The Government of Canada is updating federal labour standards.

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.


Popular Chamber President Retiring

John Sawyer, Past President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

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.


Further Offset Measures Needed in Upcoming Budget to Keep Ontario Competitive

2018 Provincial Pre-Budget Submission


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.



RBC Economic Outlook 2018

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce was pleased to present their members and the Oakville business community with the RBC Economic Outlook 2018. The event provided guests with the opportunity to hear from RBC’s Chief Economist Craig Wright, and Ipsos’ Canada Vice President Sean Simpson.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the presentation slides from the RBC Economic Outlook Breakfast 2018  please e-mail Kristen at kristen@oakvillechamber.com 

Coverage of the event: