Chamber is pleased to welcome Steve Paikin as the keynote speaker at the 65th Annual Chair’s Dinner” said Drew Redden, President & CEO of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “Paikin is a leading media figure on the Canadian political landscape – an author of four books on Canadian politics and has moderated six federal and provincial Election Leaders’ Debates. It is fitting that we are hosting him prior to the 2019 Federal Election. We look forward to hearing Steve Paikin’s insights on the Election and hearing stories from his notable journalism career.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce will also introduce their 2019/2020 Chair of the Board and Board of Directors to the community at this formal event which includes a networking reception, dinner and raffle.


Event Details:

Date:               Wednesday, September 25

Time:              5pm Networking Reception; 6pm Dinner Gala

Location:        Oakville Conference Centre

                        2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville

You can register for the 65th Annual Chairs Dinner online. Tickets are $135 for Oakville Chamber members and $175 for non-members. Tables of eight are available at a discounted rate.



Unleashing the economic potential of Ontario’s beverage alcohol sector

Ontario Chamber Network Recommends a Comprehensive Approach to Alcohol Reform in Ontario

Today, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a new report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario. This report outlines how the province could modernize the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol and responsibly promote growth across all four categories – wine, beer, spirits, and cider. 

“Ontarians want to see a more modern, convenient beverage alcohol retail system and we are closer than ever to substantive reforms to how alcohol is distributed, bought, and sold in Ontario,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The report finds that, despite public support for modernization, reform is a more complex undertaking than it appears at first glance, due to the complexity of legislation and regulation involved. As the government proceeds with reforms to beverage alcohol sales, the Oakville Chamber and Ontario Chamber Network the need for a comprehensive approach to avoid perpetuating inequities in the taxation and regulation of wine, beer, cider, and spirits that limit growth.

“By removing barriers and levelling the playing field,” Rossi added, “The Province can unleash the potential of the beverage alcohol sector, support regional economic development, meet the needs of today’s consumer, and generate greater tax revenue to fund the public services on which Ontarians rely.”

Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario provides the Government of Ontario with a number of timely recommendations including:

  • Modernizing the sale of beverage alcohol by allowing beverage alcohol producers to sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces and platforms using third parties to process payments.
  • Alleviating tax burdens by reducing taxes on Ontario wines, aligning taxation levels for craft cider with those of craft beer, and applying a graduated tax to the current spirits basic tax.
  • Cutting red tape by reducing the reporting Ontario wineries and cideries have to complete from a monthly to quarterly basis, allowing Ontario spirits and craft beer producers with a retail store to sell their products at farmers’ markets, and providing airports with an exemption to allow for the sale of alcohol 24-hours-a-day.
  • Removing antiquated inter-provincial trade barriers by allowing consumers to purchase alcohol online from other provinces/territories and producers to deliver these products to the consumer’s home.

“The power of the alcohol sector to be a force for economic growth extends beyond just the expected industries. The production, distribution, and sale of alcohol has a ripple effect that benefits agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and retail throughout the province” stated Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  

 

Read the Ontario Chamber Network report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario here.




Vote Prosperity: Federal Election Platform

Vote Prosperity

“Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched Vote Prosperity, the Canadian Chamber Network’s election platform. Vote Prosperity calls on all of the federal parties to support Canada’s job creators by including these seven priorities in their election platforms:

  1. A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern.
  2. A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business.
  3. Access to new markets around the world and the breaking down of trade barriers at home.
  4. Resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses grow and succeed at home and abroad.
  5. Technology that makes Canada the most connected country in the world.
  6. A workforce with the skills, education and training required to prosper.
  7. A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians.

The Oakville Chamber will advocate on behalf of our members on these important priorities. We look forward to working with all of the candidates in the upcoming Federal Election.”

Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce


Visit www.voteprosperityCA.ca to learn more about this initiative.



Provincial Budget 2019

“The Oakville Chamber has been focusing our advocacy efforts on four key priorities: Transportation and Infrastructure, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent, and Innovation. The Chamber is encouraged to see these member priorities reflected in the Provincial Budget.

The Chamber also welcomes the government’s focus on building a more competitive tax environment. The Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive will provide the needed tax relief for business while promoting investment and job growth. The Oakville Chamber, along with the Ontario Chamber Network, will continue to encourage the government to help small businesses scale-up by creating a variable small business tax rate.

The Oakville Chamber looks forward to seeing more details on the government’s planned investments of $14.7 billion in infrastructure over the next ten years, and will continue to press the government to address the province’s infrastructure deficit.”

-Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce


Read the Ontario Chamber of Commerce analysis.

Read the Provincial Budget 2019.



24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Oakville West presented the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence on March 27th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses and the invaluable contribution they make to Oakville’s economic development, unique character and outstanding quality of life.

Being recognized by one’s peers, either by nomination or award recipient, is a thank you for the hard work and risk the finalists have incurred. As ambassadors for business in Oakville, finalists and award recipients provide guidance and inspiration to new and seasoned businesses – as well as young, aspiring entrepreneurs. They help foster the spirit of adventure and enterprise, risk and reward for young people and so it is fitting that the proceeds from the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence help support the Rotary Club of Oakville West’s youth programs, including the Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.


Congratulations to the Award Recipients!

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year
Encore Market Engagement
Ken Pickthall and Brian Vanstone (Encore Market Engagement) with Award Presenter Peter Choma (RBC Royal Bank)

Bell Mid-size Business of the Year
BestLifeRewarded Innovations Inc.
Cynthia Hastings-James and Susanne Cookson (BestLifeRewarded Innovations Inc.) with Award Presenter Lena Demarco (Bell)

Henderson Partners LLP Small Business of the Year 
Sounds Good AVS Solutions
Robert May and Nikki Lord (Sounds Good AVS Solutions) with Award Presenter Christie Henderson (Henderson Partners LLP)

Professional Services Provider of the Year 
MNP LLP (Cornwall Road location)
Matt MacDonald (MNP LLP) with Award presenter Tanya Leedale (O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP)

The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award 
The Oakville Academy For The Arts
Heidi Schofield (The Oakville Academy for the Arts) with Award Presenter Lynn Mercanti

KPMG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year 
Blake Wyatt of Wyatt Development Group
Blake Wyatt with Award Presenter Carlos Alvarez (KPMG)

Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award 
Mauser Packaging Solutions
Wojciech Tymczak, Shubi Bhattacharya, and Karen Anderson (Mauser Packaging Solutions) with Award Presenter Rob Lister (Oakville Hydro)

Genworth Community Builder Award 
Oakville Soccer Club
Dave Harris (Oakville Soccer Club) with Award Presenter Kiki Sauriol-Roode (Genworth)

CN Charity/Not-For-Profit Excellence Award 
The May Court Club of Oakville
Donna Samuels (The May Court of Oakville) with Award Presenter Daniel Salvatore (CN)

Oakville’s Business Icon Award
Geotab Inc.
Award Presenter Michael Leblanc (FCT) with Neil Cawse (Geotab Inc.)


Watch Geotab Inc. CEO Neil Cawse’s acceptance speech filmed by YourTV.

For our full event album, please visit our Flickr page.



Federal Budget 2019

“The Oakville Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate that the Government focus on and address four key priorities identified by our members; Transportation, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent and Innovation.

While the Budget delivers on some of our advocacy priorities that will advance the competitiveness of our members, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and housing affordability, it does fail to provide concrete measures to address the tax and regulatory burden on businesses.

The Oakville Chamber, along with the Canadian Chamber network continue to look for a commitment from the Federal Government for a comprehensive review of the taxation system to make it fair and less cumbersome for businesses as well as a broad-based commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Heading into the 2019 Federal Election, the Oakville Chamber will continue to engage with Federal representatives to advocate on behalf of our members, ensuring the focus remains on increasing overall business competitiveness and fostering innovation here in Oakville and across our Country.”

– Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Read the Canadian Chamber of Commerce analysis.



24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Nominees

The nominees for the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are:

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year Bell Mid-size Business of the Year Henderson Partners LLP Small Business of the Year Professional Services Provider of the Year The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award KPMG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award) Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West thank Platinum Partner RBC Royal Bank for their generous support of the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence. Event Details: Date: Wednesday, March 27th Time: 5:30pm – Registration & Reception; 6:30pm – Dinner & Awards Gala Location: Oakville Conference and Banquet Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Road Tickets: $135 per person. Register now.

Canadian Business Associations United To Press For Action On Resources

National Letter for National Day of Action and Senate Committee Testimony

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce, representing 1,200 local businesses, is joining other Chambers from across the country to sound the alarm that Canada is at an economic and social tipping point because of our failure to get energy resource infrastructure built.

The cohesion of our country is threatened by the devastating impact of low oil prices, our inability to get energy resources to global markets and a growing sense of alienation among Canadians who live and work in the resources sector.

Our natural resources should be a source of pride for all Canadians. As producers of some of the cleanest, most ethically-produced energy products in the world, we should be doing all we can as a country to get them to global markets, where they can get a fair price, help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to our prosperity as a nation.

Canada’s economic well-being is at risk and the growing sense that Canadians who live in resource-dependent regions are being ignored is creating deep and serious divisions among our citizens. We need to come together as one country and this letter is intended to deliver a clear message to politicians in Ottawa and across Canada: the businesses in your jurisdictions want you to act and act now.

In order to do so, we are asking Canada’s federal and provincial leaders to:

  • Make amendments to Bill C-69 to bring greater clarity, predictability and transparency to the bill, as outlined in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senate submission.
  • Get our energy resources to tidewater, starting by recognizing that the Trans-Mountain Expansion is in the national interest and by expediting its construction in uncontested jurisdictions.
  • Implement the regulatory changes promised in the Fall Economic Update.
  • Declare a broad mutual recognition of each province’s standards, across all sectors.

Canadians in all regions believe that we can and should get our resources responsibly to global markets.

Canada’s business community is prepared to do its part. We need Canada’s politicians do theirs. Now.

Sincerely,

Drew Redden
President & CEO
Oakville Chamber of Commerce



Canada is at an economic and social tipping point because of our inability to get energy resource infrastructure built. The business community presses for action from federal government

Canada’s resource sector remains a vital driver of our economy, helping to create jobs and economic prosperity not just for those who work in the sector, but for millions of Canadians across the country.  These resources must be developed responsibly and sustainably and we must support the development of the infrastructure required to ship them to markets across Canada and around the world.   

The oil and gas industry is Canada’s largest private investor, $40 billion annually.  Canada is currently struggling to attract investment to the resource sector. Rising costs from increased taxation, a burdensome regulatory environment, and the lack of pipeline infrastructure is negatively affecting our ability to compete for the capital needed to create jobs and national prosperity.

In an effort to resolve some of these issues, the government introduced Bill C-69, a piece of government legislation titled “The modernization of the National Energy Board Act (NEBA) and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA).” It seeks to overhaul both the NEBA and CEAA, changing how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada.  The Bill has been passed by the House of Commons and is now in its third reading in Senate.

Although the Canadian Chamber supports the objective of a review and assessment process initiated by the government, the business community has a number of concerns with Bill C69 as it contains flaws that could seriously disadvantage specific sectors. 

As drafted, Bill C69 could lead to greater uncertainty in the assessment and review processes. The new bill requires assessment and decisions based on broad public policy questions that are beyond the scope of individual projects. It introduces longer timelines, and vague criteria that will increase the risk of legal challenges. Additionally, it gives the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada broad discretionary powers, which could further increase uncertainty for major infrastructure projects

Unless these issues are resolved, the legislation will increase regulatory uncertainty for many of Canada’s resource sectors and their related industries.  This uncertainty will deter investment and undermine economic growth and job creation.  Attempting to deal with the diversity of projects covered by the legislation with a one-size-fits-all legislative solution is doomed to fail.  To achieve its intended purpose, Bill C69 must be flexible enough to address the unique circumstances of all of our resource and infrastructure projects from ports, mining and utilities, to oil and gas, among others. 

Subsequently, the Oakville Chamber is joining other Chambers across the country to call on the government to make amendments to Bill C-69 that will institute a regulatory process that allows for certainty, predictability and transparency to the Bill. This requires clear deadlines, keeping larger national policy discussion separate from the technical project reviews, and respecting provincial jurisdictions.  We are calling on the government to get our energy resources to tidewater, starting by recognizing that the Trans-Mountain Expansion is in the national interest and by expediting its construction in uncontested jurisdictions. 

Pipeline delays and cancellations, open-ended and expensive consultation processes, and general project uncertainty have already scared off a great deal of investment capital and have put many projects at risk.

If this bill is passed without significant amendments, it will create enormous uncertainty, more red tape and increased court challenges. Not only for the energy sector but for virtually every major infrastructure project in Canada for years to come, threatening our economic prosperity.

In a global business environment, it is critical that our regulatory systems balance economic growth with environmental protection and that our elected government create the conditions for that sustainable growth.

– Faye Lyons, Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy






Oakville Chamber is proud to support the MNP Future Leaders mentorship program



The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with MNP and other local stakeholders for the MNP Future Leaders mentorship program. We are dedicated to building the communities where we live and work and the local entrepreneurs we serve.

Recognizing the importance of mentorship for growing businesses, this program provides entrepreneurs with the support, advice and tools they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing business environment.

We encourage entrepreneurs to check their eligibility and apply before the March 25, 2019 application deadline.

To learn more about the program, visit www.MNP.ca/futureleaders





RBC Economic Outlook 2019

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce was pleased to present their members and the Oakville business community with the RBC Economic Outlook 2019. The event provided guests with the opportunity to hear from RBC’s Chief Economist Craig Wright, Ipsos’ Canada Vice President Sean Simpson, and Ontario Real Estate Association’s President Tim Hudak. Following the keynote presentations there was a question and answer forum moderated by Tim Cestnick, Columnist at the Globe and Mail and CEO of Our Family Office. 

If you would like to obtain a copy of Craig Wright’s presentation slides please e-mail Kristen at kristen@oakvillechamber.com 

Coverage of the event:




Oakville Chamber receives Reaccreditation

The Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada (CACC), a dedicated team of representatives from all levels of the Chamber Network, has given the Oakville Chamber of Commerce the highest praise the group can bestow. The CACC has re-accredited the Oakville Chamber for another three years: 2019 to 2021. Accreditation is a formal acknowledgement that member Chambers of Commerce have been successfully evaluated by the CACC against rigorous national standards of policy, service and performance.
 
