Durham Economic Prosperity Committee

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OCC Delivers Landmark Agenda to Grow Economy and Spur Job Creation

Emerging Stronger 2016 [pdf]January 26, 2016—The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC), in partnership with the Mowat Centre, released the fifth and final iteration of Emerging Stronger. A detailed economic agenda for Ontario, Emerging Stronger 2016 identifies the immediate steps that government and the private sector must take to enhance Ontario’s economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province.

Ontario businesses are increasingly unsure about the direction of the provincial economy, according to a new survey from the OCC and Leger. The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index, featured in Emerging Stronger 2016, shows that business confidence in the Ontario economy is at a five-year low.

The Index shows that only 30 percent of businesses are confident in Ontario’s economy, compared to 47 percent in 2012. It also shows that 62 percent of businesses are confident in their own organization’s outlook, down from a high of 74 percent in 2014.

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ORPP LetterOCC Puts ORPP Back In The Spotlight
With An Open Letter To The Premier

January 25, 2015—The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) provided Premier Kathleen Wynne with an open letter on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). The letter outlines the OCC’s outstanding concerns with the ongoing implementation of the ORPP.

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Good News For Durham Region Economy And Workforce

January 21, 2016—To boost economic activity, create jobs and help fight climate change, the Ontario Government announced earlier this month that Ontario is moving forward with nuclear refurbishment at Darlington Generating Station, securing 3,500 megawatts of affordable, reliable, and emission-free power.

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Ontario Budget Must Seize the Manufacturing and Exporting Opportunity

January 21, 2016—Amid plummeting oil prices and a tumultuous start to 2016 for stock markets around the world, the Ontario Minister of Finance has launched pre-budget consultations that will attempt to show progress towards a budget surplus by 2017-18.

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StatsCan HiringStatsCan Hiring 35,000 For 2016 Census

January 22, 2016—The next Census of Population will take place in May 2016. The previous Harper government scrapped the twice-a-decade mandatory census in favour of a voluntary national household survey, but the new Trudeau government undid that change.

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Employment Standards poster [pdf]Business Alert! Fines For Violating ESA Rules

January 20, 2016—Currently the Ontario Ministry of Labour are conducting a blitz including inspections by Employment Standards Officers. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for most workplaces in Ontario. Special rules and exemptions apply to certain employees.

As per Ministry of Labour regulations, employers are required to post the most recent version (6.0) of the Employment Standards Poster published by the Minister of Labour in the workplace where it is likely to come to the attention of employees.

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Dealing With The Downturn—Is Infrastructure Spending the Answer?

Infrastructure SpendingJanuary 12, 2016—Sound the alarm! The Canadian economy is weaker than expected, shrinking by 0.5% in September and essentially flat in October, as natural resource prices are crashing right across the board.

Last week, oil prices fell to a 12-year low of $33.16 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate, while Western Canadian Select declined to US$19.92 per barrel. Iron ore prices have plummetted from $190 a ton in 2011 to just $37 today, and copper prices have fallen from $4.50 a pound to below $2.00 last week. Economists keep revising down their expectations for Canadian growth.

With all this weakness, the government is under pressure to speed up its infrastructure spending to stimulate our troubled economy.

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OCC 2015 Annual ReportBuilding A Canada That Wins:
Canadian Chamber Annual Report

January 6, 2016—For the Canadian Chamber, (CCC) 2015 was another successful year and on behalf of the Chamber, we would like to thank you for your support. The CCC secured policy improvements under the last government and commitments from the new government in areas that are critical to business success.

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OCC Urges Government To Consider Impact Of TTP On Auto Industry

January 5, 2016—In a letter submitted to Federal Minister Navdeep Bains, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) urged the federal government to closely examine the provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with an eye to domestic industry.

In particular, it should consider the impact of these provisions on Canada’s auto industry.

The outcomes of the TPP negotiations underscore the need for a targeted and coherent intergovernmental strategy for Ontario’s manufacturing sector, a need the OCC has stressed previously in Emerging Stronger 2015.

Read this letter

Chamber IntervenesChamber Intervention In OEB Hearings
Garners A Win Of $5.5M

January 4, 2016—In February 2015 the Oshawa PUC Networks Inc. (OPUCN) applied to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to raise its electricity distribution rates on a typical residential customer using 800 kWh per month by an average of $1.54 per month each year beginning January 1, 2015 and ending December 31, 2019.

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Abilities Connect Fund Now Accepting Funding Applications

AccessibilityWorksDecember 29, 2015—The Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Abilities Connect Fund provides financial assistance to employers in the hiring and training of college/university students or recent graduates with disabilities. The maximum an organization can receive is $20,000 for up to four employees.

The program also supports the purchase of assistive devices, specialized training, and assessments for new or current employees with disabilities. The maximum grant an organization can receive is $3,000.

This funding initiative is open to businesses (for-profit sector) and organizations (not-for-profit) with 5 to 500 employees, currently established and operating in Ontario, and registered (federally/provincially) for a minimum of 2 years.

For more information visit www.abilitiesconnect.ca

Darlington NuclearCNSC Renews The Darlington Nuclear Power Reactor Operating Licence

December 23, 2015—Following a two-part public hearing, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to renew Ontario Power Generation Inc.’s (OPG) Nuclear Power Reactor Operating Licence for the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station (NGS) located in the Municipality of Clarington, ON.

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Election 2015: The Battle for the Canadian Economy

Submitted by: Hendrik Brakel, Senior Director, Economic, Financial and Tax Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

October, 14, 2015—Normally at election time, us nerdy economists can go off to sleep, secure in the knowledge that nobody cares much about fiscal policy or whether GDP is up or down. The stuff about the leaders’ personalities, hair styles or body language is usually more interesting.But this is not a normal election. Instead, it has been wracked throughout by a series of economic shocks that have sent political strategists scrambling. Who would have believed that economics could be so exciting?

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership: What You Need To Know

October 8, 2015—On Monday, October 5th, the Government of Canada announced the conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Here is what you need to know:What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement among Canada and 11 other nations located around the Pacific: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Together, TPP members represent 800 million people and a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion, or about 40 percent of global economic output.

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Spotlight Ontario [pdf]Spotlight Ontario: How the Federal Parties Stack Up

October 6, 2015—A balanced assessment of the policy commitments of all three major parties from an Ontario business perspective.

The 2015 federal election comes at a pivotal time for Ontario. Our businesses face increasingly fierce global competition for investment, markets, and talent. Sectors of traditional strength are still recovering from the economic downturn. A series of concurrent public policy initiatives threaten to weaken Ontario’s competitiveness and our investment climate.

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Stephen Harper Pledges $1B To Help Auto Sector

October 6, 2015—A day after promising to spend 4.3 billion dollars over 15 years to help the dairy industry deal with the impact of the trans-pacific partnership, Prime Minister Stephen harper is making big promises for the auto sector with a promise of $1 billion over 10 years to encourage the construction of new plants and innovation. View Channel 12 newscast.

Clean Profits: Pricing Carbon and Embracing the Economic Potential of Cap and Trade [pdf]Clean Profits: Pricing Carbon and Embracing the Economic Potential of Cap and Trade

September 29, 2015—The Government of Ontario’s decision to develop and implement a province-wide cap and trade system comes at an important time in the global climate change landscape.

Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its report, Clean Profits, which presents the business perspective on Ontario’s proposed cap and trade system.

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Coalition Of Chambers And Employers Express Deep Concern About Proposed Pension Plan

September 23, 2015—The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC), Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and a coalition of major Ontario employers big and small are calling on the provincial government to outline to the employer community the details of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. On September 23rd, in a letter addressed to letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne [http://www.occ.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ORPP-Submission-Sept.-23.pdf], a coalition of more than 100 organizations laid out five specific questions that reflect the collective concerns of Ontario employers.

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Canada’s Budget Surplus as the Holy Grail

Submitted by: Hendrik Brakel, Senior Director, Economic, Financial and Tax Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

September 22, 2015—Never in Canadian history has such an abstruse issue of public finance so dominated the election campaign. Even before the government announced a $1.9-billion surplus for 2014-2015, each party was using the issue as a powerful symbol.

