Read the May/June 2018 Issue!

This issue of The Business Advocate Magazine features the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence, the Town Economic Update with Mayor Rob Burton and the Ontario Chamber Network’s Vote Prosperity Election Platform. The magazine features a guest column from Kellie Gray, Lawyer at O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP, on Personal Emergency Leave and a feature on Oakville Chamber member Entripy Custom Clothing. 

Read it online now!



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/


New Members: January & February 2018

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome the following organization as new members for January and February 2018.




Advanced Leadership: www.advancedleadership.ca

Bandhu Lakhani Campea LLP: 
www.blchrlaw.ca

Beauty and the Spa: www.beautyandthespa.ca

Bloomtools: www.bloomtoolsmississauga.ca

Cloud Hygiene: info@cloudhygiene.ca

Commissionaires Great Lakes: www.commissionaires-cgl.ca

Falcone Law Professional Corporation: www.falconelaw.ca

Givocity Community: www.givocity.ca

Gnoci: www.gnoci.com

GRIT Online Inc.: www.grit.online

HR Made EZ: hrmadez@gmail.com

InCube Mobility Solutions Inc.: www.e-incube.ca

InStyle Nails & Boutique: www.instylenail.ca

Kearns Marketing Group Inc.: www.kearnsmarketing.com

Lora Caven: www.loracaven.com

Meraki Fitness & Sports Performance: www.merakifitness.ca

Moltec International: www.moltecinternational.com

NHT Associates: www.nhttax.com

Premium Investigative Services: www.piservices.ca

R5 Sites: www.raven5.com

Ralph (Stephen) Ellis – Primerica: www.primerica.com

Ready Care Inc.: www.readycares.ca

Reincom: ron@reincom.ca

Safe Bathing Canada: www.safebathingcanada.com

Smart Reader: www.readycares.ca

Spatless Cleaning Services: www.spaclean.ca

The SBO Corp: ron.alltree@thesbocorp.com

United Water Restoration Group: danes@unitedwaterrestoration.com

 



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.