Accreditation ensures:
  • Strategic focus on core chamber activities.
  • Uniform practices and policies across the network.
  • Dependable governance procedures.
  • Distinctive brand identity.
  • A competitive edge against other business organizations.
  • A stronger “voice of business” in your community.
  • An increased role in national and international policy advocacy
 



Oakville Chamber Hosts RBC Economic Outlook: Featuring a Distinguished Panel Offering Their Views for 2019

Tim CestnickThe Oakville Chamber of Commerce will host its annual RBC Economic Outlook on Tuesday, January 22nd at the Oakville Conference Centre. The Chamber is excited to debut a new format that will include expert analysis and a panel discussion led by Tim Cestnick, Globe & Mail Columnist and CEO of Our Family Office. The expert panel will include:

  • Craig Wright, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist, RBC
  • Sean Simpson, Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Tim Hudak, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Real Estate Association

The event provides an ideal opportunity for business owners and professionals to understand how economic and social factors may impact their business. Questions to the panel will be accepted from the audience. Tickets are available to both Oakville Chamber members and non-members.

“The RBC Economic Outlook is one of the Oakville Chamber’s signature events. We are excited to debut the new format and I look forward to hearing the panelists observations on the economy as we head into the New Year” stated Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We thank our partners RBC, Henderson Partners LLP, the Oakville Milton and District Real Estate Board (OMDREB) and Ipsos Canada for their support in making this event possible.”

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2018

Time: 7:30am – 9:30am

Location: Oakville Conference Centre (2515 Wyecroft Road)  

Tickets:

Oakville Chamber Members and OMDREB Members

  • Individual Tickets: $45
  • Table of 8: $325

Non-Members

  • Individual Tickets: $65
  • Table of 8: $475

Register online through the events calendar, or by contacting the Oakville Chamber directly at 905-845-6613, or info@oakvillechamber.com
To register media attendance for this event, please contact Kristen Curry, Communications Manager, at kristen@oakvillechamber.com or at (905) 845-6613 x 209.



Long-Term Transportation Plan Fundamental to Ontario’s Diverse Transportation Needs

This week the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released Moving Forward: Towards a Strategic Approach to Ontario’s Transportation Needs (Part I), a policy report calling on the Ontario Government to develop a Long-Term Transportation Plan. To address the current and future transportation needs of the province, the report highlights three areas of opportunity that will help improve the movement of goods and mobility of Ontarians.

In a recent Ontario Chamber survey, 58 percent of Ontario businesses rated existing transportation infrastructure as fair or poor. With much of the existing infrastructure in Ontario built in the 1950s and 1960s and nearing the end of its useful life, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce recognizes that the costs of investment are high, and Ontario is far behind when it comes to building new and maintaining old infrastructure.

“Transportation is the backbone of our economy, affecting the movement of people and goods and the everyday lives of Ontarians and businesses,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Yet, congestion, limited transit connectivity, population growth, aging assets, unique regional needs, and a historic under-investment in infrastructure have led to a significant gap between the actual and needed infrastructure in Ontario. This has led to real challenges faced by Ontario residents and businesses every single day.”

The Ontario Chamber developed an initial thirteen strategic and pertinent transportation recommendations for a stronger Ontario within three critical areas. Although not an exhaustive review of all transportation modes and regional needs across the province, this approach will help to address the current and future transportation needs of the province with a focus on:

  1. Transit planning governance (with an initial focus on the GTHA);
  2. Moving people and goods by rail; and
  3. Autonomous vehicles.

The report points to short- and long-term opportunities, including CN Rail’s Milton Logistics Hub, the use of advanced signalling technology to increase capacity on subways, VIA Rail’s High Frequency Rail proposal, bringing two-way all-day GO Train service to the Innovation Corridor, developing ‘Union Station West’, and the return of passenger rail to Northern Ontario.

Ontario was also the first province in Canada to implement a pilot regulatory framework to allow for the testing of autonomous vehicles and driverless technology. The report calls attention to the readiness of the province for the reality of autonomous vehicles in the near future, recommending Ontario capitalize on its first-mover status in this space. The OCC urges all levels of government to work together with industry to attract future investments, innovation, and jobs, as well as ensure Ontario is the first province to reap the benefits associated with this technology.

“50% of Ontario businesses view transportation infrastructure as critical to their competitiveness. The province needs a plan that is strategic, provides value for public dollars, optimizes existing assets, leverages the private sector and technology, and takes into account the unique needs of our province,” added Rossi. “Moving forward, we will continue to consult our members on the province’s vast and diverse transportation needs.”

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has been active on the transportation file for years, and will continue to provide thought leadership on other transportation modalities as part of its ongoing advocacy on the province’s transportation planning and priorities.

Read the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s report: Moving Forward: Towards a Strategic Approach to Ontario’s Transportation Needs (Part I).




The Accelerating Pace of Change: Economic, Business and Policy Outlook for 2019

Last night business and association executives, as well as senior public servants gathered at our annual Crystal Ball Symposium to hear from leading experts on how trends in technology, the global economy and international politics will affect Canadian business 2019 and beyond.   

This year’s event featured Linda Mantia, Chief Operating Officer for Manulife.  Responsible for globally leading corporate strategy and corporate development, analytics, technology, marketing, innovation, human resources, regulatory and public affairs, global resourcing and procurement, and the global program office. Ms. Mantia and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist Trevin Stratton discussed topics ranging from the growing economic divide and the national economy to strategies for businesses during this period of change.

In the full report, released today, we lay out what we heard over the course of the last year about the environment businesses expect to be operating in throughout 2019 and the implications that has for policy-makers and business leaders.

Read the full outlook.


Sailing the Rhine: Holiday Markets

Limited space. Fifteen cabins have been reserved at a special rate for members of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce!

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce introduces an inaugural River Cruise Trip in partnership with Expedia CruiseShipCentres Oakville South! 
Embark on a romantic journey through Rhine River November 29 to December 9, 2019. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Swiss Alps and explore the historical architecture. Visit Basel, Switzerland; Strasbourg, France; Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Rudesheim, Koblenz and Cologne, Germany; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

All Inclusive Excellence
The distinguishing hallmark of the Crystal River Experience is undiluted excellence. Aboard ships purposefully designed for today’s most sophisticated travelers, the ambience is carefree yet luxurious, engaging yet relaxing

Legendary Expertise
Built on over 28 years of expertise of serving luxury customers, Crystal River Cruises carefully crafted itineraries follow the Rhine River with Crysal’s award-winning fi nesse, venturing into the heart of iconic destinations adorned with castles and palaces, vineyards and forests, monuments, art and holiday markets!


Learn more.



2018 Fall Economic Statement

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce has issued the following statement in response the the Government of Ontario’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement.

“The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by many of the measures outlined in the Government’s Fall Economic Statement including the focus on fiscal accountability, electricity costs, and cutting cumulative red tape. Our local and provincial economy are strongest when industry and government work together.  We look forward to working with our local MPPs as we continue to discuss the measures outlined in the Fall Economic Statement and advocate on behalf of our members”

Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Read the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s analysis of the 2018 Fall Economic Statement.

Read the 2018 Fall Economic Statement.




10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins: 2019 Election Edition

For the past seven years the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published the 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins (formerly the Top 10 Barriers to Canadian Competitiveness).

This report, which is read widely by decision-makers in government and elsewhere, articulates a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow the economy.

It is key that the 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins reflects the views of our members—businesses big and small throughout Canada—especially in an election year. That is why, this year, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Hill+Knowlton Strategies on this feedback exercise. 

Please participate in this 5-to-10-minute confidential feedback survey.




By giving us your input, you will be:

  • shaping the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 message to the federal government and other stakeholders, and
  • telling chambers of commerce at the national, provincial, territorial and local levels about the priorities that are important to you, both as a Canadian and a business person.

Please provide your input!




The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is hiring a Director, Membership Development

 Position and Job Title Job Title: Director, Membership Development Hours: Full time, permanent Reports to: President Salary Range: $55/70,000 Location: 700 Kerr. St. suite 200, Oakville, Ontario Summary The award-winning Oakville Chamber of Commerce representative of 1,100 member businesses of all sizes and sectors is seeking a dynamic, high energy and self-motivated Director, Membership Development to join our team.  Responsibilities include new member sales, up sells and membership retention as directed by the President. The successful candidate will be a strong communicator and have demonstrated sales experience in a member based organization.  This position works collaboratively with the Chamber Team to best meet the needs of new and existing members. Sales & Retention
  • Identify prospective Chamber members and implement a monthly sales plan;
  • Develop metrics with the President: sales, member visits, calls, and member conversions;
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the various Chamber membership levels and the benefits each provides a business;
  • Develop a retention strategy and work with Chamber Staff to strengthen membership renewal;
  • Develop a strong working knowledge of the Chamber and its various programs and promote to the membership;
  • Secure advertising revenue as per the Chamber’s approved sales target;
  • Participate in various Chamber meetings, events and activities;
  • Represent the Chamber at community events to enhance the Chamber brand within the community;
  • Always represent the Chamber professionally and positively.
Other Duties
  • Assist with events as required;
  • Database maintenance;
  • Support Chamber advocacy work;
  • Other duties as assigned by the President.
Preferred Background, Experience & Qualifications
  • Minimum three years outside sales experience;
  • Membership sales and membership based organization experience preferred;
  • Excellent presentation skills;
  • Experienced with Microsoft Office, Excel, Constant Contact, Database Programs and Social Media Channels;
  • Excellent organizational and follow up skills.
Personal Attributes
  • Highly motivated with B2B sales experience;
  • Excellence in relationship building and relationship sales;
  • Thorough knowledge of Oakville business community and Chamber;
  • Ability to set and meet goals;
  • Excellent selling and closing skills;
  • Strong sales and prioritizing focus;
  • Excellent follow up skills;
  • Excellent networking skills.

Apply now!

   

Rapid Policy Update: Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018

On October 23rd,  the Government of Ontario announced Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018The announcement included a near full repeal of Bill 148, dissolution of the Ontario College of Trades, and improvements to the journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio.

What do these changes mean for business?

  1. Minimum wage paused at $14 per hour

  2. Partial repeal of scheduling provisions

    Bill 148 allowed employees to refuse a shift scheduled less than 96 hours before its start and required employers to pay staff for a minimum of three hours of work in the case of a cancelled/reduced shift. The government will be repealing the 96-hour rule, while maintaining the 3-hour rule.
  3. Removal of equal pay for equal work

  4. Returning to previous calculation of public holiday pay

  5. Return to previous union certification policies

    Bill 148 extended card-based union certification to the temporary help agency industry, the building services sector, and home care and community services industry, removing the need for a secret ballot vote.  In addition, Bill 148 forced employers to provide unions with access to employee lists and employee contact information where the union is able to demonstrate 20 percent employee support. It will return to the previous requirement to demonstrate at least 40 percent employee support.
  6. Amended personal emergency leave

    Under Bill 148, small businesses were required to provide a minimum of 10 personal emergency leave days per year (8 unpaid and 2 paid). This will be amended to require a total of 8 unpaid days within the following categories: 3 sick days, 2 bereavement days, and 3 family emergency leave days. To help promote accountability, employers may now once again ask employees for a sick note.
  7. Maintain domestic or sexual violence leave

    Bill 148 introduced a domestic or sexual violence leave provision, which gives employees the right to up to 10 days of individual leave and up to 15 weeks of leave if the employee or their child experiences domestic or sexual violence or the threat of such violence.
  8. Maintain paid vacation expansion

    The government will not be removing provisions that entitle employees to 3 weeks of paid vacation after 5 years with the same employer.
  9. Apprenticeship ratios set at 1:1

    10. Dissolution of the Ontario College of Trades The government has announced that it will be dissolving the Ontario College of Trades and uploading its responsibilities to the Ministry of Labour
“Yesterday’s announcement is welcome news for the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. As Oakville’s business advocate, our position has been clear: Bill 148 was too much, too fast. The compounding labour reforms and unintended consequences came at too high a cost for Ontario’s economy and the businesses who employee Ontarians in Oakville and across our Province. The Oakville Chamber will continue to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure that the Government implements balanced policies that make it easier to invest, start, and grow a business as well as build an economy that connects workers to jobs” – Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) For Certain Steel Goods

On October 25, the federal government will enact provisional safeguard measures on the importation of a number of steel products, including heavy plates, concrete reinforcing bars, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheets, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wires and wire rods. These will be administered in the form of a tariff-rate quota. For more information, please see the below notice from the federal government.  “This message pertains to imports of certain steel goods as set out in the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods. The purpose of this message is to inform Canadian businesses that the Government of Canada is imposing provisional safeguards in the form of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on seven classes of steel goods. The provisional safeguards will take effect on October 25, 2018. We encourage you to disseminate this information to your members to ensure that Canadian businesses are aware that they need to obtain an import permit if  imported goods are to avoid the over-access surtax. Imports that exceed the quota will be subject to a 25 per cent surtax.  The TRQs will be administered by Global Affairs Canada by way of shipment-specific imports permits on a first come, first served basis. In order for goods to be considered within the quota, they must be covered by a valid import permit at time of accounting. Please refer to the Notice to Importers, Serial No. 911, and the Frequently Asked Questions for detailed information on which products and countries are covered by the TRQs, how the TRQs will be administered and how to apply for a shipment-specific permit.”

Oakville Mayoral Debate 2018

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2018 Oakville Mayoral Debate in partnership with Sheridan and YourTV on Monday, October 15th at Theatre Sheridan. Questions from the debate were drawn from  A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruit and Retain Talent, and Innovation. 

The debate will air on YourTV, Channel 700 on Cogeco, at the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, October 17th at 9:00pm
  • Thursday, October 18th at 10:00am
  • Friday, October 19th at 10:00am
  • Friday, October 19th at 1:00pm

You can also watch the Oakville Mayoral Debate online.



Innovation: What are your Mayoral candidates saying?

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce released A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruit and Retain Talent, and Innovation. Read the Mayoral Candidate statements below.

What is your plan to foster innovation in Oakville?


Rob Burton
Great things happen when we work together. Collaboration is a powerful tool and it’s at the root of what we can do together to see innovation flourish in Oakville.
 
The old Post Office building in downtown Oakville has been earmarked for the location of an innovation hub. When repairs and upgrades to the building are completed, the space on its upper floors can become a place for burgeoning start ups to make connections, test ideas and gain access to needed resources.
 
Exploring partnerships, on projects such as Smart City initiatives with groups like Silicon Haltonwill lead the way to opening opportunities during the renewal of downtown Oakville’s Lakeshore Road streetscape. The project would derive benefits from new technologies and local entrepreneurs can gain valuable hands on experience.
 
Shortly, I plan to announce the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge, a competition that will invite individuals, start-up’s, small business and others to propose new solutions to overcome local issues like parking, traffic and infrastructure. With the advent of autonomous vehicles on the horizon, our roads and cities will be a different place in the future. Ride sharing is just the beginning. A group of judges will comprise senior Town of Oakville officials as well as experts from Oakville-based businesses who are leaders in R&D and technology. Teams/individuals will make submissions and finalists will have a chance to pitch their concepts to a live audience at Oakville’s Centre for the Performing Arts.