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Linking Employers’ Needs With Education Is Crucial To Canada’s Competitiveness

September 14, 2015—Access to a powerful workforce is essential to creating stronger companies and building a more competitive Canada. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce calls on the parties to reveal their plans for building a highly skilled workforce that meets Canada’s current and future needs.

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Canadian Chamber Urges Canada’s Negotiators In The Trans-Pacific Partnership

September 17, 2015—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce applauds renewed progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and urges the Government of Canada to conclude an agreement when trade ministers meet later this month.

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Response to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Proposed Preliminary Rate Framework

September 2, 2015—The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is changing the way employer premiums are determined. While in some respects the Proposed Preliminary Rate Framework marks a positive change from the existing rate setting process, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is concerned that the new rate framework could increase the premium rates paid by employers and, subsequently, the cost of doing business in the province.

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Oshawa Executive AirportIntroducing the Oshawa Executive Airport

Oshawa’s airport has a new business plan and with it, a new name. Since opening in the early 1940s as a British Commonwealth Air Training Field, the Oshawa airport has undergone numerous changes. Today, the executive-level regional airport is owned and operated by the City of Oshawa and plays an important role in supporting emergency services, general aviation and attracting and retaining aviation businesses, as well as providing economic benefits to Oshawa and the Region.

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Chamber Calls for Candidates to Improve Ontario’s Business Climate

In Focus: Federal Priorities for the Ontario Economy [pdf]The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) is calling on local candidates in the federal election to take actions in order to improve Ontario’s business climate and foster economic growth. On August 24th the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its federal election platform, In Focus: Federal Priorities for the Ontario Economy. The platform outlines the key policy pledges that we believe each federal party should commit to in order to improve Ontario’s business climate and drive economic growth. This platform is a foundational piece that will form a report set for release on Tuesday, October 6, in which the OCC will evaluate the federal party platforms based on their responsiveness to the key priorities outlined in the report.

VeridianVeridian Hosts Broadband Roundtable Of Key Municipal And Business Stakeholders

Smart and Intelligent Communities, Gigabit cities and the internet of things are terms receiving a lot of attention from municipal and business leaders around the world. Veridian, the electric large utility serving Pickering, Ajax, Clarington, North Durham, Port Hope and Gravenhurst, recently held a roundtable of municipal leaders and Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from across Durham Region and Northumberland County.

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Hydro OneChambers Calls For Transparency On Sale Of Hydro One

August 20, 2015—The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, joining with a province wide coalition of 33 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, is calling on the Government of Ontario to provide factual evidence that electricity prices will not increase as a result of the government's decision to sell off 60 percent of Hydro One.

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General Motors CanadaGM Investing C$12 Million For Added Chevrolet Equinox Production at Oshawa Assembly

Oshawa Consolidated Line To Now Run to 2017

August 19, 2015—GM Canada president and managing director Steve Carlisle today announced that GM will invest C$12 million to increase Chevrolet Equinox production on the Consolidated production line at Oshawa Assembly and for related changes in the body shop at CAMI Assembly. This further investment in Ontario-based production and supplier tools will help to meet strong North American customer demand for the Chevrolet Equinox. The investment extends plans for ongoing Oshawa Assembly Consolidated Line production to 2017.

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Why We Need the TPP

(“Trans-Pacific Partnership” or “Trade Is a Pain for Politicians”)

Trans-Pacific PartnershipAugust 11, 2015—Wouldn’t it be great to join a free trade agreement with 12 countries in the world’s fastest growing region—one that covers 40% of the world’s GDP and one-third of global trade? The Peterson Institute for International Economic estimates that by 2025, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could boost Canadian incomes by an additional $10 billion per year and raise global incomes by $295 billion per year. Given our challenge with exports and a slowing economy, who wouldn’t want that?

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Ontario Retirement Pension PlanOntario Pension Plan Will Raise Cost For Majority Of Businesses

August 11, 2015—The Government of Ontario announced that it will expand the comparability rules under the proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). However, business owners remain concerned about the introduction of a new pension plan and the impact it would have on the cost of doing business.

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GM Canada Remains Optimistic About The Future Of Operations In Oshawa

David Paterson meets with the GOCCJuly 31, 2015—GM Canada says Oshawa has a lot to be positive and optimistic about. Speaking to business leaders in Oshawa yesterday, Vice President of Corporate Affairs David Paterson said with the future of the Oshawa assembly plant in limbo until 2016, GM needs to stay competitive, and in the Oshawa plant, they have some advantages they can optimize. “We have a virtually new paint shop, we have a really sophisticated, flexible manufacturing line…and it’s not lost on us that the best quality awards, productivity awards in the industry tend to be, year after year, won in Oshawa. We have a time frame like any business that would be looking at investments.” Paterson says they have another year or so before any decision will be made, adding they continue to study key criteria to determine new assembly investments, like the plant itself, the local workforce, suppliers and government policy.

Click here to read full report.

Early Bird Rate—Power of Success

Power Of SuccessJuly 20, 2015—Join Tony Robbins Best-Selling Author of Unlimited Power and Money: Master the Game along with 6 exceptional guest speakers at the Power of Success event in Toronto on Wednesday September 16th, 2015 at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road, Toronto, ON). Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce members (and guests), will receive an “Early Bird” general registration rate of only $97.00 plus HST (a savings of $100.00 off the regular Early Bird rate of $197). For more information, and to purchase tickets, please click here!

Minister Raitt Engages Durham, York And Toronto Area Community, Business, Municipal Leaders On Next Steps For The Pickering Lands

July 13, 2015—The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today met with the Greater Oshawa Chamber along with other Chamber and Board of Trade colleagues, regional and municipal leaders, and business stakeholders from across Durham Region to discuss the government’s next steps in the management of the Pickering Lands. The Minister of Transport announced that an Independent Advisor familiar with and to the Pickering Lands and Durham Region will conduct the consultations regarding the retained lands. Simultaneously, Minister Raitt confirmed that Transport Canada will conduct a full assessment study of the aviation needs in the GTA. Transport Canada is committed to an open and transparent process concerning the future development of the Pickering Lands site. No decisions have been made on the development or timing of a potential future airport. In a joint effort, the Greater Oshawa Chamber will continue to advocate alongside our neighbours to bring more jobs and employment opportunities to Durham Region.

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Provincial Chambers Address The Impact Of Rising Electricity Costs On Business

July, 7, 2015—A new report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), in partnership with the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC), and over forty Chambers through out the province are calling on the Government of Ontario to tackle the impact of rising electricity costs on the business community. The report, Empowering Ontario: Constraining Costs and Staying Competitive in the Electricity Market, is the most widely consulted report in the history of the province-wide network. It makes five recommendations that government and energy agencies must take to curb rising costs and keep businesses in the province. These recommendations are the product of a year-long research and consultative process with over 100 businesses, energy experts, and government agencies.

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OCC Responds to Ontario Credit Rating Downgrade

July, 7, 2015—Yesterday, the international credit rating agency Standard & Poor downgraded Ontario’s long-term credit rating from AA- to A+, while affirming Ontario’s short-term A-1+ rating.

The rating agency cited Ontario’s “consistently very weak budgetary performance and very high debt levels” as primary drivers of the credit downgrade. Ontario is currently running a $8.5 billion deficit. The Province is paying over $11 billion a year on interest payments to service its nearly $290 billion debt.

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OCC Announces New Grant Program: Abilities Connect Fund

June 24, 2015—The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new grant program, the Abilities Connect Fund. This initiative aims to raise awareness among employers about the benefits of hiring, integrating, and retaining people with disabilities in the workplace.

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MagnetGreater Oshawa Chamber Adopts Robust Online Job-Matching Platform To Address Unemployment, Particularly Among Youth

April 2, 2015—In a bid to help job seekers find meaningful employment and give local businesses access to the talent they need, the Durham Prosperity Committee let by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce is mounting an ambitious campaign to register job candidates and local employers with Magnet, a new network powered by cutting-edge job-matching technology.

