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In our Economic Outlook, we observe that, although Canada continues to recover from the recession better than other countries, the pace of growth has been slower than hoped. Consumer spending and housing activity are proving more resilient than expected, while the slow pace of global growth and ongoing competitiveness challenges have reduced demand for our exports and weighed on manufacturing production. Businesses also remain cautious when it comes to hiring and investing.
Against this backdrop, Canada’s economy is on track to expand by 1.7 per cent in 2013, matching the previous year’s sluggish pace. The economy is projected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2014 and strengthen moderately to 2.5 per cent in 2015. To reap the full benefits of an improving global outlook, we need to strengthen our competitiveness, tap new markets and secure and grow our involvement in global supply chains.
Today, we issued a report entitled Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce. Our report highlights productive initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples and the resulting competitiveness of employers. It also offers recommendations to the federal government and Canada’s businesses on measures both can take to provide Aboriginal peoples and communities with the tools to make these success stories the norm.
While the percentage of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples completing secondary school and post-secondary education is growing, the education success gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples remains wide. Canada’s employers cite the lack of skilled workers as their biggest barrier to being competitive, and the completion of high school is considered the minimum level of education required for employment. The education success gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians needs to shrink a lot more and a lot more quickly.
NEW OCC RELEASE ARE WE THERE YET? AN EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVE ON WSIB REFORM
Creating a leading-edge workforce requires an effective, solvent, and efficiently managed workers' compensation system. The OCC has long argued that Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) framework is in need of repair.
According to an OCC survey of over 2,000 Ontario businesses, only 36 percent believe that the WSIB provides value for Ontarians. This report, Are We There Yet? An Employer Perspective on WSIB Reform, chronicles recent progress in the reform of the WSIB. It is based on extensive consultations with many of our members under the umbrella of our WSIB Task Force.
While we acknowledge that significant progress has been achieved throughout the last year, our bottom line is that there is still considerable work to do.
Informational Webinars for EnAbling Change Applicants
Please join staff from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario for an informative webinar that will provide insight into applying for this year’s EnAbling Change Program.
Aimed at potential program applicants, the webinar will cover the parameters of the program, the basics of the Grants Ontario application portal, and a question and answer period with ADO staff who evaluate proposals.
Please join us on one of two dates: • Thursday December 12, 2013, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. • Tuesday January 14, 2014, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Members We encourage you to take this brief survey regarding your Human Resource needs. No personal information will be collected, however this information will assist us in developing an electronic Human Resources Toolkit and plan upcoming training and networking events in response to your needs.
A “Mighty” fine opening weekend for Batawa Ski Hill
BATAWA, ON / "The hill was mighty today!" announced Mirisha Russett after skiing every slope at Batawa Ski Hill on the opening weekend. This 14-year old Batawa Ski Racing Club member would know too. She and her family have been skiing at Batawa for years and racing around the province as part of the Batawa Ski Racing Team.
The Batawa Ski Hill opened Saturday, December 14 with all but one run open on opening day and 100% of the runs skiable by Sunday morning. "We simply had too much snow to get it all pushed and groomed for 9 a.m. Saturday morning," laughed Batawa Ski Hill general manager, Andrew Rusynyk. "The groomer and our team have been working 24/7 to prepare for opening day. Our snowmaking efforts, combined with the gift of fresh power from Mother Nature gave us incredible volumes of snow. I don’t think that I have ever had to say we had too much snow on an opening weekend."
This was one of the earliest openings anyone can recall and definitely the best snow conditions ever on an opening weekend. And one of the ski hill's most loyal supporters, Quinte West Councillor Jim Harrison, was on hand at the crack of dawn to officially kick it off and be the first to ride the lift to the top with the hill's first customer of the season.
"Just fantastic conditions! Just gorgeous," proclaimed Councillor Harrison. "People have really worked hard to get the Hill ready and make it look so good. There is a great base of snow. We are so fortunate to have this facility here in Quinte West that provides so much enjoyment for so many. People come from all over to ski here. I rode the lift up with someone from Petawawa. And so many improvements have been made over the last few years, it helps promote this area for winter activity. I am sure there are many, many spinoffs for this area."
The first customer of the season Saturday morning was Infantry Soldier Robert Ryan who is serving in Petawawa with 1 RCR and is home to visit family in Belleville for the holidays (photograph attached) He was super excited to be able to able to get in some turns while here. “He was so keen that he showed up around 8:15 a.m. before the Hill was officially open. I almost put him to work helping us to get ready,” say Rusynyk.
Batawa Ski Hill started the lifts for skiers and snowboarders this past weekend. Many braved the cold temperatures on Saturday to enjoy the great conditions. They were treated to a fresh powder day on Sunday after 25cm of snow fell Saturday night.
"My mind was blown today by power of POWDER!" Taylor Russett, another Batawa Ski Racing team member couldn't contain his excitement.
A number of improvements have been made to the Ski Hill this fall in preparation for the season opening. Renovations to the Chalet, upgrades to snow making, and most importantly the “First in Canada" LED Night Skiing Lighting System made this a significant opening weekend for the Hill.
Saturday night was the official opening of night skiing and the launch of the “First in Canada Night Skiing Lighting System”. Rebecca Fredericks (photograph of Rebecca and brother Luke Fredericks attached) of Batawa won a contest to be the first person to ski Boomerang under the new lights. This was the first time ever that this run has been lit. Rebecca has been wanting to ski that run at night for a long time. She was chased down the hill by her brother Luke in true sibling rivalry fashion, but the honour of being the first to ski it under the new lights was all hers.
The new LED lighting system is the first of its kind in Canada and possibly North America. Batawa Ski Hill worked closely with Lumeneering Innovations to install the lighting system which will provide superior illumination on the runs with significant power efficiencies over traditional lights used for night skiing (see attached press releases). The last couple of weeks have seen the crews working feverishly to get the lights in place and Saturday night, even with the heavy snowfall, skiers and snowboarders could clearly see their way down the slopes.
The holiday season will provide perfect opportunities for people to hit the slopes at Batawa anytime day or night. Special holiday camps are being offered, along with lesson programs for all ages and abilities. The Batawa Ski Racing is now in training, and the Canadian Ski Patrol are on the hill ready to provide care and assistance during the season ahead.
The Holidays will be capped off with Batawa Ski Hill's traditional New Year's Eve Party. This family-friendly party includes a buffet dinner by Nelson Bridger at the Batawa Grill, snow sculpting activities, kids activities, tobogganing on the hill, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. It all wraps up with fireworks and a torch lit parade down the hill at 10 p.m. so the kids can be home by midnight.
To book your programs or get tickets for the New Year’s Eve Party, contact the Hill at 613-398-6568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org