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.”
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and their Young Professional & Entrepreneur Group (YPEG), in partnership with Bell Let’s Talk, will host Let’s Talk About…Mental Health in the 21st Century: Stigma, Reality & Hope on Wednesday, January 24th. The event, which begins at 8:00am at OE Banquet Hall & Conference Centre, will include breakfast and a keynote presentation from Dr. David S. Goldbloom, OC, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
“We are pleased to be presenting our members with the opportunity to join in the important discussion on mental health” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “Mental health conditions in the workplace are being diagnosed with greater frequency and disability claims for mental illness is the fastest growing claim type in Canada.”
This will be the fourth time that the Oakville Chamber has partnered with Bell Let’s Talk to host the mental health breakfast.
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to partner with the Oakville Chamber of Commerce again this year to lead the discussion about mental health,” said Lena Demarco, Bell’s Regional Director, Community Affairs. “We invite everyone to continue the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 31.”
“From a business perspective, the cost of mental illnesses to the Canadian economy is estimated at over $50 billion annually, with $20 billion of that stemming directly from workplace losses” added John Sawyer, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We encourage our members to ensure they facilitate a mentally healthy environment for their employees.”For organizations looking to build a mentally healthy workplace, please visit www.occ.ca/mentalhealth/ for Working Toward Mental Wellness: A Toolkit for Employers. The site also lists a selection of resources to help employers assess their business, develop appropriate solutions and discover formal support.
Please find attached a survey from the Federal Government relating to feedback on the ongoing review of federal labour standards.
The main issues this survey addresses include vacation hours, break periods for meals, as well as newer concepts such as a “Right to Disconnect” (ie, be unavailable for work-related email or phone contact), and the various definitions of “Job Quality” related to employment.
We encourage you to take 5 minutes to complete this survey so that your views are shared with the federal government. More information can be found here.
After 12 years leading the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, President John Sawyer is stepping down. “the timing is right for both myself and the Chamber” said Mr. Sawyer. He want on to say; “We have built a truly outstanding team, we are at record membership and we are in a strong financial position. I will certainly miss it but am looking forward to the next chapter in my life.”
John has been recognized for his leadership by a number of organizations. In 2014 the Chamber Executives of Ontario awarded John the James Carnegie Memorial Award for his leadership and work as a mentor to his colleagues in the Chamber network. In recognition of his community service John was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and the local Rotary Clubs named John a Paul Harris Fellow. The Chamber Executives of Canada at their annual meeting last year named John the Chamber Executive of the year for Chambers with 1,000+ members.
Under John’s leadership the Oakville Chamber has grown to over 1,200 member companies that collectively employ over 42,000 people.
Twice during the past three years the Canadian Chamber has awarded the gold medal to the Oakville Chamber in the annual national Chamber competition; last year for producing the best Chamber video and in 2015 for building community partnerships. The Ontario Chamber has also recognized the Oakville Chamber with awards for its programing and advocacy work. The Chamber Accreditation Council awarded the Oakville Chamber Accreditation with Distinction. In order to be accredited a Chamber’s governance and programing are measured against best practices across the Chamber network. Accreditation with Distinction has only been earned by approximately 10% of the Chambers of Commerce or Boards of Trade in Canada.
The Oakville Chamber annually hosts between 55 and 65 events per year. Many of those events feature high profile business and political leaders. Over the past few years the Chamber has hosted leading CEO’s, the Governor General, Prime Ministers, Premiers, Cabinet Ministers, Government officials, diplomats and celebrities who have visited Oakville to speak at Chamber events.
“John will be missed. He has done a remarkable job over the past 12 years and will be hard to replace” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. “The Board has undertaken a rigorous search for John’s successor and we expect to be able to make an announcement in that regard in the coming weeks. John has agreed to stay on until the end of March to help with the transition in leadership.”
Details regarding a retirement celebration will be released at a later date.
The Ontario Chamber Network calls for tax reform, smart spending to support Ontario businesses
Today the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, provided the Ontario government with 11 recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget that will help businesses manage costs and secure the province’s competitive advantage. The submission, presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, calls on the government to implement taxation reforms and smart infrastructure and transportation spending to maximize growth and benefit all regions of Ontario.
As the cost of doing business in the province continues to increase, and Ontario employers take on one of the largest wage increases in recent history, Ontario’s Chamber Network is recommending the government reinstate the scheduled corporate income tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 10 per cent. The submission also calls on the harmonization of the Business Education Tax across the province, as well as targeted reductions to the Employer Health tax.
“Employers in Oakville of all sizes are feeling the pressure from rising costs, and more than ever our local business communities are lacking confidence in the future of Ontario’s economy,” said John Sawyer, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “The recent minimum wage and labour and employment standard changes will cost Ontario businesses an estimated $23 billion over the next two years. We need more support for business and the government’s commitments made in last year’s Fall Economic Statement are simply insufficient.”
The pre-budget submission also recommends that the government create additional small business deduction tax brackets, as well as delay taxation on corporate income growth to overcome the scale-up challenge. Currently, all businesses with an annual income of $500,000 or less are taxed at a flat rate. A bracketed taxation system would give startup and SMEs more room to grow. Currently in Ontario, 71 per cent of private sector jobs can be attributed to the activities of small and medium sized enterprises.
“Ontario needs a competitive taxation system, that encourages investment and minimizes red tape, must be in Ontario’s long-term strategic plan,” said Mr. Sawyer. “As the U.S. pursues tax reform that would lower their federal corporate tax rate by 15 per cent, and with the uncertain future of NAFTA, we must find ways to keep Ontario competitive.”
The Ontario Chamber Network also encourages members of the committee and government to consider how are we leveraging Ontario’s greatest asset—human capital.
The recommendations outlined in the Ontario Chamber’s pre-budget submission all come directly from Ontario’s Chamber Network through policy resolutions at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.
Read the full submission and all 11 recommendations.
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce will host its annual RBC Economic Outlook Breakfast on Tuesday, January 9th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The event will feature two keynote speakers: Craig Wright, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist, RBC and Sean Simpson, Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs. Craig Wright will provide a look at the provincial, national, and global economy going into 2018, while Sean Simpson will provide the social insights
The event provides an ideal opportunity for business owners and professionals to understand how economic and social factors may impact their business throughout 2018. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions during a moderated Question and Answer Forum following the keynote presentations.
“The RBC Economic Outlook Breakfast is one of the Chamber’s most popular annual events as businesses plan for the year ahead” stated Ken Nevar, Chair of the Board, Oakville Chamber of Commerce. “We thank our partners RBC, Ipsos Public Affairs and Henderson Partners LLP for their support in making this event possible.”
Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Time: 7:30am – 9:30am
Location: Oakville Conference Centre (2515 Wyecroft Road)
Tickets: Members $35; Non-members $55. Register online through the events calendar, or by contacting the Chamber directly at 905-845-6613, or firstname.lastname@example.org