The Magnet network promises to radically change the way Durham Region job seekers find meaningful employment and how local businesses source talent to meet their skills requirements.

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Durham/Oshawa Ranks Top 10 For Real Estate Value In Canada

MoneySense magazineMarch 24, 2015—The latest edition of MoneySense magazine has included Oshawa as one of the best places for real estate deals in Canada. MoneySense compared the top 35 cities in Canada based on housing value, price momentum, economic strength and rental income potential. Durham/Oshawa ranked 10th overall.

According to the study, the average price for a home in Durham/Oshawa is approximately $387,000, with an impressive 10-year price appreciation of 6.9 per cent. MoneySense measured real estate value using Canada Housing & Mortgage Corporation data on average home and rental prices for each of the 35 cities.

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Canadian Chamber of CommerceBig Win For Canadian Exporters

March 15, 2015—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Canada will establish a new export market development program and expand the Trade Commissioner Service.

“This is a big deal. By helping entrepreneurs manage the costs of international expansion and by strengthening our trade offices in priority countries, we’ll be making a real difference on the ground,” says Canadian Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty.

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What Does Business Want To See In The 2015 Ontario Budget?

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce 2015 Pre-Budget Submission outlines seven key recommendations that we believe the Government of Ontario must adopt in its 2015 Budget in order to return to fiscal balance and spur growth in our economy.

The OCC submission outlines the increasing concern with how new provincial programs and policies are impacting Ontario's competitiveness and job creation. Over the past year, the Government of Ontario has implemented or announced several new initiatives that have a direct impact on business, including increases to the minimum wage, a new Waste Diversion Act, a review of the Labour Relations Act, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), and a potential carbon pricing regime. The government needs to seriously consider the cumulative impact of these initiatives on business.

Click here to review the Pre-Budget Submission.

Celebrate Creativity, Culture And Cuisine At The Durham Festival

Durham FestivalMarch 15, 2015—The Regional Municipality of Durham, Planning and Economic Development Department, Tourism Division, announced that they will be partnering with all eight local area municipalities this summer, to bring residents and visitors the first-ever Durham Festival—a celebration of culture and creativity in Durham Region. This region-wide legacy event will take place from Aug. 13 to 16. Showcasing the very best of what Durham Region has to offer, this lively event invites people of all ages to experience delicious local food, music, art, culture and creative expression of all varieties.

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Stephen K. CarlisleUPDATE: Planning GM Oshawa’s Future

Stephen K. CarlisleSubmitted by Stephen K. Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors Canada

March 12, 2015—“This is a good time for a second Community Update, following my January 28th communication setting out our two year timeline for product and investment decisions in Oshawa. A great deal of positive work has happened since then and I think it’s useful to share some of that information.

First, on February 12th, we announced that GM is investing a further $560,000,000 in our CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll to support the production of the next generation Chevrolet Equinox. This is a vote of confidence in Canada and it is a tribute to our outstanding employees and the positive work accomplished by working together with our partners over the past several years. Our Ingersoll plant is humming on three shifts as we work to meet the strong demand we are seeing in the North American crossover segment.

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Chamber Calls On The Ontario Government
To Reconsider Its Retirement Pension Plan

February 20, 2015—A new survey of business owners from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) shows that the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) could have negative consequences for the Ontario and Durham Region’s economy.

The survey indicated that only 26 percent of businesses in Ontario believe they can shoulder the financial burden associated with the ORPP. If faced with mandatory increased contributions under the ORPP, 44 percent of surveyed businesses indicate that they would reduce their current payroll or hire fewer employees in the future.

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GM Announces a New $560 Million Investment for Ingersoll, Ontario Plant

February 12, 2015—Today, General Motors of Canada President, Steve Carlisle, announced that GM will invest an additional C$560 million to prepare GM’s CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario to be a manufacturing location of the next generation Chevrolet Equinox. Of the total investment, GM will invest $190 million directly at CAMI Assembly in manufacturing equipment and tools and $370 million in vendor tooling with suppliers in Canada.

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Scam AlertURGENT - Utilities Scam Alert

January 29, 2015—Durham Regional Police have asked us to advise our members of an Utilities Scam after five Oshawa companies were told to pay outstanding bills or risk having their electricity shut off.

Since Friday, January 23, 2015, five business owners in Oshawa have been contacted by phone and told that their outstanding account balance requires immediate payment or else their electricity would be disconnected within the hour. The suspect tells the owner to attend a nearby gift card location and to load pre-paid credit cards with the account balance. The suspect then requires the business owner to call a 1-866 number to relay the credit card information.

In some cases, the suspect has the victim's utility account number. Investigators are advising the public not to respond to any demands for money over the phone. No reputable hydro provider would demand instant payment with prepaid credit cards. If you have received a similar demand, contact police.

Anyone with new information about this incident is asked to contact D/Cst. Hollister of the Central East Division Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2790.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

Planning GM Oshawa’s Future Together

Editorial submitted by Stephen K. Carlisle, President and Managing Director General Motors Canada

Stephen K. CarlisleJanuary 27, 2015—It is an honour to be back home in Canada as President and Managing Director of General Motors Canada. I started my career at GM here in Oshawa, met my wife, played hockey and made many life-long friends here. While this is just the second month in my new role, we have already reconnected with many old friends and met many new ones. It’s also fantastic to see the growth, spirit and the new health and education institutions that make Oshawa and all of Durham Region such a dynamic community.

Since my last work assignment in Oshawa, GM has of course been through a major restructuring that brought us back to being a strong, profitable and growing business in Canada and globally. But, that only happened through an extraordinary effort of many people pulling together including people here in the community—and particularly with our partners in the federal and provincial governments. The restructuring in 2009 placed us squarely on the path as a competitive and highly disciplined business focused on serving our customers.

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Jason MyersWhen Harper Met Wynne

January, 26, 2015—Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters welcomed renewed commitments to support manufacturing highlighted in the January 15 meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The Canadian economy depends on manufacturers to drive exports, commercialize most new technologies and create high paying jobs across a variety of industrial and services sectors, so in many respects our economic prospects are directly tied to the future of manufacturing in Canada."Our governments have a very important role to play in helping to secure critical investments and product mandates, promoting new capital investment through accelerated depreciation, supporting investments in innovation, dismantling barriers to trade, investment, and labour mobility within Canada and abroad, ensuring that Canadians have the skills required by modern industry and ensuring access to reliable and cost-competitive infrastructure,” said CME President and CEO Jayson Myers. “The Prime Minister and the Premier both understand this and their commitment to supporting manufacturing investment is extremely important and it’s paying off.”

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CME Report: Ontario Budget Must Rev The Engine

Editorial submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President (Ontario division) of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Ian HowcroftJanuary 26, 2015—Ontario’s best chance of reviving the economy and meeting fiscal targets is to rev up the manufacturing sector. The low dollar and strengthening US employment picture creates the right conditions for growth in Ontario’s most important sector. But there are also some dark clouds on the horizon that could threaten to crimp this outlook. For example, the speed of the dollars descent could create uncertainty in the key markets which is not good for investment overall. Furthermore the importance of Alberta’s Oilsands to the overall economic wellbeing of the country raises some additional questions about what the future may hold for manufacturing. The Ontario government can be a great help under these circumstances but it all starts with the principle of: first do no harm. Raising taxes, for example, would be a huge mistake and could disrupt the fragile opportunity to re-invigorate the sector and economy. Though well intentioned, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is just one example of new mandatory cost to employers that makes Ontario less competitive in the near term (set to come into force in 2017).

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Bursary Recognizes The Honourable Jim Flaherty

Photo by: Kalvin Taylor, Digital Media Specialist, Communications and Marketing, UOIT

Pictured left, left to right, Christine Elliott, MPP for Whitby-Oshawa, Tim McTiernan President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Jayson Myers President and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).Jim Flaherty Bursary

January 23, 2015—The legacy of the Honourable Jim Flaherty will forever be entrenched at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) thanks to an endowment to the university from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Canada’s largest trade and industry association.

