The OCC and #ONChamberNetwork launched a major province-wide letter writing campaign urging businesses to encourage their local provincial candidates to support our election platform, Vote Prosperity. To view the Vote Prosperity document, click HERE.
Make your voice heard, send a letter today: CLICK HERE
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – presenters Dean Decaire of BDO Canada LLP and Christian Tremblay of Wallace Klein Partners in Law LLP provided the following information for businesses to assist in Understanding Bill 148.
A copy of their presentation can be found by clicking HERE.
Special thanks to IION who partnered with the Chamber on this event.
This past week has been a very good one for the City of North Bay and two long-time members of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.
It is always a pleasure when we welcome the minister of Northern Development and Mines, the Honourable Michael Gravelle, and the Board of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to North Bay. When they come to town, it is usually with their cheque book and again this time, they did not disappoint.
The announcement Thursday afternoon at Canadore College and then again on Friday morning at Voyageur Aviation provides some terrific news for this city. Strategic investments by both the college and Voyageur, assisted by NOHFC, are key to job creation and retention in our business community and the residents of Northern Ontario.
The Canadore College grand opening Thursday, with the launch of their state of the art post-production facility, will compliment the success that the city and region has had with the film industry,over the past few years.
Not only will this facility allow companies to utilize the new technology and facilities, but also, Canadore will be training their students for employment in this field. With the opening of the new facility, filled with next generation equipment and a hands-on faculty, it will allow them to be on the cutting edge when it comes to new technology and job creation around this industry.
On Friday morning, we were pleased to again visit with the minister and NOHFC Board, along with the employees and management of Voyageur Aviation for another investment announcement.
Almost $3 million was announced as well, to be invested in the company and its infrastructure which should create about 40 new jobs in our aviation sector. Voyageur Aviation, a division of Chorus Aviation, is a global company with many employees living and working in our region and has been in operation since 1968 in North Bay.
Both announcements last week were positive indicators that North Bay is a a good place for investment in both education and employment opportunities well into the next decade. These types of investments are required to grow our city.
As confidence grows, prosperity will follow.
In the film Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, the saying “if you build it, they will come” rings true for our district. Strategic investments must be made, with the mandate of creating jobs and attracting private investment to our business and educational facilities.
Over analysis can create paralysis and it is time for the City of North Bay to make those strategic investments, in conjunction with public and private investments, as was the case in the two announcements this past week.
Both entities had a vision for the future and backed it with their investments, in our future. Congratulations to both Canadore College and Voyageur Aviation for both having the confidence and vision, for that future.
Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.
This past week and a half reminds me of something out of the old television series with Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone”, it has been totally bizarre. I am of course, referring to the events surrounding the PC party resignations and subsequent events. I don’t think I could characterize it as anything else but, totally bizarre.
Whether you support the Liberals, PC’s, NDP, Green Party, Republican or Democrat (no offence to any other parties out there) politics and political parties continue to dominate the news and not necessarily for the right reasons. Here in Ontario, where we are quickly approaching both Provincial and Municipal elections, the focus to date has not been on issues, but rather the personalities behind the issues.
As we head to electing our Provincial Parliament and Municipal governments to lead us for the next four years, we are hearing little as far as the real issues that are facing us as a business community and ultimately, taxpayers. To date, little has been heard from anyone on how we are going to move forward as a Province, or at the municipal level in Northern Ontario, on how we are going to compete in a global market. If we are to grow our way out of many of the issues that we face, then we need engaged leaders who bring solutions and not problems to the table.
Our former Mayor and present MPP as well a former Chair of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, Vic Fedeli is one of those engaged leaders. Putting party politics aside, Vic always believed in what he was doing and did not forget the people that elected him to serve on their behalf. The health and wealth of the community have always been the barometers for our MPP/former Mayor and the writer is of the opinion, that the Province would have been well served under his leadership.
As it turns out, for whatever reasons that we will probably never know, the executive of the party chose to have a campaign within a campaign and Vic did the honorable thing. He elected to lead and do the right thing for his constituents and community. My hat is off to Vic and I sincerely wish him luck with the job in front of him. He is a leader and we need more of them.
Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 7:30 am to 9:00 am, at Best Western Lakeshore Drive. Pre-registration is required. Call the Chamber office 705-472-8480 or email Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat. Members: $15.00, Non-members $25.00. Special thank you to our sponsor IION and our guest speakers Dean Decaire of BDO Canada and Christian Tremblay of Wallace Klein Partners in Law.
