BAY OF QUINTE CHAMBERS WORK TO ACHIEVE GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT TO PROVINCE WIDE STRATEGIES IN MANUFACTURING & TOURISM WHEN THEY MET WITH DEPUTY MINISTERS THIS WEEK.
Trenton, ON, April 8, 2016: Earlier this week, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) along with a delegation of representatives from over 80 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade participated in the first chamber network Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park. Community leaders from Quinte West and Belleville had the opportunity to meet directly with Premier Kathleen Wynne, senior cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, and with MPPs from across the province.
This allowed for Bill Saunders & Suzanne Andrews to discuss local issues of importance with Deputy Minister McKinnell, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Giles Gherson. Specifically, the Belleville Chamber discussed the Tourism sector here in the Quinte Region and the need for a tourism strategy for the province, a stronger Ontario Brand and more investment in drawing American Tourists into Ontario.
During an exclusive meeting, with Deputy Minister Giles Gherson the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce discussed the challenges facing the Manufacturing sector and the need for a manufacturing strategy for the province that includes labour force attraction, the shift into advanced manufacturing, a research and development/innovation tax credit system, exporting to foreign markets, inter-provincial trade and the creation of manufacturing hubs in the province.
“In addition to convening business leaders from across the province and advancing the provinces business priorities, Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park was an excellent opportunity for chamber leaders and local representatives to educate government officials while trying to obtain policy commitments from senior officials and locally elected representatives,” said Suzanne Andrews, General Manager at the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce.
“It was an opportunity for the Chamber Network to work with government decision makers on issues that matter most to Ontario’s business community,” said Bill Saunders, CEO of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
The day concluded with a reception at Queen’s Park, which gave representatives an opportunity to interact with their local MPPs in a more informal setting and allowed for further conversation regarding issues of concern to Ontario business.
“Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park highlights the power of the Chamber Network,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. Over 80 chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the province came to Queen’s Park to share their collective voice. “We are eager to see how the Chamber Network can work with the provincial government on the economic challenges that were highlighted today during the OCC’s Advocacy Day.”
OCC Advocacy Day is one of the many ways that the Chamber Network engages in influential advocacy work. Through the strength of the Network’s powerful voice, the Chamber Network has seen tangible results including: the removal of the debt retirement charge on businesses electricity bills nine months early, reshaping and delaying the ORPP, the implementation of a provincial Red Tape Reduction Strategy, and most recently, a 500 million dollar investment in broadband infrastructure from the federal government. These exciting initiatives are all a result of the OCC’s and local chambers of commerce ongoing government engagement. The Quinte West and Belleville Chambers, in collaboration with the OCC will continue to advance the economic priorities of the Bay of Quinte Region. They encourage the provincial government to continue to engage with all members of the business community by working with businesses and local community leaders to address challenges that Ontario’s diverse economy is facing today, and in the future.
Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Suzanne Andrews, General Manager
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 392-7635
Bill Saunders, CEO
Belleville Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 962-4597