CME’s generosity was recognized on January 23 with a private ceremony at the university that featured many special guests, including Jim Flaherty’s wife Christine Elliott, Ontario Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Whitby-Oshawa MPP. To learn more or to make a gift to this bursary fund in Jim Flaherty's memory please click here.

Hon. Chris Alexander Discusses Economic Prosperity In Durham

From left to right, Roger Anderson, Pat Perkins, Chris Alexander, Kevin Sorenson, Bob Malcolmson.Roger Anderson, Pat Perkins, Chris Alexander, Kevin Sorenson, Bob Malcolmson

January 22, 2015—On Thursday, January 22nd CEO Bob Malcolmson had the opportunity to meet with Minister Chris Alexander, Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson, Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Pat Perkins MP Whitby-Oshawa to discuss what should be done to help businesses grow and encourage the hiring of new employees; how the government can better streamline regulations and further reduce unnecessary costs that may be holding businesses back; and what kind of barriers have been encountered with internal trade.

Roger AndersonAnderson’s Top Priority: Creating Jobs In Durham

By Emma Nicholls, 2nd Year, Journalism, Durham College with files from the GOCC

January 20, 2015—On Thursday, January 15, to a packed audience of business leaders, Regional Chair Roger Anderson addressed the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) at its 11th Annual Regional Chair Luncheon at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre, sponsored by Collins Barrow Durham, LLP and Roy Nichols Motors Ltd. Mr. Anderson focused on three key issues pivotal in importance to Durham Region in 2015: the Pickering airport, Durham’s energy and revising the councils in their respective communities.

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Look Ahead At Global EconomyA Look Ahead At The Global Economy In 2015

January 16, 2015—A panel of experts at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Crystal Ball Symposium held in December 2014 looked at the big economic, political and technological trends that will shape global business in 2015.

Big changes are coming to the global economy. Canada performed well last year, but there are vulnerabilities just over the horizon, from highly indebted consumers to worries about our housing market and now weaker oil prices. But, there are also big opportunities as the U.S. economy is accelerating into a booming recovery while the weak loonie is boosting our exports.

Around the world, emerging markets, which used to be the engines of global growth, have slowed. The big question for 2015 is whether the U.S. economic resurgence can pull other markets along with it, like a huge locomotive dragging the global economy forward. The second big question for 2015: Is Canada ready?

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2014 CCC Annual ReportCanadian Chamber of Commerce 2014 Annual Report:

Building A Stronger Future Together

January 8, 2015—On December 31, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) issued its annual report to members. We think you'll agree that the CCC had a pretty successful year on behalf of Canadian businesses. In the report, you'll find out how the CCC advanced several key issues of importance to its members, addressing the barriers to Canada's competitiveness. They pressed aggressively for solutions to Canada's skills gap, an issue that remains, for the third year in a row, as a main priority for its members.

They undertook a new initiative, the Partnership for Resource Trade, to educate Canadians on the importance of our natural resources to our economic growth and on the need to build the infrastructure that will allow us to responsibly export our resources across the world. They carried out a study of high-growth entrepreneurial companies in Canada, the type of companies that created 45% of the new jobs in Canada in 2012, to find out how they can help them overcome the obstacles they face. And they made progress in getting the federal, provincial and territorial governments to address Canada's internal barriers to trade, although much remains to be done.

To discover more of what the CCC were doing on behalf of its members, please review the report.

Job Security Paramount to Retirement Income Security

Submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President (Ontario division) of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

December 17, 2014—Ontario needs to be focused on securing good jobs and growing the economy to pave the way for retirement income security. Some of the key elements of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan released on December 17, 2014 would put the pension cart before the jobs horse.

The Ontario government has identified a legitimate issue: Ontarians are not saving enough for their retirement. However, the ORPP approach could put further strain on the viability of many small and medium sized companies already struggling to remain competitive in the Ontario market. We have to give priority to measures that will immediately increase competitiveness for Ontario’s small and medium sized enterprises (SME’) such as streamlining regulation, lowering electricity rates and property tax equity for manufacturers.

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Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Legislation:

Leading the Conversation About Pension Reform in Ontario

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Report

December 17, 2014—Earlier this month, the Government of Ontario introduced legislation that will pave the way for a new public pension scheme for the province. The ORPP, which aims to supplement the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), will require employers to match employee pension contributions, increasing the cost of doing business. We know that you share our concern over the ORPP.

That's why we responded to this announcement with a communications strategy that urges the government to defer legislation and answer outstanding questions about the impact the plan could have on the province’s economic competitiveness. Learn more about the results of our efforts by reading our media release and checking out some of the coverage we received in the Toronto Star, Canadian Press, Ottawa Citizen, and Financial Post.

The province is scheduled to release a consultative paper on December 17, 2014. We will be leading the development of a joint submission from the entire Chamber Network. Further, we will be working to schedule consultations with the Minister throughout Ontario. Stay tuned in the New Year for more information.

Are You Doing Business or Looking to do Business Abroad?

Report from Canadian Chamber of Commerce

December 12, 2014—Do you want learn more about what it takes to export? How can you find the right international clients, distributors, suppliers and financing?

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer members the services of Marc Pepin, their new in-house trade commissioner. Marc is working out of the Toronto office to answer your questions, assess your needs and connect you with programs and services that can support international activities.

Connect with Marc Pepin at marc.pepin@international.gc.ca or call him at (416) 464-0407.

New Express Entry Immigration System Launches In January 2015

What Employers Need to Know

December 12, 2014—Express Entry is a new system which will speed up the processing times of economic immigrants' applications. For example, processing times for regular Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) nominations will be reduced from 11 months currently to 6 months or less under Express Entry, in 80% of cases. Candidates with a provincial nomination or a valid job offer (supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment) will be ranked much higher in a new ranking system that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will use to invite candidates to apply for permanent residency.

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How Low Can Oil Go?

Report from Canadian Chamber of Commerce

December 9, 2014—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a brief explaining the decline in oil prices and what it will mean for the Canadian economy. Oil prices are dropping due to an increase in production and weaker demand. Lower oil prices will reduce Canada’s GDP growth, but this should be partly offset by an increase in consumer spending.

Read The Full Report.

Ontario Businesses Urge Government to Defer
Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Legislation

December 8, 2014—The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and its network of 160 chambers in communities across the province are urging the government to defer legislation that will pave the way for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). The business group is calling on the Government of Ontario to answer outstanding questions about the impact the plan could have on the province’s economic competitiveness. Businesses are concerned that the proposed pension plan will lead to job losses in the province.

Read More.

Building Durham’s Competitive Edge

The Honourable Chris AlexanderDecember 1, 2014—The 5th Durham Economic Prosperity Conference (DEPC) held on November 14th in Ajax featured a number of high caliber speakers including the Hon. Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister and MP for Ajax-Pickering, speaking on behalf of the Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario.

The Conference highlighted three key economic areas for Durham Region:  nuclear energy, automotive and the movement of goods. If you missed the Conference, or wish to review the information, please visit the Conference pages. The videos and power point presentations are online, attached to each speaker.

The Durham Economic Prosperity Committee would like to express its sincere appreciation to everyone who attended the 2014 Durham Economic Prosperity Conference. Your contribution, input and ideas were essential to its success.

The final report will follow in the New Year. It is anticipated that the report will encourage dialogue among community leaders and lay the groundwork for future economic initiatives in Durham Region. The next Conference will be held in the fall 2016.

New Program—Employer Driven Training Initiative

November 18, 2014—Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is a new, employer-driven training initiative and represents an opportunity for the province to engage more effectively with employers to support Ontarians in obtaining the skills required to fill and succeed in available jobs.

The grant will provide direct financial support for employers who wish to purchase training for their current workforce and new hires. YES!..you read that right...current workers. This is the first time a program like this has been offered, so take advantage of it!

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Ontario Chamber’s Take On Fall Economic Report

November 17, 2014—The Government of Ontario released its 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, which provides an update on the government’s finances and progress on key commitments since the release of the 2014 Budget. In October, the province’s unemployment rate declined to 6.5 percent, its lowest rate since 2008. The province has also seen real gains in GDP, exports, and household consumption since the beginning of the year.