Our very first Business After Hours event for 2018 was held last Thursday night at the Kennedy Building and co-hosted by the United Way Centraide North East and Ken-Gap Holdings. Great turnout for a cooler January evening and we’re very pleased to see many of our directors and new members at the event. We were pleased to welcome Michael Cullen, United Way’s Executive Director, and the senior management team from Sudbury to North Bay for the Chamber event.
The United Way has done a terrific job in North Bay, since opening their office in the City in 2012, after being serviced for many years out of Sudbury. Erika Lougheed and her staff are doing a terrific job engaging our giving community and providing much needed assistance to many local groups, that do not have the capacity to fund raise on their own. Many worthwhile projects within our community have been funded and all funds donated local, stays local.
Speaking of local, congratulations are in order for our MPP Vic Fedeli, on being chosen as the Interim Leader for his party last Friday. No doubt that he deserves it, as he has always been a hard-working individual representing Nipissing issues and concerns. It is great to see our former Mayor leading his party into the next Provincial election and we all wish him well as he takes on additional duties in this new role.
On Valentines day, February 14th, the Chamber together with IION, Rob Deline and staff, have partnered with presenters Dean Decaire of BDO Canada and Christian Tremblay of Wallace Klein Partners in Law for a breakfast presentation on understanding Bill 148. This is probably mandatory for all business owners to ensure that they are complying with the new legislation and how this legislation affects their businesses. It will be taking place on the 14th, from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at the Best Western. Any business that wishes to attend, please give us a call at the Chamber office to register.
The Ford World Women’s Curling Championships will soon be upon us and excitement is building for this world class event. The City will be showcased during this event and from all reports, ticket sales are strong, and it is shaping up to be a busy month for the volunteers and Curling Canada. The Chamber is selling “Curling Rocks” t-shirts to show our community support for the event and all will be eligible for great prize packages from Curling Canada for wearing your shirt in the weeks leading up to the event. Limited numbers of the t-shirts are left, so contact our office if your business or you are interested in supporting this event.
Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.
The past week has seen numerous media stories, social media articles and opinions surrounding the proposal floated at Council to have a costing by the OPP, for policing of the City of North Bay. My column a couple of weeks ago discussed some of the budget challenges that the OPP face and as taxpayers of the Province, we pay for directly through our provincial taxes.
While I understand the logic in the proposed motion and that being cost comparators/possible cost reductions, I do not follow the logic after that. In my experience as a former Chair of the North Bay Police Services Board, in contract negotiations, the cost of a first class OPP officer, has always been utilized as the highest comparator in the Province. Toronto and other major cities, follow in descending order and somewhere after that, the North Bay Police Service stands.
The disconnect for myself and some of my colleagues has been the question: how do you find cost savings when your replacements are paid at a higher rate? The answer is of course, you can not….unless you reduce services. The entire debate around this issue can be summarized by those facts. If we expect the same level of service, then expect the same costs or perhaps in this case, higher costs for the same service.
This leads to the next discussion and the point of this article. Reduction in services whether in policing or municipal services, is not a popular topic. Taxpayers have expectations as to levels of services and those are usually based on prior history. Any elected official at any level, in any municipality across this Province will tell you that it is not easy or popular to rescind a service level without resistance from those same taxpayers that elected them. As much as they may have campaigned on austerity and reductions in spending, take a service away and you find out quickly how unpopular, that issue or you, become.
As a community, perhaps we are looking at these issues in the wrong light. Many of the suggested savings at the municipal levels have been realized many years before. The so called low hanging fruit has been picked clean and service reductions are the only way to reduce costs in the future. That is where, we as a community, in my opinion, must change. We cannot expect to see reductions in municipal spending, without the corresponding reduction in service levels.
If we stopped looking for the “magic bullet” in spending and focused our efforts on growth with the target being “growing our way out” of these problems. If the service levels are right and the expectation is to maintain them, the revenue base must expand, or taxes will rise. In a year that a municipal election is soon to be underway, I hope that the focus will be on how do we grow our way to prosperity rather than cut our way to the bottom.
Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce
Friday, January 19, 2018
Ontario Chamber Network:
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) understands the significant impact that recent increases to the minimum wage and expansion of labour and employment standards are having on all businesses. For months, we have forewarned that these reforms would have unintended consequences and now we are seeing them come to fruition as businesses take extra-ordinary actions.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne tweeted “I’m happy to talk to any business owner about the minimum wage.” We welcome this openness by the Premier, and we encourage all Ontario businesses to contact the Premier to discuss how the quick implementation of these reforms is harming their ability to do business in the province. Furthermore, we encourage businesses to also tell the Premier that further offsets must be extended in the 2018 provincial budget in order to deal with rising input costs.
