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.


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




Read the March 2018 Issue

This issue of The Business Advocate Online features the RBC Economic Outlook Breakfast, the Mental Health Breakfast presented by YPEG and Bell Let’s Talk and a profile on Peel Scrap Metal and the Dvorkin Family who is celebrating 100 years in the Scrap Metal Industry! The magazine features guest columns from Senior Communications Advisor Jim Gray and CMHA Halton Region’s Melanie McGregor, and an article on Inclusivity in the Workplace featuring thoughts from our members at Freshco, Ritorno, MP Pam Damoff and MP John Oliver. Lastly, the magazine features Past President John Sawyer’s final message to the membership and introduces New President Drew Redden.

Read it online now!

Piper Foods Inc. to be recognized as the Genworth Community Builder of the Year at the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence Gala

 The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and The Rotary Club of Oakville West are pleased to announce that Piper Foods Inc./McDonald’s Restaurants will be the recipient of the Genworth Community Builder of the Year Award at the 23rd Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence (OABE) Gala. The Gala dinner will take place at the Oakville Conference Centre on Tuesday, March 27th.

“The Genworth Community Builder Award recognizes a business that has, over a period of time, demonstrated exemplary business practices and dedicated involvement in the community. This year the chosen recipient of this award is Piper Foods Inc.” stated Lois Knepflar, President of The Rotary Club of Oakville West.

John Piper has worked his entire career in the McDonald’s family. Starting as a ‘crew kid’ when he was a teenager, serving customers with a smile, learning that if you take care of the guest the rest will follow. He held many different positions inside the corporation over his time with them. In 2003, John and his wife Marg founded Piper Foods Inc., where they and the team started with three McDonald’s restaurants here in Oakville. More recently, in late 2016, Piper Foods purchased two additional Oakville locations. These locations have seen tremendous growth since they became part of Piper Foods Inc. The Piper Foods team believe in creating an exceptional guest service in the restaurant as well as being an engaged member of the community.

A pillar of the Oakville community, Piper Foods is known for their extensive support of local organizations and the Oakville Hospital Foundation. Having recently completed their pledge of $250,000 towards construction of the new hospital, Piper Foods will continue its support of the Foundation by sponsoring signature events and collecting coin box donations at their restaurants. John also served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for nine years and chaired the committee for the Annual Golf Tournament. Piper Foods also supports many community organizations including the Dog Guides of Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and multiple local sports teams and athletes.

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 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 John’s business philosophy and lead to the introduction of a yearly $1,000 scholarship awarded to a McDonald’s team member to assist with post-secondary education cost. With the expansion of the company, Piper Foods is pleased to award 4 scholarships per year for a total of $4,000.

Celebrating 15 years in the Oakville community, Piper Foods Inc. were thrilled to be recognized at the national level by receiving McDonald’s Canada prestigious Community Involvement Award.

 “Piper Foods. Inc. is immersed in the Oakville community, through their outstanding community support, generous donations, and dedication to preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s workforce. This year Piper Foods celebrates their 15th Anniversary, and we couldn’t think of a better way to honour them” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

 

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.