The government remains committed to eliminating its budget deficit by 2017-18. It continues to project a deficit of $12.5 billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year, with significant reductions in the deficit thereafter.

The government plans to meet this target despite a substantial decline in revenue. Projected revenue for 2014-15 is $509 million less than previously forecasted in the 2014 Budget. With projected government expenses declining by $208 million since the 2014 Budget, the government is using $300 million from its reserve fund to make up the difference.

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This Year Ontario’s Net Debt Grew To $267.2 Billion

November 3, 2014—The Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s latest report provides a straightforward account of Ontario’s current fiscal situation.

Ontario’s history of spending is unsustainable. In only seven of the past 25 years has the government balanced its books or achieved a surplus. The province has been digging itself deeper and deeper into the red. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the provincial government paid $10.6 billion in interest (or $29 million per day) to service its debt.

A tipping point may be closer than Ontarians think. With a slower growth future projected for the province, combined with the growing demands of a rapidly aging population, the need to deal with the fiscal situation now becomes all the more urgent.

Read How Bad Is It? What Do We Do About It? to learn more about Ontario’s fiscal situation and the steps the government can take to return itself to a path of fiscal sustainability.

Top 3 Reasons to Attend the Durham Economic Prosperity Conference

2012 Durham Economic Prosperity ConferenceOct. 27, 2014—The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), will provide the opening keynote address at the 2014 Durham Economic Prosperity Conference in Ajax on Friday, November 14th.

Minister Alexander will highlight FedDev Ontario’s continuing contributions and initiatives available to Durham Region and southern Ontario, stressing the growing importance of industry clusters, and celebrating the collaboration of business, government and research institutions.

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Government Announces Independent Review of Ontario College of Trades

Oct. 23, 2014—In early September the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Essential Skills Ontario released the report, Moving Forward Together. The report called on the Government of Ontario to ensure that upcoming changes to the province’s training and employment programs reflect the needs of employers.

On October 23rd the Government of Ontario announced the appointment of Tony Dean, former Secretary of Cabinet and Head of Ontario Public Service, to lead an independent review of the Ontario College of Trades and other key areas of Ontario’s skilled trades system.

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Made In Ontario Energy & Jobs
CME Report

Submitted by: Ian Howcroft, Vice President, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Ontario.

CMEOct. 23, 2014—It’s no secret Ontario’s manufacturing sector has been impacted by the turmoil of the global economy.

Rising input costs, not the least of which is the rising cost of electricity, and the volatility of the Canadian dollar, have made competition vastly more intense. Despite the myth that manufacturing is a sector in decline, it is still one of the largest contributors to Canada’s economy.

For Ontario to create jobs and economic growth, we need to sustain and expand our manufacturing base, which is critical to communities in every region of the province.

In early October, two of Ontario’s power agencies released a joint report looking at the opportunities for cooperation with Manitoba and Quebec. This was an issue that received plenty of media attention when Canada’s Premiers met at the Council of Federation this past summer, and some special interest groups stated imports from Quebec could meet a large portion of Ontario’s energy needs.

As the report outlines, it’s not quite that simple.

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Why Canada Needs A Renminbi Hub

Why Canada Needs a Renminbi HubOctober 20, 2014—Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued a report entitled Doing More Business with China: Why Canada Needs a Renminbi Hub.

Over the past decade, China has become Canada’s second largest and fastest growing trading partner, with exports quadrupling from $5 billion to $20 billion and imports nearly tripling from $18.6 billion to $52 billion. In fact, in 2013, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s biggest trading nation, with imports and exports totaling $4 trillion. China’s currency, the renminbi, is also the world’s fastest growing currency, and the Chinese government is keen to liberalize the renminbi and ensure an increasing share of trade flows is denominated in the currency.

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A Battle We Can’t Afford To Lose:
Getting Young Canadians From Education To Employment

A Battle We Can't Afford To LoseOctober 14, 2014—Today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued a report entitled A Battle We Can’t Afford to Lose: Getting Young Canadians from Education to Employment.

Across the country, there is a growing understanding that closing the skills gap means better aligning our education and training systems to our labour market needs. For Canadian youth, it is essential the education or training they get is relevant to the job market they will enter. First, they need to know where the jobs will be. Second, they need to know what those jobs will be so they can plan their education and training accordingly. Third, they need education that is not just job training but equips them to be adaptable. Employers do not always provide clear and strong signals to youth. That needs to change, and this report explores how to improve it.

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Harper Government Is Cutting Red Tape

October 9, 2014—The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, was in Ottawa yesterday to highlight our Government’s progress on red tape reduction, and kick off the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) 2014 red tape reduction consultations with small and medium-sized businesses.

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Chair Of Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster To Speak At
Durham Economic Prosperity Conference

Jim LittleSeptember 26, 2014—Durham Region has not only experienced unparalleled economic growth, but is also facing many business challenges going forward. In an effort to maximize the region’s economic opportunities community leaders from business, academia, labour and government are being invited to attend the 5th Economic Conference on the future of Durham Region to be held on Friday, November 14, 2014 at the Ajax Convention Centre.

The one half day “think tank” Conference will feature keynote speakers, forums and interactive panel discussions. Confirmed speakers to date are: Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and MP Ajax/Pickering; Jim Little, Chair of Carolinas' Nuclear Cluster; Jianwei Yu, Consul (Commercial) Consulate General of the P.R. China in Toronto; Dr. Ron Oberth, President, Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI); Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist & Automotive Industry Specialist, Scotia Capital; Allan O’Dette, President, Ontario Chamber of Commerce; George Hanus, President & CEO Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance; Michael Angemeer, President of Veridian; Jean Aubry-Morin, ?Executive Vice President, External Relations of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation; and Kathy Weiss, Region of Durham Economic Development & Tourism.

The Conference is a partnership between the Region of Durham, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. Click here for details.

Buy America Targeting Canadian Steel Manufacturing Companies

Submitted by Brad Fougere, National Communications Specialist / Editorial Assistant
and Jayson Myers, President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)

Canadian Manufacturers & ExportersSeptember 18, 2014—Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is very concerned with the rise of Buy America policies applied to U.S. transportation infrastructure. These protectionist measures are barring access to government procurements for Canadian companies, especially steel manufacturers. As a result of Buy America policy, the town of Morrison, Colorado will have to remove all Canadian steel that was inadvertently included in the construction of the South Park Street Bridge project. These provisions required all steel and iron products used in the project to be sourced and manufactured in the United States. The bridge may now need to be deconstructed and the “Canadian” steel removed.

“It is quite shocking that while Canada does not impose any restrictions to U.S. steel manufacturers for construction of bridges and other large infrastructure projects, Canadian steel manufacturers are being treated unfairly by the U.S. government and its Buy America policy,” said CME President and CEO Jayson Myers. “The kind of situation happening in Colorado should be a wake-up call for the Canadian government to start using their own purchasing power to provide a level-playing field for Canadian steel manufacturers.”

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Good News For Employers Regarding EI and WSIB Premiums

Federal Government Lowering Employment Insurance Premiums
WSIB Premiums Unchanged for Second Year

September 13, 2014—The federal government has just announced that it will be lowering Employment Insurance (EI) premiums for small businesses, paid by employers and employees, in an effort to boost hiring at a time of sluggish growth. The government is referring to this premium reduction as the Small Business Job Credit. The freeze is expected to save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years.

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Chamber Network Concerned About Proposed Ontario Pension Plan

September 12, 2014—Earlier this week, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce met with Mitzie Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance, to present her with a letter that calls on the government to consider how the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) will affect the province’s business competitiveness.

Business is concerned that a new mandatory Ontario pension plan will hurt job creation and the province’s overall competitiveness. Though there are many undetermined details, the ORPP would require workers and employers to each contribute 1.9 percent of earnings, up to $90,000, annually to the pension plan.