Julia Hanna
Becoming a Technological Leader – Not Just a Follower.
As Mayor, it is one of my planning priorities for Oakville to become a leader in SmartCity technologies that improve residents’ quality of life and attract high tech jobs to our community. To help accomplish this goal I will harness our local talent and entrepreneurs to form a Technology Advisory Committee to help Oakville jump into the forefront of the adoption of smart technology that will benefit our community.
 
Free Downtown WiFi & Smart Available Parking Spot Locator App
I will use my position on Council to gain the support needed to have free WiFi installed in the Downtown as part of the upcoming Downtown streetscape renovations and instruct town planners to determine the best way to do the same in other Town centres.
 
With WiFi-enabled, I will champion smart parking technology (called “smart parking pucks”) to be installed so people can find the closest available parking spot through an app on their smart phones. Not only is this a great convenience for people visiting Downtown, but it also sets Oakville on a smart technology path that can attract innovative companies. Stratford is an example of a community already benefiting from attracting innovative companies through WiFi and smart parking puck technology.

John McLaughlin
No response received. 










Recruiting & Retaining Talent: What are the Mayoral candidates saying?

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce released A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruit and Retain Talent, and Innovation. Read the Mayoral Candidate statements below.

What is your plan to help employers recruit and retain talent in Oakville?


John McLaughlin
No response received.

Rob Burton

For Oakville, helping local business to recruit and retain top achievers means creating a win/win environment. Employers need ready access to a highly skilled workforce and employees need a live/work location that is an asset to their lifestyle.

The latest employment figures show that Oakville created over 3,000 jobs between 2016 and 2017, bringing our total to just over 89,000. Of that total 70% of jobs are full time employment. In 2017, Oakville had the highest share and number of new business openings compared to our regional neighbours.

Region wide, Oakville has the highest share of knowledge-based and institutional jobs compared to other local municipalities. We also have the highest number of jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services sector. Oakville is home to over 1,200 medium sized businesses who collectively employ over 36,000 people. Over half of those businesses are independently owned and a high number have chosen to locate both home and business in our community.

The statistics above tell us we’re creating an atmosphere that gives employers and employees confidence in locating in Oakville. We are consistently rated among the best places to live, raise a family and work in Canada, making Oakville an attractive part of an employment package.

Working with our Regional and Provincial partners, we want to enhance our attraction as the best place to live and work through improved movement of people and a bigger supply of housing that is suited to today’s workers and their families.

Julia Hanna

Plugging Oakville’s Youth Brain Drain

The presence of young people and young families is a sign of a healthy, growing community. As a larger percentage of our population reaches retirement, attracting young people has become an increasingly urgent priority for municipalities across Canada. Unfortunately, Oakville is experiencing a Youth Brain Drain. Parents have little hope their adult children can work and live in the community in which they were raised. This loss of our young people significantly impacts our business community who rely on the energy, innovation and talent of young workers. As Mayor, I am committed to a vibrant and flourishing community that will enable more of our adult children to stay in Oakville.








Transportation: What are the Mayoral candidates saying?

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce released A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruit and Retain Talent, and Innovation. Read the Mayoral Candidate statements below highlighting how they will address transportation challenges in Oakville. 

What is your plan to address transportation challenges in Oakville, both movement of goods and movement of people?


Julia Hanna
Smart Traffic Technology Investments
Many proactive communities around the world are benefiting from improved traffic flow through smart traffic management systems. These systems can provide centrally-controlled traffic signals and sensors that regulate the flow of traffic through the city, in response to demand.
 
Oakville needs to manage growth before the growth happens. With almost all growth planned a decade or more in advance, and with the Town of Oakville levying some of the highest development fees on new home construction in North America ($73,900 in municipal development charges. Source: Atlas Group Report, April 2018), the Town should be able to better anticipate and manage traffic congestion on Town roads.
 
As Mayor, I will support increasing capacity on Oakville’s arterial roads to keep people moving. I will champion the implementation of smart traffic technologies. And I will work with Council to improve the Town’s planning process to ensure we align the implementation of congestion management strategies with future development.
 
Advocate for GO Transit Improvements
GO Transit is a vital link for thousands of Oakville residents every day. Metrolinx has been making significant improvements to the frequency of service and the infrastructure supporting it to make service more reliable. As Mayor, Oakville’s GO riders can count on me to be a tireless advocate at every level of government to continue this progress. Fast, reliable public transit is one of the best ways to get people home in time for dinner.

John McLaughlin
Efficient and economical transportation, is critical to economic competitiveness and mobility.  Oakville doesn’t need “more” roads, it needs “more” from its roads.  Congestion (and commuter delays) is largely a problem of a growing regional population, new development beyond traditional urban areas, as well as increased longevity.  That population is largely on the “go” over existing road networks, increasing gridlock, noise, pollution and placing more stress on operating & capital budgets, as well as accelerating the decay of those assets.  I will quickly introduce zero-emission electric vehicles, both public & personal transit, reducing pollution, noise and operating costs. This de-carbonized transportation is also innovative, environmentally friendly as well as more “fun”.  I will encourage a municipal rebate zero-emission purchase/use program as well as special “green transit” lanes on our roadways.  Single person/per vehicle trips are no longer sustainable, rather multiple person/per trips are preferred, removing the number of cars on the road during peak travel times, as well as preserving the environment and reducing travel times for both goods and persons.  Behavioral changes to transportation thinking are necessary, beginning with Oakville transit which will run “grid” return routes, with electric-vehicles at a $2 flat fare (PRESTO integrated) anytime rate, on a 24 hour basis (reduced service after 11:00 p.m.) with connections to GO stations — and also run a “special” 4 time daily trip to Milton return, to serve that growing labour & residential market.  Ride “sharing” will finally be rewarded, with gas tax revenues (expected to decline) funding a “rebate” program for 2 or more in a car!  Free parking (24/7) will also be instituted Town wide, to promote business, tourism & recreation.

Rob Burton
Our regional and provincial partnerships are at the core of improving Oakville’s movement of goods and people.
 
The largest projects are with Metrolinx, for grade separations at Burloak Drive and Kerr Street. These will give commuters and commercial traffic faster, safer access to the QEW. Future rail electrification, with its associated 10-minute GO service, forecasts an increase in demand for rail service. We’re asking the province to increase station capacity with a GO station expansion on the west side of Trafalgar Road. This would provide faster access for commuters from the north and east. We continue to ask our provincial representatives to move forward with the construction of our “missing link” highway interchange at Royal Windsor Drive.
 
Halton Region has agreed to my request to move forward with the Wyecroft Road Extension and Bridge. This crossing will benefit merchants and shoppers and commuters.
 
Halton Region’s Advanced Traffic Management System will assess real time traffic conditions and in turn, trigger traffic signal response to current demand on a 24/7 basis.
 
Locally, commercial and residential users will benefit from the Speers Road Reconstruction Project which will see the Speers Road Corridor rebuilt from Third Line to Kerr Street. Road capacity increases are also set for Bronte, Dundas, Trafalgar, and Cornwall. The new roads will include separated bike lanes, providing direct access to GO transit for active transportation users.








Business Competitiveness: What are the Mayoral candidates saying?

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce released A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruit and Retain Talent, and Innovation. Over the next four weeks, the Oakville Chamber will be releasing Mayoral Candidate statements highlighting the candidates’ vision on how they would address each of the four pillars, kicking off today with Business Competitiveness. 

What is your plan to strengthen business competitiveness in Oakville?


Rob Burton

As one of 
the most educated communities in Canada, Oakville offers business a highly skilled professional workforce on the doorstep. Our commercial property tax rates are some of the lowest in the GTA and we have ample employment land for development. Oakville is known for its livability and ranks as one of the best places in Canada to raise a family. However,to keep our local businesses moving forward, takes more.
 
This year, Oakville achieved ISO 37120 platinum certification from the World Council on City Data (WCCD). This is a crucial first step in creating an expanding portal of data that can drive development of new technologies, optimize business processes and enhance research to make data-driven decisions and solve complex problems.
The prospect of a Lifesciences Campus, to be built in close proximity to the new hospital is moving closer. Such a hub doesn’t just create collaboration. It becomes a competitive cluster. Physical co-locating of firms creates an economic zone that shares infrastructure, inter-firm learning and collaboration that can continually feed innovation and improvement.

At the local level we are continuing to improve infrastructure through renewal of local roads and the planning of additional parking in our commercial business areas. Regional projects include widening and improvement of Region roads and updating of storm sewers to adapt to climate change.

Lastly, we continue to nurture relationships with city and regional representatives from both China and India to pave the road for new business opportunities.

Julia Hanna
Make Economic Development a Town Priority Again
For 12 years, the current Mayor has paid lip service to economic development and Oakville has developed a reputation as a difficult and very costly place to locate a business. Our Town has the highest office space vacancy rate in the GTA and has suffered the departure of major companies like: Tim Horton’s, Manulife, Shredit, Mattamy, as well as many small and mid-sized businesses.
As Mayor, I will champion economic development that attracts more professional, high tech, office employers and businesses to Oakville so more people can work closer to home.
 
Help Existing Businesses Create More Jobs
As the Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, I met a wide array of businesses. One of the issues I heard over and over was that businesses wanted to expand and create more jobs in Oakville, but their plans were curtailed or abandoned because of the onerous regulations and punishing fees levied by the Town. As Mayor, I will demand a full review of all Town fees levied against business expansion.
 
Enable Local Companies to Compete Equally for Town Contracts
Oakville has some of the brightest and most innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Canada. As Mayor, I will work with Council and Town procurement to stop small companies from being shut out of Town business and enable them to compete on an equal footing with major multi-nationals. These businesses benefit the whole community, creating local jobs, paying Oakville taxes offering local knowledge and expertise.

John McLaughlin
Business competitiveness requires a lower business tax rate (not just for BIA’s) & municipal incentives and partnerships. The Chamber of Commerce business membership also agrees. Competitive business practices also requires an integrated transit plan to provide another means for a local skilled workforce to travel to, and from – a workplace, in today’s environment, often on a 24 hour basis. My electric transit zero-emission plan is part of that strategy and will encourage local jobs & sourcing opportunities, plus an infrastructure build-out that is modern, technical & innovative. Local education & training & market opportunities (e.g. skills, trades, computer science, engineering etc.) must be integrated with local business and Chamber member’s, to help sustain and grow a businesses footprint. Our locality, promotes cross-border market opportunities, in conjunction with provincial & federal partners. The “borderless” electronic age also permits business to locate further away from customer’s – provided shipment time or service delivery is only an incremental cost. Additionally, “red-tape” reduction, affordable housing and less road congestion are key factors to competitiveness (and within the Town ‘s control as they created these problems. Also, government training or incentives are critical to innovate, update and increase local employment, plus grow & foster partnerships with supply chain partners and customer markets. Transportation, infrastructure and “free parking” for local customers all contribute to a more competitive business environment for Oakville. The Mayor & Council have failed to keep Oakville competitive, rather at times, political opportunists more interested in their own “re-election”, not Oakville’s economic or social future..








Tim Caddigan Appointed Oakville Chamber Chair

The Board of Directors of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Tim Caddigan has officially begun his term as Chair of the Board. Tim was sworn in by Mayor Rob Burton at the Oakville Chamber’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, September 11th.

Tim has served as a member of the Oakville Chamber Board of Directors since 2012 and on the Oakville Chamber’s Executive Committee as Vice-Chair of the Chamber Board since 2016.

Tim Caddigan is the Senior Director, Programming and Community Relations at Cogeco. Cogeco Connexion is the second largest cable operator in Ontario and Québec in terms of the number of basic cable service customers served. It provides its residential and small business customers with video, Internet and technology services through its two-way broadband cable networks.

Tim is a member of the senior management group at Cogeco, where he leads a team that provides television programming and public relations activities in various markets throughout Ontario. They work closely with multiple stakeholders and community leaders including all levels of government. Tim’s role includes Federal regulatory adherence and human resources oversight for approximately 100 employees.

Tim is also an active member of the broadcasting and telecom industry with a solid grasp of marketing, public relations and media relations. Tim is a graduate of the Queen’s University School of Business. He is a strong supporter of local communities and has volunteered his time with various groups and organizations.

“Tim brings a wealth of business experience and knowledge to his new role that will contribute to the ongoing success of the Oakville Chamber” stated Immediate Past Chair Ken Nevar. “Tim has provided his expertise to the Board as a Director for six years and has been a member of the Oakville Chamber’s Marketing Committee for six years. I’m looking forward to Tim’s leadership throughout the coming year.”  Ken Nevar has completed his term as Chair of the Board, and Oakville Chamber President Drew Redden congratulates him on an outstanding job. “Ken’s background and experience helped frame our research, advocacy and recommendations throughout his term as Chair. The Oakville Chamber hosted many special guest speakers including Former Prime Minister the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, The Honourable Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Randy Pilon, CEO of Virox Technologies Inc. I also thank Ken for all of his support throughout the transition to my role as President.”

Ken Nevar will be recognized for his contribution to the Chamber at the Annual Chairs Dinner where Tim Caddigan, along with the incoming Board of Directors, will be introduced to the community. This formal evening includes a networking reception, dinner and raffle.
The Oakville Chamber is pleased to present the 2018/2019 Board of Directors:

  • Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Board – Senior Director, Programming & Community Relations, Cogeco
  • Ken Nevar, Immediate Past Chair of the Board – Executive Advisor, Cooper Construction Limited
  • Mark Emmanuel, Vice Chair & Chair Elect –  District Manager Halton & Hamilton, Union Gas Limited
  • Jennifer Kazmaier, Vice Chair – Owner, CalaCare Limited
  • Doug Eglington, Vice Chair – Chairman, Euro-Line Appliances Inc.
  • Barry Wylie, Treasurer – President, Canadian Club of Halton 
  • Cameron Neil, Corporate Secretary – Associate, Feltmate, Delibato, Heagle LLP
  • Lisa Azzuolo, Director – Chief Marketing Officer, Bennett Jones LLP
  • Kris Barnier, Director – Vice President Government Relations, Genworth Canada
  • Todd Courage, Director – President, Courage Distributing Inc.
  • Mary De Sousa, Director – Consultant, FirstOntario Credit Union
  • Caroline Hughes, Director – Vice President Government Relations, Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited
  • Joni Lien, Director – Owner, SupperWorks
  • Ben Molfetta, Director – Co-Founder, Core Online Marketing
  • Rafal Piotrowski, Director – Partner, PwC
  • John Piper, Director – Owner/Operator, Piper Foods Inc./McDonald’s Restaurants
  • Christine Szustaczek, Director – AVP Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing, Sheridan
  • Ruth Victor, Director – President, Ruth Victor & Associates 









  • A Roadmap for Business Success: Oakville Municipal Election 2018

    A Roadmap for Business Success

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce provides recommendations to drive economic development to the forefront of the municipal election

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce released A Roadmap for Business Success, a campaign outlining the Oakville business community’s priorities for the upcoming 2018 municipal election. A Roadmap for Business Success builds off a recent advocacy survey conducted by the Oakville Chamber and provides all candidates running in the municipal election with the key issues and priorities facing the local business community. A Roadmap for Business Success, is built on four pillars:

    1. Business Competitiveness

    Oakville Chamber members identified the top issues impacting business competitiveness as;
    • Taxation
    • Red Tape
    • Cost of Housing
    Strengthening the competitiveness of the Oakville Business Community must remain a priority for all candidates during this campaign.

