Durham Economic Prosperity Committee

Chambers Take Active Role In Advocacy Day At Queen’s Park

Advocacy Day at Queen's ParkApril 7, 2016—Earlier this week, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) along with a delegation of representatives from over 80 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade participated in the first Chamber network Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park. Community leaders from Oshawa had the opportunity to meet directly with Premier Kathleen Wynne, senior cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, and with MPPs from across the province.

This allowed for Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) President, Natalie Sims, and CEO, Nancy Shaw, to discuss local issues of importance with Premier Wynne, the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, the Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation, the Honourable Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and other MPPs. Key issues included transit/transportation infrastructure, ORPP implementation, electricity pricing, skills development and Employment Standards changes.

 “In addition to convening business leaders from across the province and advancing the provinces business priorities, Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park was an excellent opportunity for Chamber leaders and local representatives to educate government officials while trying to obtain policy commitments from senior officials and locally elected representatives,” said Nancy Shaw, CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber. “It was an opportunity for the Chamber Network to work with government decision makers on issues that matter most to Ontario’s business community,” stated Ms. Shaw.

The day concluded with a reception at Queen’s Park, which gave representatives an opportunity to interact with their local MPPs in a more informal setting and allowed for further conversation regarding issues of concern to Ontario business.

“Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park highlights the power of the Chamber Network,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. Over 80 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from across the province came to Queen’s Park to share their collective voice. “We are eager to see how the Chamber Network can work with the provincial government on the economic challenges that were highlighted today during the OCC’s Advocacy Day.”

OCC Advocacy Day is one of the many ways that the Chamber Network engages in influential advocacy work. Through the strength of the Network’s powerful voice, the Chamber Network has seen tangible results including: the removal of the debt retirement charge on businesses electricity bills nine months early, reshaping and delaying the ORPP, the implementation of a provincial Red Tape Reduction Strategy, and most recently, a 500 million dollar investment in broadband infrastructure from the federal government. These exciting initiatives are all a result of the OCC’s and Greater Oshawa Chamber's ongoing government engagement. The GOCC in collaboration with the OCC will continue to advance the economic priorities of Oshawa and Durham Region. The GOCC encourages the provincial government to continue to engage with all members of the business community by working with businesses and local community leaders to address challenges that Ontario’s diverse economy is facing today, and in the future.

Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

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