Signed by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and over 50 other leaders from Ontario’s Chamber Network, the powerful letter calls on the Government of Ontario to provide employers with answers to six crucial outstanding questions.

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Ontario Chamber to Government: Get Employer-Driven Training Programs Right

Ontario Chamber of CommerceSept. 9, 2014—The Government of Ontario must ensure that upcoming changes to the province’s training and employment programs reflect the needs of employers, according to a new report released by the Greater Oshawa Chamber, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Essential Skills Ontario.

The call comes as the government works to reinvent the way that many training and employment programs are delivered in the province by giving employers a more direct role in the type of training their workers receive. The bulk of these programs will be supported through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, which will cover two-thirds of the cost of training a current or prospective worker, with government chipping in up to $10,000.

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FedDev Ontario Roundtable

August 16, 2014—In early August, the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce hosted a roundtable with the Honourable Minister Gary Goodyear. The Minster presented an overview of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives (SOPI) and the Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) 2014 to over twenty senior key business stakeholders and Colin Carrie MP Oshawa. In attendance were business leaders from the Greater Oshawa area along with representatives of UOIT, Durham College, the City of Oshawa, Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries, General Motors and members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

Download the full presentation: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario: Overview of 2014–19 Programming Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives (SOPI) and Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF,) and Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP).

Chamber Report Identifies Steps to Ensure 2015 Pan Am Games Leaves a Lasting Economic Legacy

August 15, 2014—A new report from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce identifies the crucial steps that governments and the private sector must take in order to ensure that the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan American Games leave a positive, lasting economic legacy in Durham Region, the GTA and the province.

“The 2015 Games will enhance the abilities for the Region of Durham to promote SPORT DURHAM and going forward the ability to attract future sporting events to Durham Region,” says Bob Malcolmson CEO & General Manager of the Greater Oshawa chamber of Commerce.

In less than a year, the Games will come to a close. If projections are accurate, they will bring 250,000 visitors to Ontario, generate $3.7 billion in new economic activity, and result in an expected 26,000 new jobs. While the Games are likely to provide a short-term boon to our economy, the lasting impact is much less clear.

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Ontario Liberal PartyOntario Liberal Party Wins Majority Government -

What's Their Plan For Ontario?

June 13, 2014—Today it was announced that Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberal Party will form the next government of Ontario. Recently, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce asked Ms. Wynne’s party to respond to the top five Business Priorities for the 2014 election. Here is what the Ontario Liberal Party says it will do to create a business climate that fosters investment and growth.

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Ontario’s Political Parties Respond to the Chamber of Commerce
2014 Provincial Election Platform

Ontario Election 2014: Business Priorities with responses [pdf]May 29, 2014—Ontario’s three major political parties have officially responded to the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce’s priorities for the 2014 provincial election.

Initially released two weeks ago in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Election 2014: Business Priorities outlines the major challenges inhibiting economic success in the province and provides recommendations to all political parties.

Responses from the political parties to these recommendations can be read in the Chambers’ updated election platform, Ontario Election 2014: Business Priorities UPDATED.

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Ontario Election 2014Greater Oshawa And Ontario Chamber Of Commerce Call On Political Parties To Focus On Improving Provincial Business Climate

May 15, 2014—The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) is calling on local candidates in the provincial election to take actions in order to improve Ontario’s business climate and foster economic growth. Earlier today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the GOCC released Ontario Election 2014: Business Priorities, which among other recommendations, calls on all political parties to tackle Ontario’s growing debt, address out-of-control electricity prices, and invest in critical infrastructure.

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Former Ontario Finance Minister Addressed Ontario’s Economy

April 3, 2014—The future of Ontario’s economy was front and centre at the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting in early April. Former Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan was the keynote speaker at the luncheon hosted by Johnson Inc. and held at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre.

Duncan spoke about Ontario today and where the economy is today and what sorts of things we should be concerned about but believes the future isn’t as gloomy as some are predicting. He noted real growth in the economy is not as robust as we would like to see noting its not going to be the way it was in the 1990s but it will be real growth. He would like to see more growth and more job creation but is seeing a transformation in the economy in many parts of Ontario “that is big”.

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Ontario Investing in the Ring of Fire

Province Moving Forward with Support for Strategic Infrastructure

April 28, 2014—The Ontario government is prepared to commit up to $1 billion to develop strategic all-season industrial and community transportation infrastructure in the Ring of Fire.

Ontario needs a partner and is calling on the Federal government to equally match this funding to build the infrastructure required for this important project in the north that will create jobs and boost the northern economy.

The approach and priorities with respect to this investment will be established in partnership with First Nations, governments and industry partners through the development corporation.

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Talent Management As The Key To Competitive Advantage 

CME REPORT

Submitted by: Ian Howcroft, Vice President, CME Ontario and Mona Mitchell, President ACHIEVEBLUE Corporation.

April 24, 2014—The manufacturing sector must invest and provide resources to develop their leaders and managers, enabling them to compete for skills and talent.

Governments around the world are committed to raising productivity to improve on economic performance. MGI research states that “manufacturing companies will need to invest in their organizations. They will also have to fight hard to win the war for talent—everything from experts in big data, to executives with deep understanding of emerging markets, to skilled production workers.” Therefore organizations must continue to be prepared for continued global competition, especially in light of ongoing economic challenges. Canada is falling further down the productivity ladder and this issue must be addressed.

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Moving Forward On Highway 407 EastMoving Forward With Highway 407 East

April 15, 2014—Since 2004, the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce supported by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has called for completion of Hwy 407 to Highway 35/115 stressing that the negative economic, safety, and capital investment impact to Ontario of not proceeding to complete the Eastward Extension is real. The Chamber calls for the government to commit to firm timelines and commitments for the eastern extension of the 407 past Oshawa to 35/115. and prior to opening the Harmony Road and or Simcoe Street interchange have in place contracts and commence work on the completion of Hwy 407 to 35/115.

On Tuesday, April 15th, Minister of Transport, Glen Murray announced the province is making progress on the final phase of construction for Highway 407 East...

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Employers Endorse Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP)Fixing Ontario's Pension Problem
As Solution To Ontario’s Pension Problems

March 27, 2014—A new report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Certified General Accountants of Ontario (CGA Ontario) reveals that Ontario’s employers do not support a made-in-Ontario pension plan. The report, An Employer Perspective On Fixing Ontario’s Pension Problem, identifies Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) as employers’ preferred solution to helping Ontarians better prepare for their retirement.

As part of the consultation process, the OCC and CGA Ontario hosted seven employer roundtable discussions across the province. The authors, in partnership with Leger Marketing, also surveyed close to 1,000 companies.

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2014 Provincial Pre-Budget SubmissionOntario Chamber of Commerce 2014 Pre-Budget Submission

March 26, 1014—The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) along with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) made a submission to the Government of Ontario’s 2014 pre-budget consultations.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce submission focused on a number of challenges Ontario faces including its debt, which is approaching $300 billion and its high remaining deficit noting economic growth is likely to be sluggish for the foreseeable future.

In its submission, the OCC noted that addressing the fiscal situation should be the government’s top priority. As it stands, the province spends more on interest charges than it does on colleges and universities. Those interest charges will only increase as Ontario’s debt grows and as interest rates rise in the coming years.

OCC 2014 Pre-Budget Submission

GOCC 2014 Pre-Budget Submission

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Ontario’s Path To Fiscal ResponsibilityComparing Ontario's vs California's Debt

March 26, 2014—On Thursday April 3, Dwight Duncan, former Deputy Premier and Finance Minister for Ontario, will be the keynote speaker at the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce Speaker Series Luncheon and will give insight into the economic issues facing Ontario. The event, hosted by Johnson Inc. will be held at the Quality Hotel & Conference Centre, 1011 Bloor Street East in Oshawa.

Mr. Duncan, speaking recently at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce launch of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Stronger 2014 Report, stated that Ontario is fast approaching the fiscal cliff.