     2. Transportation

    The Oakville Chamber encourages the Town to work with local business to better understand and track employee commutes of those entering Oakville through the GO network for the last mile of their journey.
    • 75% of survey respondents stated that congestion on Oakville roads is a barrier to their business.

    3. Recruit and Retain Talent

    Oakville is home to a world class educational institution and over 300 national and international corporate head offices. We must leverage the talent and opportunity we have in our own backyard.
    •  3 in 10 respondents highlighted that recruiting and retaining talent in Oakville can be a challenge for their business.

    4. Innovation

    The Chamber encourages innovation by partnering with the business and tech community to pilot projects that drive smart city initiatives. The Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project presents an opportunity to lay the foundation for Oakville to be one of the most connected and innovative communities in Ontario. Oakville must leverage the new technology and infrastructure on Lakeshore to enhance the connectivity across the entire Town. Prioritizing data collection will enable the Town to analyze the opportunities to foster innovation and increase efficiency.
    In partnership with YourTV and Sheridan College, the Oakville Chamber will be hosting a Mayoral Debate in October. In the four weeks leading up to the debate, the Chamber will be releasing Mayoral Candidate statements highlighting the candidates’ vision on how they would address each of the four pillars.

    Ron MacLean keynote speaker at the 64th Annual Chairs Dinner

    AcclaRon MacLeanimed Canadian Sportscaster and Oakville resident Ron MacLean will be the keynote speaker at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s 64th Annual Chairs Dinner. The Chairs Dinner will take place on Wednesday, September 12th at the Oakville Conference Centre.

    Known for his quick wit and encyclopedic hockey knowledge, MacLean reaches millions of homes across the country on Coach’s Corner and Roger’s Hometown Hockey. He has interviewed the greatest players, coaches, and personalities in the sport, and is a master of seeking the best in substance and entertainment from his guests.  MacLean is a multi-Gemini Award winner and a two-time recipient of the George Gross Award, which honours excellence in sports broadcasting, and he is a former Level 5 referee for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. Ron MacLean has been proud to call Oakville home for the past 32 years. “The Chamber is thrilled to present Ron Maclean as the keynote speaker at the 64th Annual Chairs Dinner.  It is always exciting when we have the opportunity to profile one of our local residents who is so well regarded on the world stage” stated Oakville Chamber President Drew Redden. “Ron has a wealth of experience to share; from his early days as a referee and radio broadcaster, to his time on Hockey Night in Canada and covering many Olympic games, to his role as host of Hometown Hockey. We cannot wait to hear Ron’s stories.” At the Chairs Dinner outgoing Chair of the Board Ken Nevar will be recognized for his contribution to the Oakville Chamber. The incoming Chair and Board of Directors will also be introduced to the community at this formal event which includes a networking reception, dinner and raffle.
    Event Details:
    Date:    Wednesday, September 12 Time:   5pm Networking Reception; 6pm Dinner Gala Location: Oakville Conference Centre 2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville You can register for the 64th Annual Chairs Dinner online, by emailing info@oakvillechamber.com, or by calling the Chamber at 905-845-6613. Tickets are $125 for Chamber members and $175 for non-members. Tables of eight are available.  

    Oakville Chamber joins Coalition to Keep Trade Free

    Keep Trade Free Coalition












    The Coalition to Keep Trade Free helps organizations mobilize at the local, state and federal levels to advocate for freer trade within North American and around the world, as well as to ensure a successful renegotiation of NAFTA for continued economic prosperity for Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

    We are all in this together. U.S. and Canadian companies know the value of free trade between both of our countries, which is why we need to act to make sure that our bottom lines and our jobs are not killed by bad U.S. trade policy.

    We must consider the facts:

    • Canada is the largest trading partner of the U.S., resulting in U.S. companies relying on Canadian buyers to the tune of nearly 300 billion USD.
    • Nearly nine million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada, which leaves the U.S. at risk of losing two million of those jobs by 2026 with continued tariffs and a failure to reach a new NAFTA agreement.
    • Each American household stands to lose more than 1,000 USD of purchasing power without a renewed NAFTA. With an average household income of 59,000 USD, families will lose up to 20% of what they have to spend after paying all of their bills. That is real pain for the average U.S. family.
    • More than two-thirds of a trillion USD of goods and services cross the U.S.-Canada border every year, which amounts to nearly a quarter of all U.S. trade.
    • The supply chains of U.S. and Canadian companies are so inextricably integrated that it would take companies three to five years to fully restore their suppliers with solely domestic providers. No company can weather that storm, U.S. or Canadian.

    Canada and the U.S. have been growing together as neighbours for nearly 200 years, creating shared prosperity for businesses on both sides of the border.

    We need to come together with one voice to protect North American companies and jobs because we are already one business community.

    Learn more at KeepTradeFree.com



    Live Stream Lunch Survey

    Live Stream Lunch Logo

    Over the summer, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce launched a pilot project for their new online series Live Stream Lunch. Over the course of 6 weeks, the Oakville Chamber went Live on Facebook Thursdays at noon with an industry expert.

    View our Live Stream Lunch playlist on YouTube for the 6 Live Stream Lunches.

    Please take a few minutes to provide us with feedback on the Live Stream Lunch series. Take the short survey now.

    Annual General Meeting 2018

    The Oakville Chamber’s 2018 Annual General Meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 11th. The meeting will be held at the Quality Hotel & Suites (located at 754 Bronte Road), and will begin at 3:00pm. 

    All Oakville Chamber of Commerce members are invited to attend.  Details of the Annual General Meeting have been e-mailed to all Chamber member designated representatives.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Oakville Chamber at 905-845-6613 or info@oakvillechamber.com.




    Nominations Open for the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

     The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE), hosted by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Rotary Club of Oakville West, is now accepting nominations for the 24th Annual Awards. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 28th at 4pm EST.

    The OABE is dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses. “We encourage members of the business community and general public to nominate any Oakville-based business with whom you’ve had consistently great experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to formally acknowledge their dedication, hard work and contribution to our community” stated Peter DeGroot, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West.

    The 24th Annual OABE award categories open for nomination are:

    • RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of more than 20 employees and/or primarily serves the provincial, national and international markets and/or generates approximately $10 million or more in revenue annually.
    • Bell Mid-size Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 5-20 employees and/or primarily serves the regional/provincial markets and/or generates between $2 million-$10 million in revenue annually. 
    • Small Business of the Year: This award recognizes a business of 1-5 full time equivalent employees and/or primarily serves Oakville and district and/or generates up to approximately $2 million in revenue annually.
    • Professional Services Provider of the Year: This award recognizes a person or employee team with a professional designation and whose practice is regulated by a provincial regulatory body within Canada.
    • The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award: This award recognizes a business that primarily earns revenue through providing products and services. Nominees will be considered from the following industries but not limited to: retail, food service, health & wellness and education.
    • KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year:This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary entrepreneurship, energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits.
    • Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award): This award recognizes an individual who personally exhibits extraordinary energy, inspiration, leadership and / or innovation in their business pursuits. Nominees must be under the age of 40 (as of December 31, 2018).


    “The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence celebrate the many contributions our business community makes to the outstanding quality of life we enjoy here in Oakville,” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “This year we are excited to introduce a new award, The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award to recognize the service-based businesses in our community. We are also pleased to have the Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award) return for a second year, which recognizes the leadership and innovation driven by Oakville’s young professionals.”

    All nominations submitted will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges rating them against criteria set for each category.The Judges are individuals from the professional community who bring a wealth of professional expertise and unique business experiences, having made significant contributions to their own professions.

    The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence culminates in a gala dinner and award ceremony in March 2019. The proceeds from the evening, including the considerable support from our Partners, provide funds for the Rotary Club’s youth and academic programs.

    To be eligible for nomination, businesses must be physically located in the Town of Oakville and cannot have won in any category in the last five years. A complete list of category criteria and eligibility rules can be found at www.oabe.ca. Nominations can be submitted online at www.oabe.ca. Alternatively, forms are available at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  For assistance, please call Karen Pomfret at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.  



    How Has Bill 148 Impacted Your Business?

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber Network are seeking grassroots data on the impact of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, which amended the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. How has the increase to the minimum wage, new scheduling provisions, expanded personal emergency leave, equal pay for equal work, and other changes impacted your business?

    This information will be summarized in a document to be shared with the government in order to advise them on how to bring balance back to labour legislation in Ontario.

    The Oakville Chamber is looking for specific, statistical information about the financial, legal, and administrative impacts of Bill 148 on your business since January 1, 2018. Your name or contact information will not be collected, and all data will be presented in aggregate.

    To share how Bill 148 has impacted your business, please use this form.

    Your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

     


    Entire Cabinet Has a Role in Making Ontario Open For Business

    With the legislative session resuming today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Network wrote to each provincial Cabinet minister, outlining a blueprint to execute over the next four years that will help make Ontario open for business. The Network’s blueprint includes both policy asks where immediate action is required to support business and foundational recommendations for long-term prosperity.

    A key tool to making this province competitive is reducing red tape. The Ontario Chamber Network believes Premier Ford’s step to create a separate Deputy Minister for Red Tape and Regulatory Burden Reduction is an excellent start in lowering the administrative burden felt by Ontario businesses.

    “We are providing all Ministers with a blueprint for steps that can be taken to ensure we are growing Ontario’s economy and building shared prosperity for all,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Each ministry has a fundamental role to play in making Ontario open for business and we look forward to working with Premier Ford as well as his cabinet in achieving the policy commitments that support businesses across the province.”

    The themes that emerged in the Ontario Chamber Network’s blueprint for making Ontario open for business include:

    • Fiscal balance: fundamental to economic growth is ensuring that the Government of Ontario’s own fiscal house is in order
    • Business competitiveness: the most powerful tool in making this province competitive is reducing red tape; we ask that the government prioritize lowering the administrative burden on business and ensure that regulation is streamlined and effective
    • Investment growth: investing in Ontario through strategic spending is essential to fostering job creation and building healthy and productive communities across the province.
    • Government accountability: Poor implementation of government initiatives in the past has led to resource waste, mismanagement, and disruption for both businesses and residents.

    “To ensure Ontario’s economy has a strong foundation, business and government must work together to support evidence-based policies. As Ontario’s business advocate, the OCC is committed to working with the Ontario government to ensure the public policies introduced contribute to a competitive business environment as well as the economic and social well-being of our province,” added Rossi.

    To read the blueprint letters to Cabinet Ministers please click here.



    New Ontario Government Speech from the Throne

    On July 12th, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Speech from the Throne laying out the priorities of the new PC government.

    Yesterday’s Speech from the Throne officially opened the first session of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario, with the new government calling itself “Ontario’s government for the People.” Many of the commitments made were previously announced by the PC Party during the election campaign.

    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has provided a synopsis of the Speech from the Throne below with key highlights most important to business. Throne speeches provide a general overview of the government’s policy commitments rather than specific details.

    Highlights:

    Job Creation and Business Competitiveness

    The Ontario government is committed to reducing the regulatory burden businesses are facing. Some specifics include reducing gas prices, lowering taxes for business, reducing the regulatory burden, and making things easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

    The government reiterated its commitment to creating and protecting jobs, including  the thousands of jobs  that will be protected through the continued operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

    Trade

    The government has committed to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the federal government on trade, standing up to U.S. tariffs and ensuring Ontario’s best interests are represented in NAFTA renegotiations.

    Energy and the Environment

    The government has committed to reducing gas prices and lowering hydro bills as well as “restor[ing] public confidence in Ontario’s electricity system” by implementing management reform at Hydro One.

    The government reiterated its commitment to cancel Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and oppose all other carbon tax proposals. It also indicated it will be ending all green energy contracts.

    Transit

    The government indicated its commitment to addressing the transportation needs of Ontario’s urban centres, with an intention to partner with Toronto and other GTA municipalities to improve transit services. The provincial government did not provide specific comments on transportation needs in rural or Northern communities, or the Ring of Fire.

    Government and Fiscal Accountability

    The government intends to take immediate steps to “restore faith” in Ontario’s public institutions, beginning with a Commission of Inquiry into the Province’s finances and a line-by-line audit of all government spending to eliminate duplication and waste. The government also committed to returning Ontario to a balanced budget on a timetable that is “responsible, modest and pragmatic.”

    Health Care

    The government intends to work in collaboration with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners to ensure the health care system puts the interests of patients first. Its commitments include long-term and stable funding, including a promise for 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and an investment of $3.8 billion in mental health and addictions services (including supportive housing).

    Read the Ontario Government’s Throne Speech



    2018 Municipal Election Advocacy Survey

    In light of the upcoming municipal election on October 22, 2018 the Oakville Chamber wants to hear from you on local issues that matter the most to you. Tell us what you think.


    This survey consists of 8 questions and should only take 5-10 minutes to complete. 

    The responses to this survey will be used by the Oakville Chamber of our advocacy efforts in the upcoming municipal election. Be assured that all answers you provide will be kept in the strictest confidentiality. 

    The survey is now closed. Thank you to our members for taking the time to complete the survey.




    Oakville Chamber looks forward to working with Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on making Oakville more competitive

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce congratulates Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on being elected in the ridings of Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington. The Chamber looks forward to working with the new MPPs on key issues such as government accountability, small business development, and infrastructure. Making these policies a priority will create an environment that will encourage business and economic growth.

    The Oakville Chamber also extends its congratulations to Premier-Designate Doug Ford and the Ontario PC Party on winning a majority government.

    “We congratulate Stephen Crawford and Effie Triantafilopoulos on their successful campaigns” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “The Oakville Chamber wants to thank all of the candidates for putting their names forward this election and for discussing our Vote Prosperity platform during the campaign. We also thank Kevin Flynn for his years of service as MPP for Oakville.”



    Ontario Election Platform Analysis

    In October, the Ontario Chamber Network released Vote Prosperity, a platform for the 2018 provincial election campaign on June 7. The release of the platform nine months prior to the election was intended to ensure all parties have an opportunity to address the most important issues to business within their own platforms.

    On April 16, 2018, Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath announced the NDP’s 2018 Election Platform Change for the BetterRead the Ontario Chamber’s analysis. On May 14, 2018, Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner announced his Party’s 2018 Election Platform, People Powered ChangeRead the Ontario Chamber’s analysis. On May 26, 2018, the Ontario Liberal Party released their platform for the 2018 election, Care Over Cuts. Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis.  On May 30, 2018, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leader Doug Ford announced his party’s 2018 election platform, Plan for the People. Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis. 
    With the election just a week away, we are encouraging Ontarians to send a letter to their local candidates asking them to support the Ontario Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity platform.

    Regulatory burden undermining business competitiveness, new Chamber report finds

    Regulate Smarter


    Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government. A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and supported by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, calls on governments to modernize their regulatory frameworks and give businesses in Canada room to thrive.

    “Inconsistent and unpredictable rules and processes are making it difficult for businesses—whether large or small—to keep up and comply. This leads to our businesses being less competitive and Canada becoming a less attractive place to invest, start or grow a business,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Regulations are designed to keep us safe and to create a level playing field. But when they start to smother businesses, that becomes a real problem.”

    As the U.S., our largest competitor and trading partner, has recently implemented significant corporate tax and regulatory reforms, Canada cannot afford to fall further behind. Today’s report identifies opportunities to increase public and investor confidence in Canada’s regulatory systems and provides clear recommendations to government on how it should be done.

    “The Oakville Chamber partnered with the Canadian Chamber to release this important report” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “It supports the results from the latest Advocacy Survey we distributed to our members, in which over 70% stated that regulations are unreasonable and excessive. I look forward to meeting with our local elected government officials to discuss how we can work together with regulators and businesses to improve the competitiveness of our regulatory systems.”

    Some of the recommendations to improve regulatory competitiveness include:
    1. Immediately convene a government-business regulatory competitiveness working group. The working group would develop recommendations for the federal government to measure and reduce cumulative regulatory burden. It would also develop recommendations for governments to ensure a consistent application of regulatory guidelines across jurisdictions and ensure the adoption of best practices by regulators.
    2. Give regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates to ensure economic impacts receive appropriate consideration in decision-making while preserving necessary protections.
    3. Increase federal leadership in eliminating internal trade barriers to trade through clear goals, timelines and accountability as part of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
    4. Validate the quality and consistency of regulatory cost-benefit analyses from departments and agencies before regulatory proposals are submitted for Cabinet approval.
    5. Improve regulatory consultations through earlier engagement with stakeholders while ensuring processes are transparent and evidence-based. Project-based public consultations should be time-limited and focused on projects, not other policy issues.
    6. Make overly prescriptive regulatory frameworks more flexible to better accommodate rapidly changing business environments by moving to risk- or outcome-based regulations where appropriate.
    7. Increase regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners by integrating regulatory cooperation into free trade agreements and design new regulations with alignment by default where it is in Canada’s economic interest to do so.

    Read the full report. 

    Learn more at regulatesmarter.com

    2018 Provincial Election Candidates Meeting

    Unable to attend our Candidates Meeting on Thursday, May 17 , or want to watch it again, you can watch it on YourTV Burlington/Oakville on Cable 23 or HD Cable 700 at the following date/time:

     Oakville North-Burlington Debate

    • Thursday, May 17 – Live at 6:00pm
    • Friday, May 18 – 12:30pm
    • Friday, May 18 – 8:30pm 
    • Monday, May 28 – 7:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 29 – 10:00am
    • Saturday, June 2 – 10:00am

     Oakville Debate

    • Friday, May 18 – 7:00pm
    • Saturday, May 19 – 12:00am   
    • Saturday, May 19 – 1:00pm
    • Monday, May 28 – 10:00am
    • Sunday, June 3 – 1:00pm

    YourTV Burlington/Oakville also has the debates available online: 

    Watch the Oakville North-Burlington debate.  

    Watch the Oakville debate.





    Oakville Chamber Hosts Candidates Meeting for Provincial Election

    Oakville residents and businesses are invited to meet and learn more about the candidates who hope to represent the Oakville North-Burlington and Oakville ridings following the June 7 election


    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is partnering with YourTV to host a Candidates Meeting for the Oakville North-Burlington and Oakville ridings on Thursday, May 17th . The event is open to the public, Oakville Chamber members, and their guests.

    “The Candidates Meeting is an opportunity for members of the Oakville community to hear directly from the candidates, the possible future decision makers for our community and businesses” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We are pleased to be able to come together with our community partner YourTV to provide Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington voters with the opportunity to hear comments directly from the candidates on issues that will affect our community.”

    The Candidates Meeting with take place at Glen Abbey United Church, which has the capacity to seat an audience of up to 500. The Oakville North-Burlington debate will begin at 6:00pm, followed by the Oakville debate at 7:45pm. Aby Alameddine, Co-Founder of Core Online Marketing and Past Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, will be the moderator.

    The Oakville Chamber encourages your questions to the candidates t be submitted in advance of the meeting via e-mail to Faye Lyons, Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy, at faye@oakvillechamber.com with ‘Candidates Question’ in the subject line. Alternatively, audience members will be given the opportunity to submit questions upon entry to the event.

    The debate will have a focus on the Chamber’s Vote Prosperity platform. “We’re encouraging the candidates to read Vote Prosperity, our policy priorities for the next government. These recommendations offer tangible solutions to address the challenges businesses are currently facing and if implemented will contribute to Ontario’s economic prosperity” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

    Vote Prosperity is based on four pillars for Ontario:

    1. Strengthen business competitiveness: Rising input costs, especially those costs deriving from government regulation and policy, are the most common and acute concern of the business community in Ontario.
    2. Foster Job Creation: A robust labour market consisting of good jobs is essential to prosperity for all Ontarians.
    3. Build Healthy Communities: Building strong communities through adequate and affordable housing, sustainable health care, and good infrastructure also supports business prosperity and growth, which supports those communities.
    4. Improve Government Accountability: Poor implementation of government initiatives can result in resource waste, political frustration and disruption for ordinary citizens, as demonstrated by a series of policy failures under governments of all political stripes.

    The platform provides eighteen unique recommendations to help bolster Ontario’s long-term economic future, while also addressing the pressing issues the province currently faces.

    The full list of recommendations in Vote Prosperity can be found at www.oakvillechamber.com/voteprosperity/

    The Oakville Chamber is politically non-partisan. We believe we must have an effective working relationship with any party or individual that holds elected office. This approach applies to all four levels of government.

    Event Details:

    Date: Thursday, May 17th

    Location: Glen Abbey United Church (1469 Nottinghill Gate)

    Agenda:

    • 5:30pm – Doors Open
    • 6:00pm to 7:15pm – Oakville North-Burlington Debate
    • 7:15pm to 7:45pm – Networking Break
    • 7:45pm to 9:00pm – Oakville Debate

    Concerns of Business Cannot Be Ignored This Election Campaign: Oakville Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce

    Ontario’s Business Advocate mobilizes around election priorities in 135 communities across the province

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are mobilizing this election to bring their recommendations in Vote Prosperity to political leaders and local candidates across the province. Over the course of the campaign, local chambers and boards of trade will be boldly pushing the Vote Prosperity message through local debates, events and stakeholder meetings.

    “The Oakville Chamber of Commerce, along with Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade across the province have been advocating tirelessly with local candidates and elected officials, highlighting business priorities for this election,” said Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “During this election campaign, we will continue those efforts, calling on our local candidates’ political party leaders to adopt our economic plan that will help strengthen businesses competitiveness, foster job creation, build healthy communities and improve government accountability.”

    Since October, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Oakville Chamber of Commerce have been meeting with local candidates, elected officials at Queen’s Park and senior public policy leaders, to advocate for the recommendations for a strong Ontario outlined in Vote Prosperity. As leaders in their communities, during the campaign period local chambers and boards of trades will be hosting all candidates debates and events, with a focus on the Vote Prosperity message.

    With industry feeling the impacts of the increasing cumulative burden, the Ontario Chamber Network has also warned that Ontario’s next government must be committed to taking bold action in providing pro-growth policy solutions.

    “Ontario has the foundation for sustainable and equitable growth. But, bold action and leadership will be required of the newly elected Government of Ontario, whether it is Liberal, PC or NDP,” added Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

     Vote Prosperity is based on four pillars for Ontario:

    1. Strengthen business competitiveness: Rising input costs, especially those costs deriving from government regulation and policy, are the most common and acute concern of the business community in Ontario.
    2. Foster Job Creation: A robust labour market consisting of good jobs is essential to prosperity for all Ontarians.
    3. Build Healthy Communities: Building strong communities through adequate and affordable housing, sustainable health care, and good infrastructure also supports business prosperity and growth, which supports those communities.
    4. Improve Government Accountability: Poor implementation of government initiatives can result in resource waste, political frustration and disruption for ordinary citizens, as demonstrated by a series of policy failures under governments of all political stripes.

    The platform provides eighteen unique recommendations that will help bolster Ontario’s long-term economic future, while also addressing the pressing issues the province currently faces.

    The full list of recommendations in Vote Prosperity can be found at www.oakvillechamber.com/voteprosperity/



    Inclusivity In The Workplace – Chamber Members and Local MPs Weigh In

    Recently, the Oakville Chamber had the opportunity to participate in a round-table on inclusivity with the federal government and local businesses in Oakville. Many inclusive employers encourage others to embrace becoming inclusive organizations because it can lead to greater work productivity and competitive advantages. 
    We asked two Chamber members to share their thoughts on inclusivity and this is what they had to say.

    Mandy Rennehan – CEO, Freshco

    When and why did you decide to become an inclusive employer?

    I can’t say it was a conscious decision. My business strategy has always been to lead with my heart and hiring is no different. I lovingly say I hire misfits — they are all unique and don’t fit into a stereotypical mould, and it works. My staff is from all walks of life, different ages and backgrounds. I firmly believe in hiring based on personality and bare potential, a resume is just a piece of paper and skills can be taught. I hire the right person for each job and it shows. My staff are happy, dedicated, and invested in the success of Freshco.

    Would you encourage other businesses to become inclusive employers and why?

    The richness of an inclusive team is the diversity of opinions and points of view. If everyone at Freshco came from a similar background and thought and acted the same way we wouldn’t evolve and grow as quickly as we have. The beauty is having team members raise their hands with fresh ideas, wicked-smart questions, and new challenges that continue to push Freshco to be #1 in the industry.

    Julia Hanna – Ritorno

    When and why did you decide to become an inclusive employer?

    I have always been an inclusive employer. It felt like the right thing to do and proved to be beneficial to my business. From the very beginning, we were able to build successful employee/employer relationships through inclusive employment.

    Would you encourage other businesses to become inclusive employers and why?

    I would absolutely encourage all businesses to consider inclusive employment. I have found that there are numerous rewards. The employees that I have hired have been appreciative of the opportunity. They give 100% commitment to learning and often have been the most reliable employees.

     

    Working collaboratively with government is important. Weighing in on the issue of inclusivity our local members of parliament had this to say.

    MP Pam Damoff – MP Oakville North Burlington

    What does inclusivity mean to you and why is it important?

    Building inclusive communities means fostering fair and equal opportunities for every Canadian and ensuring that Canadians living with disabilities have the same opportunities to find good, well-paying jobs, make a contribution to their communities and the economy, and build a better life for themselves and their families.

    A huge component of that is accessibility. We must remove the barriers – both physical or otherwise — that prevent individuals from participating fully in all facets of our community and ensure that persons living with disabilities have fair and equal access to workplaces. However, making workplaces accessible is just one part of the process.  We must also ensure that we are fostering inclusive workplaces by proactively reaching out to businesses and organizations to share the benefits of people living with disabilities, as well as reaching out to people with disabilities for work opportunities and recognizing the valuable contributions they can make to our workplaces and communities.

    One of my goals is to make Halton the most inclusive community in Canada. To do that, we must encourage businesses to have an inclusive employment strategy and the accessibility to ensure that all persons who wish to do so can find and meaningful work and receive a competitive wage for that work. Accessibility is about getting through the door while inclusivity is about creating an atmosphere where everyone is welcome and belongs. 

    Why do you think business should consider becoming an inclusive employer?

    Having an inclusive employment strategy is also good for businesses. Business owners in my community who have made their workplace inclusive say that it created a positive atmosphere for their employees and the business and allowed their business to become more efficient. Inclusive employment benefits our economy, creates workplaces with higher group performance and profits, and a broad range of social and economic benefits from a community perspective. 

    Yet, Canadians living with disabilities still face barriers in participating in the labour market. Having open and honest roundtable discussions about the barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities is an important first step in changing perceptions. We must offer meaningful job experiences to individuals of all skill levels. There are agencies who can assist businesses to both hire and accommodate those living with disabilities, and the Government of Canada has programs that can assist businesses be successful. We recently launched the Opportunities Fund (OF) which helps persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment or self-employment to increase their economic participation and independence. You can learn more at www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/disability-opportunity-national.html.

    MP John Oliver – MP Oakville

    What does inclusivity mean to you as a politician and why is it important?

    In order for everyone in Canada to succeed, we need to know the challenges and barriers that people of diverse communities face. We can only fix problems when we know that they exist in the first place – that’s why it’s so important for folks of all backgrounds to have a seat at the table. This is particularly important in politics, where hearing from diverse perspectives is essential for changing legislation for the better, and investing in the right projects to create meaningful change in our communities.

    Why do you think business should consider becoming an inclusive employer?

    Much like in politics, businesses can only benefit from having further diversity involved in making decisions. Many Canadians who require additional assistance to succeed in the workplace are not able to reach their full potential, simply because businesses lack the infrastructure to accommodate hiring employees with disabilities. The Government of Canada knows that hiring Canadians with disabilities is an important resource for businesses, which is why we support businesses looking to become more inclusive through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, Skills Link and the Opportunities Fund.

    If you would like more information on becoming an inclusive employer please visit:

    Community Living Oakville
    www.oakcl.org
    Discover Ability
    www.discoverability.network
    Ready, Willing and Able
    www.readywillingable.ca



    Statement on the Ontario Budget 2018

    “We are encouraged to see the government making smart investments in skills development and regional economic development. Specifically, we were excited to hear the announcement of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Fund to invest in and support small and medium-sized businesses in our community. However, we remain concerned with the rising cost of doing business in Ontario. The Ontario Budget does not provide the offsets our members need, as it will leave some businesses, including small businesses, paying more in taxes. We look forward to discussing the measures outlined in the budget with our elected officials as we continue to advocate on behalf of our members.”

    – Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

    Read the Ontario Chamber’s analysis of the budget from the perspective of Ontario’s business community.