The OCC has visited many communities around the province and we know the best voice to discuss these unintended consequences comes from Ontario’s business owners. We are happy to hear the Premier also values their voice on this issue and we hope that this listening exercise will turn into real action.
Businesses can contact the Premier at:
The Ontario’s Chamber Network calls for tax reform, smart spending to support Ontario businesses
North Bay, ON – Today, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC), in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) provided the Ontario government with 11 recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget that will help businesses manage costs and secure the province’s competitive advantage. The submission, presented to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, calls on the government to implement taxation reforms and smart infrastructure and transportation spending to maximize growth and benefit all regions of Ontario.
As the cost of doing business in the province continues to increase, and Ontario employers take on one of the largest wage increases in recent history, Ontario’s Chamber Network is recommending the government reinstate the scheduled corporate income tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 10 per cent. The submission also calls on the harmonization of the Business Education Tax across the province, as well as targeted reductions to the Employer Health tax.
The recent minimum wage and labour and employment standard changes will cost Ontario businesses an estimated $23 billion over the next two years. “This is not sitting well with employers in Nipissing and across the province. Businesses of all sizes are feeling the pressure from rising costs, and more than ever our local business communities are lacking confidence in the future of Ontario’s economy,” said Peter Chirico, President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce. “The fact is, employers do recognize the need to ensure their employees can earn a living wage; however, this increase came into place too fast and with unintended consequences. We need more support for business and the government’s commitments made in last year’s Fall Economic Statement are simply insufficient.”
The OCC’s pre-budget submission also recommends that the government create additional small business deduction tax brackets, as well as delay taxation on corporate income growth to overcome the scale-up challenge. Currently, all businesses with an annual income of $500,000 or less are taxed at a flat rate. A bracketed taxation system would give start-up and SMEs more room to grow. Currently in Ontario, 71 per cent of private sector jobs can be attributed to the activities of small and medium sized enterprises.
Ontario needs a competitive taxation system, that encourages investment and minimizes red tape, must be in Ontario’s long-term strategic plan. As the U.S. pursues tax reform that would lower their federal corporate tax rate by 15 per cent, and with the uncertain future of NAFTA, we must find ways to keep Ontario competitive.
The Ontario Chamber Network also encourages members of the committee and government to consider how are we leveraging Ontario’s greatest asset—human capital.
The recommendations outlined in the OCC’s pre-budget submission all come directly from Ontario’s Chamber Network through policy resolutions at the OCC’s AGM. Read the full submission and all 11 recommendations here. The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce will also be providing a written submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
Congratulations to one of our own, Tyler Nicholson, on being named to the Canadian Olympic Team that is heading to South Korea next month. As announced earlier this week by the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canada Snow Board, Tyler has been selected to represent Canada in the slopestyle and big air snowboard events. We wish Tyler the greatest of success in Korea and there is no doubt that an entire city in Northern Ontario, will be cheering him on to Gold.
The day after the announcement of Tyler’s selection, The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce had the opportunity to host an Open House event in conjunction with Laurentian Ski Hill at the Upper Chalet at the top of the hill. Walking through the Chalet and seeing photographs of Kate Pace-Lindsay participating in Olympic as well as World Cup Ski races and seeing Steve Omischl’s autographed Olympic ski suit reminded me how fortunate we are as a community, to have a ski hill located in the middle of our City.
When you look at any of the biographical information on Kate, Steve and now Tyler, they all share a common thread. That thread being Laurentian Ski Hill. Each one of these world class athlete’s, got their first taste of skiing and competition right here on Ski Club Road. Laurentian Ski Club in Widdifield Township, as it was known by previously, has been in operations for just short of a century.
The “Hill” has had its ups and downs (excuse the pun) over that period and has seen many of its counterparts in other Northern cities close and cease operations. Ownership and operations have also seen a variety of iterations, with the latest being a group of dedicated volunteers who operate the hill as a not for profit on behalf of the City of North Bay and the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority. During the open house I had the opportunity to speak to many the volunteer members of the Board and they are passionate about the “Hill” and what it means to them.
Each of them spoke of growing up in North Bay and that Laurentian was a part of their formative years. When the ski hill fell on hard times in the late nineties, a group of individuals (including a former Premier of the Province) stepped up to the plate and said no, it was not going to close. The reasoning back then was simple, this was part of what made North Bay unique and it was a valuable asset for not just the City, but for our children and future generations. Flash forward to today and that same holds true of the current Board, volunteers, and staff.
Good luck to Tyler in Korea and thank you to all the volunteers and citizens of our area who have supported and kept the “Hill” in operation for all of these years. For a City without any mines, the “Hill” has produced a lot of GOLD and hopefully a new strike next month.
Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.