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R&D: ‘Pay or Play’—Wrong Way To GoCanadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President (Ontario division) of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Advanced manufacturing is the new face of manufacturing in industrialized countries, and is highly dependent on R&D and innovation. It should be noted that ‘advanced manufacturing’ is not the purview of a particular sub-sector of manufacturing but rather, the deployment of innovative technologies and processes to improve productivity and competitiveness which can be present in any sector of manufacturing. Manufacturers that are continuing to thrive in Ontario would likely have to be deemed ‘advanced’. Manufacturing accounts for more than half of all R&D expenditures in the private sector.

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Launch of New Podcast, The Voice of Canadian Business The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released a new podcast, The Voice of Canadian Business.

March 24, 2014—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released a new podcast, The Voice of Canadian Business. They’ll be running a pilot project of 15 episodes to test out this new format. For the next six months, they’ll brief you every two weeks on the events, people and policies affecting Canadian business in 15 minutes or less.

Three episodes are now available for listening:

Anti-Spam Laws: Canada’s Newest Regulatory Burden Is Its Best Kept Secret

Immigration: What Businesses Need to Know About the New Expression of Interest System

Natural Resources and the Power of Canada: A Feature Chat with the Hon. David Emerson

Upcoming episodes feature conversations on tourism, trade agreements, Canada’s North and infrastructure.

If you have an idea for an episode or if you would like the Canadian Chamber to interview someone from your organization, please contact Katrina Marsh.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) - What You Need to Know About Sending Commercial Electronic Message

March 1, 2014—Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) establishes rules for the sending of commercial electronic messages (CEMs) and the installation of computer programs. CASL also prohibits the unauthorized alteration of transmission data. The rules that apply to CEMs come into force on July 1, 2014 while the rules governing computer programs take effect Jan. 15, 2015, followed by the private right of action on July 1, 2017.

What You Need to Know About Sending Commercial Electronic Message

According To New Study

Durham Economy Benefits from Ontario’s Ring of Fire Durham economy benefits from Ontario's Ring Of Fire

February 20, 2014—A new report from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce reveals that Ontario’s Ring of Fire, the mineral resource-rich region in the James Bay Lowlands, will generate up to $9.4 billion in new economic activity over the first 10 years of operation and sustain 5,500 jobs annually.

According to the study, Beneath the Surface: Uncovering the Economic Potential of Ontario’s Ring of Fire, the mining development could generate more than $25 billion across numerous sectors in Ontario by 2047, including $550 million for the province’s manufacturing sector and $300 million for support activities related to mining.

Reforming Ontario’s Broken “Interest Arbitration System” Reforming Ontario's Broken "Interest Arbitration System"

February 13, 2014—On February 13, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) wrote to the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, MPP, Minister of Labour on behalf of the OCC and its network of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade, expressing concern over the impact that the province’s interest arbitration system is having on Ontario’s competitiveness.

As a demonstration of the importance of this issue to Ontario businesses and municipalities from across the province the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce signed on to the letter along with Burlington, Oakville, Markham, Hamilton, Newmarket, and Halton Hills from the GTA and twenty-six chambers from across the province from Windsor to Thunder Bay to Kingston.

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Budget 2014 : Wins for Business Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Report from Canadian Chamber of Commerce

February 11, 2014—Today’s budget presents the continuity of a plan for economic growth that builds on Canada’s economic and fiscal advantages. The measures announced by the government will help Canadian businesses prosper and compete.

We have urged the government to focus on where Canada needs to be in five or 10 years, even if it means making tough decisions now. The government has acted on some of the key elements of our Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness. The result will be a stronger economy and more jobs.

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Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014.

February 6, 2014—Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014. The Canadian Chamber undertook this initiative two years ago to draw attention to the barriers that are holding back Canada’s progress and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly to improve our country’s ability to compete globally.

Since launching this initiative, in cooperation with our network of chambers of commerce, we have made great progress in furthering our competitiveness agenda, particularly in addressing the barrier our members identified as being the greatest impediment to the success of Canadian business: the growing skills gap. The federal government and several provincial and territorial governments have also named this issue as the country’s biggest challenge.

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Business Confidence Up In Durham Region Business confidence is up in Durham Region compared to this time last year.

January 28, 2014—Business confidence is up in Durham Region compared to this time last year, according to a new survey from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Leger Marketing. The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index shows that 48 percent of surveyed businesses in Oshawa and Durham Region are confident in Ontario’s economy, up 5 percent from last year, and on par with the Ontario average.

Click here to download the Emerging Stronger 2014 report.

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Chamber Applauds Panel’s Recommendations On Minimum Wage Ontario Chamber of Commerce

January 24, 2014—A report released by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) this past September called on the Ontario government to adopt a predictable, transparent, and fair process for determining Ontario’s minimum wage. The report released today by the government’s Minimum Wage Advisory is recommending indexing increases in the minimum wage to inflation.

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Anderson Addresses Business Leaders Regional Chair Roger Anderson addressed a packed audience of business leaders at the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.

January 22, 2014—On Tuesday January 21, Regional Chair Roger Anderson addressed a packed audience of business leaders at the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce 10th Annual Regional Chair Luncheon at the Oshawa Golf Club, hosted by Collins Barrow Durham, LLP and Roy Nichols Motors Ltd. Mr. Anderson focused on three key issues pivotal in importance to Durham Region in 2013: transportation infrastructure and the proposed Metrolinx funding model; the provincial decision on nuclear power; and the federal confirmation of the Pickering airport project.

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Go Global Or Go (Stay) Home Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President (Ontario division) of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

January 23, 2014—CME regularly surveys its members who consistently identify finding new markets for their products and services as a strategic priority. More and more companies are looking at global opportunities for new market development. However, the surveys also suggest that many need assistance in helping to identify and access new markets. In fact, despite overall growth in manufacturing shipments, Canada’s trade deficit grew to over $940 million in November.

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GTA Economy To See Growth In 2014 Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, Credit Unions of Ontario, Ontario Chamber of Commerce - GTA Economic Outlook

January 15, 2014—The Greater Toronto Economic Region can expect moderate growth through 2014, according to a new economic outlook released by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Credit Unions of Ontario. Click here to download the report [PDF].

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Federal Government Must Listen to Employers on New Immigration System Federal Government Must Listen to Employers on New Immigration System

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Report

January 7, 2014—The federal government must ensure that upcoming changes to Canada’s immigration system reflect the needs of employers, according to a report released today by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The report, Think Fast: Ontario Employer Perspectives on Immigration Reform and the Expression of Interest System, provides advice to the federal government as it finalizes the design of the Expression of Interest (EOI) system, a new process for selecting and processing the majority of new immigrants to Canada.

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Highway 407 Construction Ramps Up

Thursday, December 12, 2013—The 407 East Development Group (407EDG) is continuing construction of the first phase of the Highway 407 East Expansion. Work along the entire route will continue through the winter.

The project right-of-way has been cleared of buildings, and vegetation and utilities are being relocated. In addition, work is well underway to realign Oshawa Creek East Branch, one of its tributaries, and three tributaries of Lynde Creek.

Construction at all interchanges with arterial roads has commenced. Construction of the overpasses and the work on the interchange between Highway 401 and the West Durham Link is also underway.

Phase 1 of the Highway 407 East Extension will extend Highway 407 by 20.3 kilometres between Brock Road in Pickering to Harmony Road in Oshawa by 2015. Phase 2 will extend Highway 407 eastward from Harmony Road to Highway 35/11.

For updates, including upcoming road closures, visit www.407eastphase1.ca or call 1-855-463-3109.

Line 9B Reversal Keeping Jobs And Investment In Ontario

Pipelines are an essential part of Ontario’s and Canada’s energy infrastructure. They transport petroleum and natural gas products over thousands of kilometres from where it is produced to heat and light our homes and offices, power our industries, fuel our vehicles and export to customers in the United States and abroad. In effect, they support our modern society and economy.

If all the energy flowing through our interprovincial pipeline network was to suddenly stop, our way of life would simply grind to a halt. Yet despite this critical role played by pipelines, and the rigorous environmental and regulatory review processes and extensive community consultations that accompany new project applications, any and all changes to this critical infrastructure—either new pipelines or upgrades—are being met with opposition.