    Sold Out Crowd Celebrates Business Excellence in Oakville

    Recipients include representatives from iCare Home Health, Florence Meats, Naylor Building Partnerships Inc., Positive Accounting, La Parisienne Creperie, Zarr Tech, Canlan Ice Sports Corp, Piper Foods Inc., Crime Stoppers of Halton and FCT (Absent: Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems).


    Oakville celebrated business leaders in their community at the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala on Tuesday, March 27 where over 560 guests gathered at the Oakville Conference Centre. Presented by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West, this annual event attracts business, community, government and political leaders, as well as professionals and entrepreneurs from the local business community.

    “The Oakville Chamber is thrilled by the tremendous support shown by the business community at tonight’s gala,” said Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We offer our congratulations to all the finalists and award recipients.”

    The Genworth Community of the Year Award was awarded to Piper Foods Inc./McDonald’s Restaurants. John Piper, Owner of Piper Foods Inc.  accepted the award. Known for their extensive support of local organizations including Dog Guides of Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Oakville Hospital Foundation, they recently completed a pledge of $250,000 towards construction of the new hospital. An active partner in the Region of Halton’s hiring program, Piper Foods participates in workshops educating young people to better prepare them to find a job. John Piper takes pride in preparing people of all ages and backgrounds to enter or re-enter the workforce by providing entry-level positions in the community, coupled with a solid training program. Investing in team members’ personal development is key to their business philosophy and each year, the company awards 4 scholarships for a total of $4,000.  Piper Foods Inc. became the first ever double recipient at the Awards Gala, also receiving the Franchisee of the Year Award.

    The CN Charity/Not-for-Profit Excellence Award was presented to Crime Stoppers of Halton. Accepting the award on behalf of Crime Stoppers of Halton was Jan Westcott, Vice-Chair of the Board. Since its inception in 1988, the organization has been helping keep Halton Region a safe place to live, work and play. They have received over 18,000 anonymous tips on criminal activity which have led to the arrest of 1,188 individuals. Furthermore, these tips have recovered almost $3 million worth of stolen property, taken $18 million worth of illicit drugs taken off our streets, and seized 92 weapons. Crime Stoppers of Halton has strengthened their presence in our community by attending community events, conducting presentations at high schools through its Youth Initiative Program, its Roadside Sign Program, Community Secure Shred Events, hosting fundraising concerts and leading community awareness campaigns. Crime Stoppers of Halton’s dedication to preventing and solving crime contributes to Halton Region’s designation as Canada’s Safest Regional Municipality for the past 8 years.

    This year’s Business Icon Award was presented to FCT. Michael LeBlanc, Chief Executive Officer of FCT accepted the award presented by John Sawyer, outgoing President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. From its beginning as the first title insurer in Canada to revolutionary valuations solutions, FCT has expanded its products and services to support customers across the real estate and recovery lifecycles. With more than 800 employees across Canada, including more than 300 at their home office in Oakville, the company focuses on creating a work culture where every employee has the opportunity to be great. In 2017, FCT launched their new brand identity “we’re invested” – which focuses on how they’re invested in customers, colleagues and the community. “FCT has an amazing business success story and as the Chamber of Commerce, we are so proud that they call Oakville home” commented John Sawyer.

    In it’s 23rd year, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala continues to grow year over year, recognizing the important contributions of local business to the community. “We received a significant number of nominations from the Oakville community. The judges carefully reviewed all of the nominations and determined a list of 57 finalists, from which the award recipients were chosen” stated Lois Knepflar, President, Rotary Club of Oakville West.

    To learn more about the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence, or to nominate a business for next year, please visit www.oabe.ca or contact Karen Pomfret by phone at 905-845-6613 ext. 210 or e-mail karen@oakvillechamber.com.

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are proud to list the award recipients of the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence:

    RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year

    Naylor, Building Partnerships Inc.

    Bell Mid-size Business of the Year

    Florence Meats

    Small Business of the Year

    iCare Home Health

    KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year

    Matthew Zarrillo of Zarr Tech

    Young Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year

    Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems  

    Professional Services Provider of the Year

    Positive Accounting

    Franchisee of the Year

    Piper Foods Inc. / McDonald’s Restaurant

    The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year

    La Parisienne Creperie

    Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award

    Canlan Ice Sports Corp.

    Genworth Community Builder of the Year

    Piper Foods Inc.

    CN Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award

    Crime Stoppers of Halton

    Oakville’s Business Icon Award

    FCT




    Oakville Chamber of Commerce Board Nominations

    A reminder to members of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce that the deadline for Board nomination forms is approaching. The deadline for Board nomination forms is 4 p.m. (local time) on Thursday, April 5, 2018

    We welcome nominations for members of the Board of Directors for the term of September 2018 (Annual General Meeting) to September 2020 (Annual General Meeting).

    For a copy of the nomination form or for details on what the time commitments are to participate on the Board of Directors, please contact France Fournier or Drew Redden at the Chamber office (905) 845-6613.


    Pharmacare Must Address Outstanding System Gaps, Maintain High Quality Coverage

    The Ontario Chamber Network releases key principles as a guide as federal government considers national pharmacare system

    Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, released a policy report Principles for an Effective Pharmacare Program, which provides guidelines for the federal and Ontario governments to follow when considering reforms to pharmaceutical coverage, which has implications for both governments. The report highlights five principles against which new pharmacare proposals can be tested to ensure an effective and sustainable program.

    In its budget this week, the federal government announced it will begin consultations on a pharmacare program with former Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, leading the initiative. With increasing demand for national pharmacare in Canada, the Ontario Chamber Network has engaged in its own consultations over the last few months with a diverse group of health, life sciences and insurance stakeholders to develop and endorse the test of principles.

    “The Ontario Chamber Network supports improving access to medicine for all Ontarians,” said Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “It is essential that the design of a future pharmacare program is developed in a collaborative manner, reflecting these principles to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program.”

    The Ontario Chamber Network developed the following five principals that pharmaceutical program proposals can be evaluated against:

    • Existing gaps in pharmaceutical coverage are identified and addressed to improve access to medications for those who need it
    • The strengths of the public-private system are leveraged
    • The program is outcomes-oriented and promotes the sustainability and efficacy of the broader health care system
    • Patients can access their medications in a timely manner
    • Broad and appropriate access to innovative medications is ensured

    “The Ontario and federal governments must work with all health stakeholders, including patients, health care professionals, private insurers, employers, and the pharmaceutical industry, to identify outstanding coverage gaps and implement effective and pragmatic solutions,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to working with the federal and provincial governments to ensure a future pharmacare model takes advantage of Ontario’s current health care system and embraces public-private partnership.”

    The Ontario Chamber Network has been active on health care policy for a number of years, including multiple reports on life sciences as an economic driver. Pharmacare has emerged as a key public policy issue in Ontario given the recent provincial government announcement of OHIP+, which provides pharmaceutical coverage to all Ontarians under the age of 25, and a commitment by the Ontario NDP to create a universal pharmacare program if they form government after the next provincial election. 

    Read the Pharmacare Report.




    Budget 2018: Big on Spending, Short on Growth

    Budget 2018 is primarily about spending—new spending initiatives and enhanced spending for programs that aim to support low-wage Canadians, address gender inequality, support First Nations development, strengthen indigenous rights and self-determination, promote skills and research, improve health and environmental stewardship and enhance justice and security.

    Some of the spending initiatives announced in the budget will help business, particularly women entrepreneurs and small businesses, but they are limited in scope. There are also some important improvements in government policies—particularly with respect to the tax treatment of small business and the simplification of business support programs.

    The government is intent on tightening tax rules and clamping down on tax avoidance. It should be focused even more intently on bringing its books back to balance and creating a tax and regulatory environment to support business investment and economic growth.

    The budget projects the federal debt will increase by almost $80 billion over the next five years, although the government’s debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to decline slightly, thanks to continued strong economic performance. The government is counting on a buoyant economy to fund its spending initiatives and meet its fiscal targets. Its rosy economic assumptions will be put to the test by the risks it identifies itself in the budget—growing protectionism and uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations, tightening monetary policies worldwide and the risk higher interest rates pose for an already overextended household sector in Canada. Recent U.S. tax reforms are another serious risk to business investment in Canada that is missing from the budget’s calculations—we are awaiting further analysis.

    Higher interest rates are certain to throw the government off its fiscal course—a 1% increase in the cost of borrowing alone translates into a $3-billion increase in the federal deficit over a period of five years. But, what is even more of a concern is that the government now has very little room to respond to an economic slowdown or any other problem affecting the Canadian economy. The leeway it has enjoyed to reduce taxes and increase spending in an era of low interest rates is quickly coming to an end.

    Now, more than ever, Canada needs to undertake a comprehensive review of its tax competitiveness—and act with urgency to implement measures that will retain and attract business investment in Canada. That is the only way we can shield the Canadian economy against the headwinds that lie ahead. And, ultimately, it is the only way we will be able to pay for the government’s ambitious spending plans.

    Read the full Chamber Analysis.



    Oakville Chamber mobilizes businesses to put shared prosperity, economic development front-and-centre in upcoming election

    Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, launched a major province-wide letter writing campaign urging businesses to encourage their local provincial candidates to support the Ontario Chamber Network’s election platform, Vote Prosperity. To ensure economic prosperity is at the forefront of the 2018 provincial election, the Chamber Network has developed 18 recommendations that will help bolster Ontario’s long-term economic outcomes.

    This letter-writing campaign is the next phase of this advocacy effort, building on ongoing government relations activities. We are calling on our local candidates to read Vote Prosperity and engage with our local business community to ensure business priorities are heard.

    “The upcoming provincial election provides our business community with an opportunity to ensure that our businesses are being heard by our future elected officials,” said Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “Vote Prosperity provides political parties with tangible solutions to address the challenges businesses are currently facing and to ensure that Ontario is building a prosperous economy that supports local business in our community and across the province.”

    Over the next 12 weeks, the Ontario Chamber Network will be advocating Vote Prosperity with local provincial candidates across the province through meetings, social media activation and with the letter writing campaign. Vote Prosperity is built around four fundamental pillars to support a strong economy in Ontario: strengthening business competitiveness, fostering job creation, building healthy communities and improving government accountability.

    “We are calling on all political leaders to read Vote Prosperity and consider our recommendations as we aim to make Ontario the best place to start and grow a business,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “It’s simple, when you choose prosperity, Ontario wins.”

    The Ontario Chamber Network released Vote Prosperity in October 2017, ahead of most of the major political parties’ platform development. Some of the recommendations from Vote Prosperity include:

    • Allow Ontario businesses to purchase surplus electricity at rates equal to or better than the exported price to other jurisdictions;
    • Allocate resources to focus support on high growth firms and those with high growth potential, by delaying taxation on corporate income growth to overcome Ontario’s scale-up challenge;
    • Focus on strategic growth policies by ensuring that land use planning and development regulations are aligned, to increase density and create more housing stock;
    • Create a meaningful plan to tackle the debt and move towards balanced or surplus budgets.

    Read the Vote Prosperity platform.

    Send a letter in support. 

    Complete the survey


    Input Costs Soar as Confidence and Projected Profits Fall: Ontario Economic Report 2018

    Ontario Chamber Network reveals consequences of a climate that discourages growth

    Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, released the second annual Ontario Economic Report (OER), a comprehensive analysis of data and emerging trends on the economic health of the province. Original economic research from the report reveals that 77 per cent of Ontario businesses say access to talent remains the largest impact on their competitiveness and nearly half report a lack of confidence in the province’s economy. Meanwhile, a lack of confidence in their own ability to sustain profits continues to decline.

    The OER includes data from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Business Confidence Survey conducted by Fresh Intelligence, a Business Prosperity Index developed by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), and a 2018 Economic Outlook prepared by BMO Financial Group.

    “Industry in Ontario are feeling the impact of the rising minimum wage, significant labour reforms, increasing global and US competition, NAFTA renegotiations, consistent overregulation, rising input costs, and challenges to accessing talent,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This year’s Ontario Economic Report indicates that these challenges are creating a climate of low business confidence that will compromise the province’s future prosperity.”

    According to OER findings, 68 percent of firms say the minimum wage increase is predicted to have a negative impact on their business. Compared to last year, they are more likely to project a decline in revenue and a shrinking of their workforce.

    Some of the 2018 OER highlights on the outlook of Ontario’s economy include:

    • Businesses are losing confidence in Ontario’s economy. In 2012, 47 percent of businesses reported they were confident in Ontario’s economic outlook. Today, that share has been halved, as only 23 percent of businesses are confident in the economy.
    • Nearly two-thirds of businesses cite input costs for their lack of confidence, such as the price of electricity, taxes, and the increase in minimum wage. This is compared to only 31 percent who name competitive barriers such as declining consumer demand or changing client behaviour.
    • One quarter of small businesses in Ontario project declining revenue in 2018, which is twice the rate of large firms (26 percent vs. 13 percent). Given that the majority of businesses in this province are small, this will likely have a net-negative impact on economic growth.
    • The production of goods and services represents a shrinking contributor to business prosperity. Production activities represent only 15.3 percent of business prosperity, meaning that prosperity is increasingly becoming more dependent upon financial activities instead of productive activities. This is indicative of Ontario possessing a higher-risk operating environment.
    • Our historically low unemployment rate is a red herring, as more individuals remove themselves from the workforce or simply give up the search. The percentage of Ontarians not participating in the labour force is at a recent high of 35 percent, contributing to employers’ on-going struggle to attract talent.

    “This important report identifies key vulnerabilities within our economy and provides decisions makers and community leaders with the understanding needed to find the solutions that will drive our economy forward,” said Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “This year, the Ontario Chamber Network will continue to engage and advocate on behalf of Ontario’s business community to explore these issues and develop the necessary solutions for a more prosperous Ontario.”

    “Looking at businesses in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), 66 per cent said they are confident in their organization’s economic outlook, while only 35 per cent said they are confident in the province’s economic outlook” stated Drew Redden, President of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “75 per cent of these businesses cited poor economic policy from the government as a reason why they are uncertain with Ontario’s economic outlook. The Oakville Chamber looks forward to meeting with government officials to discuss economic policies that will facilitate growth for the province’s economy, many of those which are outlined in the Ontario Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity platform.”

    In addition to new economic research, the OER outlines the areas of focus for the Ontario Chamber Network’s policy and advocacy work in the year ahead. In 2018, the Ontario Chamber Network will be looking at the potential of the health and life sciences sector, examining challenges related to urbanization and housing affordability, and studying the critical transportation needs across the province. As businesses continue to cite access to talent as a top challenge, the Ontario Chamber Network will continue to provide proactive recommendations and solutions to ensure we are leveraging our greatest asset—human capital.

    Read the Ontario Economic Report 2018.

    For more information about the OER, visit: www.occ.ca/ontario-economic-report

    View data from the responses of businesses in the GTHA. 


    Congratulations to the Finalists for the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are pleased to present the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE) that will culminate in a Gala Dinner on Tuesday, March 27th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The finalists for this year’s awards were officially announced at the OABE Nominee Reception held on Tuesday, February 6th at the Holiday Inn Oakville – Centre. This year, the award recipients will be chosen from finalists in nine categories: Small Business of the Year, Bell Mid-size Business of the Year, RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year, Professional Services Provider of the Year, Franchisee of the Year, The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year, KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Professional & Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award), and Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award. At the awards gala, the recipient of the Genworth Community Builder Award, Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award, and Oakville’s Business Icon Award will be announced.
    • The Genworth Community Award recognizes a business that has, over time, demonstrated exemplary business practices and dedicated involvement in the community.
    • The Charity or Not-for-Profit Excellence Award honours a charity or not-for-profit organization which is highly regarded in our community and raises funds or provides services to improve the lives of people within our community.
    • The Business Icon Award recognizes a prominent Oakville business which is highly regarded in the business community.
    “The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence received an overwhelming number of nominations from the Oakville community. The judges carefully reviewed all of the nominations and selected a list of 56 finalists” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “I congratulate all of the finalists. It is truly an honour to be nominated by your customers and peers and to be recognized for your dedication, business practices, and community service.” Working in partnership with The Rotary Club of Oakville West, the majority of funds raised from the Gala Dinner will be donated directly to the club’s local youth programs. “Since its inception in 1995, the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence has raised almost $1,000,000 for our youth initiatives including the Oakville Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards” said Lois Knepflar, President of the Rotary Club of Oakville West. “We look forward to a fantastic evening to celebrate business excellence, while supporting the youth in our community.” The Finalists for the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are: Small Business of the Year A.S. Security & Surveillance Inc. Addison Music Learning Centre Akita Natural Skin Care Products Canada Caju Multimedia Inc. DCM Event Management Expert Island iCare Home Health Innovative HR Oakview Funeral Home Painters Place Preferred Muffler, Brake & Auto Inc. Qi Tranquility Spa Resultel Technologies Inc. Speckles Art Studio Wines Unlimited Bell Mid-size Business of the Year: Automacs Collision Inc. Cameron’s Brewing Company ClubRunner Florence Meats JNB Auto Centre Inc. Mico Systems Inc. SupperWorks Total Tech Pools and Leisure Inc. RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year: Caravan Logistics Inc. D’Orazio Infrastructure Group Limited Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery iFLY Toronto Indoor Skydiving Naylor Building Partnerships Inc. Rona Professional Services Provider of the Year: Bazar McBean LLP Lakeshore Woods Pharmacy Positive Accounting The Milley Team (HollisWealth, A division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.) Franchisee of the Year: Liaison College (Oakville Campus) Piper Foods Inc. (McDonald’s Restaurant) The Morris Mercanti Restaurateur of the Year: Bronte Sports Kitchen La Parisienne Creperie Oliver & Bonacini Café & Grill The Pipes and Taps Pub KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year: Allie Ochs of Swiss Bionic Solutions Ayse Kilic of Akita Canada Dawn Porter-Schofield of Cornerstone Mediation Jane Wilson of PoleFit Nation John Thistlewaite of BCIS, Inc. Matthew Zarrillo of Zarr Tech Nicoletta Medeiros of Allure Laser Skin Studio Young Professional and Entrepreneur of the Year (YPEG Award): Derek Lee of Media Rez Studios Inc. Dr. Denise Handscomb, ND of Abaton Integrative Medicine   James Montague of James Montague the Event Planner Morsal Haidary of Lash Out Lounge and Spa Paul Ferri of Limitless Training Systems Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award: Canlan Ice Sports Corp. Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. Mancor Industries Oakville Honda Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc. The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West thank Platinum Partner RBC for their generous support of the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence and Nominee Reception. Event Details: Date: Tuesday, March 27th Time: 5:30pm – Registration & Reception; 6:30pm – Dinner & Awards Gala Location: Oakville Conference and Banquet Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Road Tickets: $125 per person; $87.50 per person for Nominees Purchase tickets online or by emailing info@oakvillechamber.com or calling the Oakville Chamber of Commerce at 905-845-6613.

    Oakville Chamber partners with Canadian Chamber to launch 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins

    A strong and prosperous Canada depends on business growth, but businesses are grappling with daunting challenges at home and abroad. To help them compete and grow, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to release 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins today. 10 Ways provides businesses, decision-makers and government with a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow our economy.

    “While the global economy remains risky, there are still tremendous opportunities for business growth, but we need to work together to create the conditions to support business growth and build a more prosperous economy for all Canadians,” said the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “10 Ways identifies the ways in which business, government and others can work together to improve Canada’s public policy environment and create the conditions for businesses across the country to flourish.”

    10 Ways touches on a range of key issues, including attracting business investment, supporting SMEs, and encouraging innovation and fixing Canada’s trade-enabling infrastructure.

    “The Oakville Chamber is proud to partner with the Canadian Chamber again this year to release 10 Ways” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve finalized a list of 10 important ways in which Canada’s policy environment can be improved to support development and growth for businesses not only in Oakville, but across the country.”

    “We are looking forward to meeting with government officials to discuss our recommendations” added Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

    This annual list by the Canadian Chamber Network is particularly important given the growing pressures on businesses faced with uncertainty around the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, additional layers of regulation, rapid technological change and low capital investment. 10 Ways not only frames the necessary public discourse around the best ways to enable Canadian businesses to grow, it provides the Canadian Chamber of Commerce with the strategic direction for its policy and advocacy efforts throughout 2018, supported by the Oakville Chamber.

    10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins in 2018

    1. Make Canada a Magnet for Business Investment
    We need a policy environment in Canada that makes this country the preferred location for businesses to invest, employ, export from and grow.

    2. Ensure a Globally Competitive North America
    The growth potential of Canadian business depends not only rely on our domestic policy environment, but also on our access to business opportunities and capabilities across North America and around the world. We need to expand and streamline business access to resources as we eliminate barriers to trade. 

    3. Make Canada an Agri-food Powerhouse
    Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector has a strong and well-earned reputation. In order to make Canada a global leader in high-value food production and exports, we need a national vision and clear objectives for an agri-food cluster development strategy, a supportive regulatory environment and an increased capacity to export.

    4. Develop Agile Workforce Strategies
    Agile workforce policies are vital in ensuring Canadian businesses can acquire the skill sets they need to compete and grow. To this end, Canadian businesses need easy access to comprehensive market information and to programs and policies that support diversity and labour mobility. Our workforce must also have access to formative and life-long learning opportunities in essential skills and basic science, technical, engineering and business education. Only then can we attract the best and brightest from all over the world.

    5. Make all of Canada an Export Gateway
    Trade is the linchpin of the Canadian economy. We can enhance the competitiveness and growth potential of Canadian businesses by building on the gateways and corridors modeled to make strategic, sustainable and long-term improvements in Canada’s trade infrastructure. It is time for us to create a single, unified and efficient trade-enabling network.

    6. Improve Regulatory Efficiency, Achieve Regulatory Alignment, and Ensure the Unrestricted Movement of Goods and People across Canada 
    The elimination of trade barriers and unnecessary regulatory differences across Canada could add as much as $130 billion to Canada’s GDP by freeing trade and commerce within our own internal markets. Through incentives for regulators, we can concentrate on the big picture: nationally aligned standards and regulations that work for all, instead of a patchwork of regional rules.

    7.Help SMEs Trade and Grow
    Canada’s economic prospects depend in large part on the vitality and growth potential of small- and medium-sized enterprises. We can support our SMEs through tax policies that reward entrepreneurship, regulatory policies that take their reality into account and by giving them easier access to government contracts and international opportunities.

    8. Provide Opportunities for Business Development to Support Self-determination for Indigenous Peoples
    The economic and social benefits of encouraging greater and more inclusive participation by Indigenous peoples in employment and business development opportunities are shared by all Canadians. This includes a supportive tax and regulatory environment, access to new business opportunities, government programs that provide meaningful supports, and ready-access to education and training, leading to employment, apprenticeship and mentorship programs.

    9. Make Canada a Global Innovator
    Canada can retain its status as an advanced economy only if its businesses are world leaders in the development and application of new and advanced technologies. Canadian businesses need to be connected to the broadband infrastructure, research expertise and technology resources they require. Intellectual property and other regulatory regimes also have to be supportive and allow for easier R&D, development and, ultimately, commercialization.

    10. Make Canada the World’s One-stop Shop for Green Resources and Technology
    The application of new technologies and production processes is vital if Canada is to meet its goals for reducing carbon emissions and improving the quality of its environment while at the same time sustaining economic growth. This requires support for resource-based technology business clusters and the incentives and support programs Canadian technology companies need to be able to do business with global resource companies and engineering and procurement firms.

    Read the report.



    Oakville Chamber appoints new President

    Oakville Chamber President Drew Redden

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the appointment of Drew Redden as its new President, effective February 5, 2018.

    “We are very pleased to make this appointment” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board of the Oakville Chamber. “Drew has a strong background in strategic communications and government relations and is passionate about our business community. We know he will continue building on the Oakville Chamber’s strong foundation.”

    Drew brings a variety of public and private sector experience to the role at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Oakville Chamber, Drew served as a Senior Advisor to a Cabinet Minister at Queens Park, and most recently a Manager of Public Affairs at a multi-national corporation where he was based in the Halton Region. In his past roles, Drew was engaged with Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade throughout the Province.

    “I am very excited to join the award-winning Oakville Chamber of Commerce and have the opportunity to work with the staff, Board of Directors and volunteers of this impressive organization” said Drew. “I look forward to meeting with our members and the Chamber’s many community partners over the coming months as we set our priorities to build on the legacy left by John Sawyer. We will be focused on ensuring that the Oakville Chamber of Commerce remains a leading voice in the Chamber network across Ontario and Canada.”




    Become an MNP Future Leader

    The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a partner of the MNP Future Leaders Program!

    MNP Future Leaders ProgramAs an entrepreneurial firm built for entrepreneurs, MNP is proud to support our local business communities and young business leaders. They created the MNP Future Leaders mentorship program to recognize the importance of new and growing businesses – the lifeblood of our economy. They are committed to providing them with the support, advice and tools they need to succeed in a rapidly-changing business environment. The program is aimed at current students and recent graduates from their post-secondary institution partners including Ryerson University, Sheridan College and University of Toronto Mississauga who are seeking to start or actively involved in an entrepreneurial enterprise.

    MNP has also partnered with key local stakeholders who share the same goal of supporting youth entrepreneurship in our business community including the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Brampton Board of Trade, Mississauga Board of Trade, City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, and Metroland Media.

    Winners will receive free monthly professional mentoring, guidance and advice from an experienced MNP partner for one full year and a personalized award acknowledging their accomplishment as an MNP Future Leader. They will also receive a year-long membership with their local board of trade or chamber of commerce. Member benefits include access to valuable resources and information on current industry trends and public policy issues, advocacy support as well as networking and growth opportunities.

    HOW DO I APPLY?
    Visit www.MNP.ca/futureleaders for more details about the program and to complete and submit an online application by the April 10, 2018 deadline.



    Member Profile: Courtyard by Marriott Burlington

    The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is Halton Region’s newest hotel! The hotel sits on the border of Burlington and Oakville with easy access to the QEW, Highway 407, and within close proximity to Toronto Pearson and Hamilton International Airports. The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is conveniently located adjacent to the Burlington Convention Centre with a heated and covered walkway surrounded by many corporate offices, and is across the street from the picturesque Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

    The upscale hotel features a state-of-the-art lobby with the BISTRO Restaurant & Lounge at the centre of it all – serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and Starbucks coffee 7 days a week. Guests can also enjoy a well-equipped fitness centre and indoor saltwater pool.


    The Courtyard by Marriott Burlington was designed by Adrian Mauro and his team at Chamberlain Architect Services Limited, and developed by Domenic Fuda and his team at TriAxis Construction Limited with the future in mind. Throughout the hotel guests can connect with ample electrical outlets. The “Boarding Pass Station” features a separate computer station dedicated to printing airline information. The hotel has implemented green technology with a guest recycling program and charging stations for electric vehicles.

    The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington caters to corporate guests with 1,800 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 120 people. The meeting rooms feature LED TVs, white boards, top-down screens and projectors to meet all your AV needs. Exquisite catering menus are avail-able to suit your needs. For organizations needing more space, the adjacent award-winning Burlington Convention Centre features 20,000 square feet of function space to accommodate up to 1,200 guests.

    The hotel has 135 guest rooms, including 10 suites, with hybrid zones for working featuring over 16 power outlets and 7 UsB ports in every guest rooms. All rooms have a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in their room. each guest room has their own dedicated Wi-Fi router which powers up to 6 devices.

    The team at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington is led by Managing Director Frank Vismeg, who has long-term success in the travel and tourism industry – living and working in over 34 countries! Frank is also the President of Skal International Hamilton-Niagara Club, the world’s leading asso-ciation of travel and tourism professionals from over 85 countries. Through his career he has had the pleasure of hosting celebrities Tom Jones and Christopher Plummer, and on the political scene Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, and Stephen Harper.

    “My strength is relationship building” says Frank, “A typical week in-cludes meetings with community and regional stakeholders who share in making Burlington and Oakville one of the top destinations for tourism and conventions. 

    The strength of these relationships was demonstrated at the hotel’s grand opening which included Mayor of Burlington Marianne Meed Ward, Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, and Premier of Ontario Doug Ford.

    Approaching their one-year anniversary, the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burl-ington is already attracting loyal customers, and boast a 98% guest satisfaction rating. “The key to the hotel’s success is consistent service quality” said Frank, “A hotel is just 4 walls; it is the people inside that make it run.” Frank said all of his staff have a ‘Yes I Can’ attitude, always going above and beyond to en-sure guests feel welcome and enjoy their stay. They are proud to announce the newest addition to their management team, Ms. Angelica Sanz Rincon – Hotel Manager coming here from the from the Ritz Carlton Resort in Puerto Rico.

    Frank sees a bright future for Burlington and Oakville as the Region continues to grow. He is already working on a new hotel with his partners at the Burlington Hotels Group Inc. – stay tuned for the new development!
    Select the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington for your next
    business meeting contact:

    Nicoletta Vella, Director of Sales & Marketing:
    nicoletta.vella2@marriott.com

    Tarah Markham, Sales & Operations Manager:
    tarah.markham@marriott.com

    Victoria Howard-Csampely, Sales & Catering Manager:
    victoria.howard-csampely@marriott.com

    How to profit from your employee benefits plan

    You wouldn’t normally expect an insurer to keep surpluses in their benefits program but with the Chambers Plan that’s exactly what happens. As a not-for-profit benefits plan, the Chambers Plan reinvests these surpluses back into the program to reduce rates, to continue to add additional benefits and provide high-quality service with ever evolving options.