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Canada’s Skills Gap: It’s Time For Action Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

CME Report

By Jayson Myers, President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

When federal and provincial ministers of employment and skills training met in Toronto early in November, the Canada Jobs Grant that was proposed in the last federal budget was an important subject of discussion. How effectively are provinces and territories spending the taxpayer dollars being transferred to them by Ottawa for workforce training? Who should determine how money for training is best spent? Where should the money come from? And, of course, what level of government has the jurisdictional authority to decide?

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Nuclear Deferral Shortsighted

October 28, 2013—In a recent letter to the Minister of Energy, the Hon. Bob Chiarelli, the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce (GOCC) expressed its disappointment in the announced deferral of new reactors for Darlington.

The Chamber compared the announcement to that of the cancellation of the ‘Avro Arrow’ five decades ago in Canada, identifying it as an example of the lack of political will to recognize and support Canada’s potential for greatness. “It will be so much more shameful if we allow another anchor industry to simply slip away because decisions on such files as energy appear to be based on political decisions made at the cabinet table and not on economic sense,” stated the Chamber.

Letter to Hon. Bob Chiarelli from Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Letter to Hon. Bob Chiarelli from Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Letter to Hon. Bob Chiarelli from Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

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Speech From The Throne Acknowledges Key Barriers To Business Competitiveness Speech From The Throne acknowledges key barriers to business competitiveness.

October 18, 2013—Canadian Chamber Report: The Speech from the Throne recognized the role businesses play in Canada’s economic prosperity and the need to address many of the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness identified by Canadian Chamber of Commerce members.

Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness

Many Canadian businesses are hampered by the mismatch between their needs and the skilled employees available. Canadian businesses look forward to the government demonstrating the necessary flexibility in the Canada Job Grant to ensure it can meet the differing regional needs of the country and the abilities of smaller employers to participate.

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The Need For High Impact Management Skills Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Submitted by Ian Howcroft, Vice President, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Ontario

and Mona Mitchell, President & CEO, ACHIEVEBLUE Corporation

October 18, 2013—In spite of economic cycles, market fluctuations, increased global competitiveness and consolidations, one thing remains constant—the need for high impact management skills. And while the specific competencies may have expanded beyond coaching and decision making to include leading transformation and sustainable innovation, the quality of leaders is a distinct competitive advantage to organizations in all sectors of the economy. Today, people simply won’t support and follow unless they have confidence in their managers and leaders.

Most organizations’ competitive advantage is to ensure they have the talent. Ensuring this talent is engaged, motivated and emotionally involved in the success of their employer is key to continued growth. Maintaining an engaged workforce falls heavily on the role of managers.

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So What’s In The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA)? What is in the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA)

Friday, October 18, 2013—Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced an “agreement in principle” to conclude the Canada-Europe Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Although the final text has yet to be released, a preliminary assessment by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce based on technical briefings confirms that it is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious trade deals in history, and that it will bring significant economic benefits to Canadian businesses of all sizes and sectors across the country. Click here to view the detailed overview of the Canada-Europe CETA. The report notes the key elements of the agreement, clarifies outcomes on more contentious issues and outlines next steps before the agreement comes into effect.

Eco-Tec Expanding Facility To Meet Large-Scale Demand Eco-Tec Inc., global supplier of industrial water treatment and chemical recovery systems, is adding a significant expansion to its manufacturin

Eco-Tec Inc., global supplier of industrial water treatment and chemical recovery systems, is adding a significant expansion to its manufacturing facility. The addition is in response to growing orders for large-scale equipment from worldwide clients in the oil & gas, power generation, and metal finishing/refining industries.

Eco-Tec officially issued a contract on July 16, 2013, to add approximately 17,000 square feet (1,580 square meters) of state-of-the-art production space to its current 32,080-square-foot (2,980-square-meter) facility. "This expansion will allow us to become an even stronger leader in the marketplace and give us the ability to provide larger-scale products that will meet growing demand," said Dr. Phillip (Rocky) Simmons, Eco-Tec President and CEO.

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Provincial Panel On Minimum Wage

July 17, 2013—The Durham Economic Prosperity Committee of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce applauds the announcement of the appointment of the advisory panel on minimum wage as promised in last spring’s budget.

For several years, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has advocated for the development of a third party commission made up of business, labour and community stakeholders to review minimum wage requirements. The key element of such a commission or review board would be to ensure that minimum wage requirements follow the economic circumstances of the day.

The OCC supports the establishment of this panel, which is mandated to make minimum wage recommendations to the Ministry. In February 2011 the OCC recommended the Government: initiate an independent minimum wage review board or commission, comprising of business (representing various sectors and size), labour representatives and social groups; conduct regular minimum wage reviews that include an economic impact assessment on the provincial economy; and combine any increase to minimum wage with social measures targeted to low income Ontarians, so as not to rely heavily on operational business costs (minimum wage) to address poverty issues in the province.

GM, Honda to Collaborate On Next-Generation Fuel Cell Technologies GM, Honda to Collaborate On Next-Generation Fuel Cell Technologies

July 12, 2013—General Motors and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies.

GM and Honda, acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology, plan to work together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them.

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Local Oshawa Company, EHC Global Opens High Tech Center In China EHC Global celebrated the Grand Opening ceremony of its new factory in Shanghai, China.

On June 4th, 2013 EHC Global celebrated the Grand Opening ceremony of its new factory in Shanghai, China.

Known as EHC High Tech Center (HTC), the factory represents a total area of over 10,000 square metres and is dedicated to the advancement of TPU handrail and belt technologies using state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. EHC Global Headquarters located in Oshawa, Canada is also expected to expand with the addition of new equipment.

EHC Global President, Mr. Jeno Eppel explains, “We see this as a significant opportunity to double our global business over the next 3 years; this will create several new opportunities in our Oshawa facility R & D and Engineering departments, in addition to several opportunities for increasing our production staff.”

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Canadian Taxpayers Federation Releases Municipal Report Card The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a report card on municipal spending.

Worst Grade: Oshawa, Kingston & Guelph

Best Grade: St. Catharines & Kitchener

July 8, 2013—The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released a report card on municipal spending. The report card graded the 20 largest municipalities in Ontario based on an number of spending and taxation indicators, including spending on highly-paid staff and property taxes.

“Over the past two years, the number of high-salaried employees in the 20 major municipalities in Ontario has grown by 34 per cent,” said Candice Malcolm, Ontario Director of the CTF. “That’s 34 percent more fat cats getting even fatter through taxpayer dollars at time when roads and bridges are crumbling, commutes are getting longer, and our cities are becoming less livable.”

The report relied on property tax data and information from Ontario’s Sunshine List of government employees earning six-figures. St. Catharines and Kitchener topped the list with a grade of B-. Oshawa was the worst performer with an F, followed closely by Kingston and Guelph that each scored a D.

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U.S. Consul General Jim Dickmeyer Tours Oshawa Roundtable session, facilitated by Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce with US Consul General Jim Dickmeyer

U.S. Consul General VisitsThe Durham Economic Prosperity Committee of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon and roundtable session with U.S. Consul General Jim Dickmeyer on June 21 at the Col. R.S. McLaughlin Armoury, Ontario Regiment, Officer’s Mess in Oshawa.

Mr. Dickmeyer, along with Doug Jacobson with the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service office and Jeff Izzo, Chief of Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General Toronto toured the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence at UOIT (ACE) and Parkwood Estates prior to joining Durham Region’s key business leaders for lunch.

The roundtable session, facilitated by Greater Oshawa Chamber President Dan Carter, gave the attendees a chance to share their organization’s challenges and opportunities and discuss Canada/U.S. issues affecting the Region. Mr. Dickmeyer provided an update on priorities of the U.S. administration and of the consulate in Toronto. Pictured above, from left to right, are Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament, Oshawa; Greater Oshawa Chamber President Dan Carter of Channel 12; U.S. Consul General Jim Dickmeyer and Regional and Oshawa City Councillor, Bob Chapman.

 

[Older DEPC news articles can be found here.]

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