    Small and mid-sized business owners face a lot of uncertainty and they don’t need that to include their employee benefits plan. A local Chambers Plan advisor can help show them why the Chambers Plan is the number one plan for businesses looking for stability in their benefits plan.

    Why should this be a concern? Well, first there are inflationary factors that can cause your benefits plans to rise. Next, some group benefits providers will lure businesses in with unsustainable rates, which will be followed by larger premium increases in subsequent years. Many business owners have experienced this roller coaster ride already and we can show you how to avoid that.

    Let’s talk first about the low rate trap. Most benefits providers are for-profit entities where logic dictates they need more premium than claims paid out plus the administrative costs to run the plan. In addition, many require funding for their own large claims pool to pay larger claims than normal, typically large drug or out of country claims. Insurers have to provide a return on investment for shareholders. With the Chambers Plan, plan participants are treated like the shareholders with surpluses being reinvested into the pool.

    One of the great things about the Chambers Plan is that it allows start-ups or smaller firms to participate fully in the pool if they have 3-9 employees, though some 1 and 2 person firms may also qualify. If they are fully pooled they join the other 35,000 businesses where renewals are based simply on what’s needed to sustain the pool. This keeps their costs predictable until they grow to a size where they can take on additional risk. If they had a bad year for claims due to an employee or employee’s dependent it won’t impact the renewal the way it would with a traditional carrier.

    In addition, as they grow they can move into the Chambers Plan’s partially pooled option. With this the firm takes on more risk since a portion of claims will be rated against premiums, and for taking on that risk receive reduced rates. As the Chambers Plan is a not-for-profit program, surpluses go back into your claims and provide a reduction.

    What’s also intriguing is that for larger firms with 10-99 employees, the Chambers Plan, as a not-for-profit simply has less overhead. As a pooled, not-for-profit, the plan doesn’t charge reserves (IBNR’s) which can typically eat 8-12% of premiums, and again provide some pooling cost certainty for years where your claims may fluctuate. In addition to this, the plan’s lower than industry average annual inflation.

    The plan has always been around with the goal of supporting business with less than 100 employees, providing not only cost certainly but also additional supporting benefits that firms this size may require. All employees also receive the Best Doctors program. This can allow an employee to find access to specialists or get a second opinion on either a diagnosis or course of treatment. The Chambers Plan also provides the BAS, or Business Assistance Service to all plan holders. This service is invaluable to any size enterprise providing HR, Accounting and Legal assistance as part of the underlying program.

    The Chambers Plan is also administratively light and easy. Employees can access their own information and make claims or inquiries through the My-Benefits platform. Additionally, claims can be done  simply by taking a picture of the claim and submitting through the phone application with direct deposit right into the employees bank account. A Chambers Plan representative can help train you and your employees on how to use the plan and access the resources available. It has been designed to be very user friendly.

     As a not-for-profit program supported by and supporting local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, the benefits continue to evolve based on the needs of the SME marketplace. Needs are in today’s business environment and benefits are evolving to keep up, while also with catering to those still wanting to have more traditional plans. All resources are reinvested with these goals in mind, something unique in the marketplace. 

    Why not profit from your benefits investment?
    Contact Hynek Financial Group, our local provider of The Chambers Plan for more information.


    What the Oakville Candidates Are Saying: 2019 Federal Election

    As part of the Oakville Chamber’s advocacy efforts leading up to the federal election on October 21st, we invited candidates to share with our members their vision with the Oakville business community.  Specifically, how their party’s policies and/or platform would strengthen Oakville’s business competitiveness.  

    Their responses are included below in alphabetical order by last name (as seen on the Elections Canada ballot). 

    To learn more about the Canadian Chamber of Commerce priorities for this election, check out Vote Prosperity. 


    Jerome Adamo

    New Democratic Party of Canada

    The NDP expresses disappointment in recent disproportionate trade deals affecting Canadian businesses and workers. As a labour activist, I’ve always sought, the best interests of workers and my inclusive activism deciphers no difference between employee; union; non union; owner; manager.

    As your Ottawa representative, whether opposition or ruling party, I’d thrive as your Oakville watchdog. My focus either way, is for average families and small business owners while pushing legislative change in every area affecting people’s daily lives. Health; workplace; education; safety; trade and/or barriers; wages; taxation; workers compensation; greener economics and pension security. The umbrella issue being the commitment to end a system catering to insiders.

    Our Infrastructure vision is one where communities can afford to build infrastructures needed to thrive, from roads and bridges to community centres; child care centres, and telecommunications broadband access, an issue as close as Milton.

    To help Canadian small business’s world stage ambitions, a New Democrat government will streamline access to government export services making it simpler to break into foreign markets, achievable for small- and medium-sized businesses through a single point of contact easing regulatory processes. You’ll have more time to invest in business growth.

    And finally as MP, I would not oppose recommendations of a royal commission to conduct a tax system review, in fact every party should be committed to this. For too long our tax system has been working for the wrong people, the wealthy elite while average hard working families and small business owners pay the price.


    Anita Anand

    Liberal Party of Canada

    The Liberal Party recognizes that small and medium-sized businesses are the drivers of Canada’s economy. That is why the Liberal government cut the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% — the lowest in the G7. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to support business owners by:

    · Cutting fees and reducing red tape
    · Eliminating the swipe fee on HST and GST for credit card transactions.
    · Cutting the cost of federal incorporation by 75%, to $50 from $200.
    · Eliminating all fees from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Export Development Canada (EDC) and Farm Credit Canada for business advisory services, such as mentorship and training.
    · Implementing a voluntary payroll system to automate records of employment, eliminating the requirement for small businesses to submit detailed records to Service Canada.
    · Lowering taxes for clean tech businesses
    · Cutting corporate taxes in half for businesses that develop technologies or manufacture products that have zero emissions.
    · Helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses
    · Creating the Canada Entrepreneur Account to provide up to 2,000 entrepreneurs per year with as much as $50,000 to launch a new business. The program will be run as a pilot project for the first three years.
    · Making it easier to do business online
    · Providing every new business with a $250 voucher for support services, such as web or e-commerce development, from leading Canadian service providers.

    These measures will increase our business competitiveness by making it easier and less expensive for business owners to start and grow their businesses.


    James Elwick

    Green Party of Canada

    Business competitiveness depends on consumers’ trust that the rules of the economic game are fair for everyone. But are they fair?

    Let’s take the case of taxes. Any taxation system is based upon a moral contract. When people pay taxes to a government, they trust that it will use their money to deal with problems too complicated or too expensive for each individual to deal with on his or her own.

    But our trust that each Canadian is indeed paying his or her fair share in taxes is declining. It’s partly because of tax avoidance. But one crucial problem is hiding in plain sight: the Canadian tax system has not been systematically reviewed since the 1960s. It means the government doesn’t even have information about how the tax system can be made fairer and more effective. Think of all the enormous technological, social, and financial changes that have occurred since the 1960s.  

    Therefore the Green Party proposes a wide-ranging Federal Tax Commission as a wise investment in our economy. We’ve costed it at $10 million over two years. It’s money well spent if we can make the tax system more efficient while identifying loopholes we should close. Such a review would help restore Canadians’ trust that our tax system works for everyone. It would help restore people’s faith in the rules of our larger economic system, boost consumer confidence, and lead to greater economic participation.


    JD Meaney

    People’s Party of Canada

    Canadians face many challenges and corrective action is needed. The interest payment of $25 billion on a debt approaching $1 trillion is unstainable.

    I present to you our economic plan. The People’s Party government will do the following:

    Balance the federal budget in 2 years and remain fiscally responsible towards tax payers.

    Set the federal income tax at two rates. Personal exemption will be set at $15,000. $15,001 – $100,000 will be set at 15% and $100,001 onwards will be set at 25%.

    Set our corporate tax rate at 10%.

    Encourage reinvestment in Canada by ending capital gains tax.

    Promote an environment for a thriving economy of entrepreneurship and small businesses.

    Not pick winners and losers in business. We will end corporate welfare to businesses who have relied on government subsidies for many years.

    Solve Canada’s energy crisis by building pipelines and repeal bills C-48 and C-69.

    Prioritize our immigration levels on skills and merit.

    Review the equalization formula for provinces, making it fairer for the provinces who really need it.

    Eliminate interprovincial trade barriers making it easier for provinces to move goods and services across our vast nation.

    End supply management on farming commodities such as dairy, poultry and eggs, making basic groceries more affordable for our poorest Canadians.

    I believe in individual freedom, personal responsibility, fairness and respect.

    I look forward to honourably serve the people of Oakville as your next Member of Parliament.

    It’s our future.


    Terence Young

    Conservative Party of Canada

    If you believe the Liberals, our economy is in great shape. Employment is high. We have 4% growth. 

    Trudeau and Morneau claim we should add another $100 B in debt over the next four years, after adding $76 B in the last four, and planning to add debt yearly forever.

    To be clear, they have no plan to ever balance the budget.

    Is this spending and economy sustainable? 

    International investors don’t think so. They are fleeing Canada. Direct foreign investment has crashed by 80% in the last five years.

    Canadian investors don’t think so either. Canadian investment abroad has tripled.

    Our exporters are losing billions. Entrepreneurs are leaving Canada to avoid paying 53.5% tax rates.

    Justin Trudeau’s international antics and costumes have embarrassed Canada, hurting trade relations with key trading partners. 

    We can’t grow our economy and increase markets for GTA businesses when capital is deserting Canada, new trade deals are frozen, major infrastructure projects are on hold, and taxes are driving out entrepreneurs.      

    Under my Conservative government we had a balanced budget by 2015 and the lowest business and personal taxes in 50 years. And we will do that again.

    We will balance the budget in 5 years, by cutting corporate welfare and reducing unneeded foreign aid; consult properly with First Nations to get pipelines and other infrastructure built in a national energy corridor, put more money in the pockets of ordinary people with tax cuts, reset trade relations, and kill the ineffective and punishing carbon tax.



    What the Oakville North-Burlington Candidates Are Saying: 2019 Federal Election

    As part of the Oakville Chamber’s advocacy efforts leading up to the federal election on October 21st, we invited candidates to share with our members their vision with the Oakville business community.  Specifically, how their party’s policies and/or platform would strengthen Oakville’s business competitiveness.  

    Their responses are included below in alphabetical order by last name (as seen on the Elections Canada ballot). 

    To learn more about the Canadian Chamber of Commerce priorities for this election, check out Vote Prosperity. 


    Pam Damoff

    Liberal Party of Canada

    Oakville’s businesses drive job creation, and government can support their efforts to create jobs. Since 2015, unemployment has fallen to historic lows, and our community has a strong record of economic growth. Canadian families now have one of the lowest effective tax rates in the OECD and the lowest in the G7. A re-elected Liberal government will make it more affordable for businesses to move forward, grow and create more good jobs.

     
    We will eliminate the “swipe fee” on HST and GST that merchants must pay to credit card companies every time a credit card is swiped, saving businesses $500 million a year in fees.
     
    We will cut the cost of federal incorporation by 75 per cent, eliminating fees for federal business advisory services, and automating records of employment. We will create the Canada Entrepreneur Account, providing up to 2,000 entrepreneurs a year with as much as $50,000 to launch a new business. We will slash corporate taxes in half for companies that develop products that have zero emissions as we move forward with an ambitious and achievable plan to combat climate change.
     
    We will build on the work we’ve done over the last four years to lower taxes for small businesses from 11% to 9%, safeguard our trading relationships, grow our exports and help businesses seize new opportunities at home and abroad. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to make sure that our community’s entrepreneurs have the support they need to succeed.

    Nicolas Dion

    New Democratic Party of Canada

    No response received.


    Michael Houghton

    Green Party of Canada

    No response received.


    Gilbert Joseph Jubinville

    People’s Party of Canada

    People’s Party of Canada free and open market policies are based on 4 core values.

         Personal Responsibility
         Individual Freedom
         Respect, fairness

    Taxes:

    • Balance the budget within two years
    • Cut federal tax to 15% on income between $15,001 and $100,000, and 25% tax rate on income above $100,000
    • Abolish the Capital Gains Tax.

    Regulatory

    • We will consider creating a Minister of Regulatory Efficiency responsible for regulatory oversight at the Treasury.
    • Establishment of individual property rights on reserves.
    • Phase out the supply management system over a number of years
    • Allow Canada’s dairy, egg and poultry farmers to sell their products internationally.
    • Reduce the total amount of equalization payments to provinces.
    • Establish a parliamentary committee to review and make recommendations on a new formula

    Trade

    • Reassert the authority and leadership of the federal government on internal trade.
    • Use section 91(2) of the Constitution, which gives Ottawa exclusive power to regulate matters of international and interprovincial trade.
    • Appoint a Minister of Internal Trade

    Small and mid size business

    • Permanently expand the accelerated capital cost allowance to all sectors
    • Drop Corporate Income Tax to 10%
    • Abolish the Carbon tax and no Cap & Trade. 

    Connected Canada

    • Abolish the CRTC. Open and Free Markets will increase competition

    Skills

    • Reform the immigration point system and the related programs to accept a larger proportion of economic immigrants with the right skills

    Sean Weir

    Conservative Party of Canada

    Small and medium sized businesses are the bedrock of many communities.  As I have been knocking on doors, speaking to the residents and business owners of Oakville North–Burlington, one thing has remained clear, life is more expensive and complicated under Justin Trudeau. Trudeau’s never-ending tax hikes and new regulations are making it harder to operate and grow local businesses. His job-killing carbon tax, increased CPP and EI premiums, and changes to the small business tax regime all negatively impact thousands of local businesses.

    The Liberal government attacked local businesses to pay for their out-of-control spending. Despite a massive backlash across the country, including in Oakville, Justin Trudeau steamrolled ahead, claiming that business owners were just rich tax cheats. The Liberals complex tax grab would penalize family businesses for sharing earnings and work with family members.

    A new Conservative government will understand the critical role you as a business owner plays in our community and we will help you get ahead.  Specifically, we will:

    • Repeal Trudeau’s tax increases on small business investments
    • Exempt spouses from tax increases on small business dividends
    • Make it easier to navigate Canada’s tax system and the Canada Revenue Agency
    • Reduce federal regulations by 25 per cent
    • Implement a 2-for-1 rule for new regulations
    • Assign a Minister to lead red tape reduction efforts
    • Champion Canada’s small businesses to the world

    I am running to champion the residents and businesses of Oakville North – Burlington so they can get ahead, not just get by.