185,000 Ontario Jobs at Risk from Bill 148
On Monday, August 14, the Keep Ontario Working Coalition (KOW) released the first and only independent economic impact analysis of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act. Conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), the study revealed that if the legislation is implemented as currently drafted, there will be significant, sudden and sizable uncertainty for Ontario jobs, economy and communities.
Key Data from the analysis:
$23 billion hit to business over the next two years alone;
185,000 Ontario jobs will be at immediate risk over the next two years;
30,000 of the jobs at risk are youth under 25;
96,000 employees at risk are expected to be women;
50% increase to inflation for this year and the foreseeable future. The cost of everyday consumer goods and services will go up by $1,300 per household on average each and every year;
The Ontario government would need to borrow $440 million more to cover the increases in new costs from this legislation. If the government were to provide offsets to businesses, as they have indicated, the province’s treasury will take a bigger hit;
Municipalities will be forced to increase employee wages by $500 million without additional offsetting revenues.
Click HERE for CANCEA’s Powerpoint presentation.
The summer of 2017 is going to be one to remember, at least from a weather perspective that is! The 2017 Summer in the Park dodged a few bullets over the long weekend with the weather co-operating somewhat on both Friday and Saturday nights. The rain and cool temperatures didn’t dampen the performances nor the fans who attended. Sunday warmed up and it was a terrific family day at the park and Midway.
The Chamber wants to thank the countless volunteers, organizers and City staff for the work that they did not only on the long weekend but over the past twelve months, preparing for this event. The organizing committee did a terrific job of ensuring that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating the number of events is and was, no easy task, especially with the early weather forecasts leading up to the weekend. The Nugget, Cogeco, Baytoday, Rogers Radio and social media feeds from BuzzMasters kept event goers up to date and informed. Thanks to all the media for their help.
It is always difficult to put a dollar figure on what a weekend like this means to our business community and our entire community. From many of our members, we have heard that the weekend was a terrific success and they were extremely busy. Our hotels and restaurants were packed, the DIA and downtown was a bee hive of activity and our waterfront was being enjoyed by thousands of people. It was sometimes rather slow getting from one area of the city to another, but that was a problem that we can all handle.
There is no doubt that the weather forecasts and actual weather influenced wristband sales. This event is no different than any others that are dependant on weather and the forecasts leading up to them. We all want to see this event be successful and although it may have been hampered by the weather, this was a great weekend to showcase our city once again. Visitors from outside the area that were surveyed, enjoyed their stay in North Bay and will return. The sense and feeling of community was evident everywhere and we must continue to build on that.
As a community, we are so lucky to have events such as this and the dollars that are spent in this community far outweigh the costs that sometimes arise due to inclement weather. The volunteers, sponsors and people that come out to support these events in our communities, are the people that continue to make a difference in promoting our city and district.
Peter Chirico is the President and CEO for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce
“Did you know…” celebrating and bringing awareness to the role of the Tourism industry. We have worked with Tourism Northern Ontario and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation in preparing the document.
A BIG thank you to Stacie and Sam at the Labour Market Group.
The announcement this week coming out of IION and MetricAid regarding the creation of Northern TechHub is great news and congratulations to Rob Deline, Les Blackwell and their respective staff. With the creation of this new partnership they are doing their parts, to try and accelerate the growth of technology based start-ups or SME’s. They will be providing access to MetricAid and IION resources, programs and services. This in turn will provide an environment conducive to success and help foster the development of Northern Ontario IT/Technology based firms. If you are in this sector and possibly fit, more information is available at www.northerntechhub.com.
This is one of a number collaboration’s that we are following and others that we are participating in. It is refreshing to see the number of individuals and companies that are breaking down barriers that have existed for far too long. Isolation and protectionism are words that are being thrown out of discussions that are taking place in North Bay and District as we all look at how we do things and attract new business and or retain our youth.
For the first time in a number of years, these discussions are taking place both at the municipal government level and with entrepreneurs, both established and start up. The emerging economy in the technology sector outside the usual geographical locations, large urban centres, is being noticed by many of the new start ups and young entrepreneurs. It is cheaper to live, work and play and for most of these young individuals, the lifestyle of non-urban centres, is important.
More of these collaborations and discussions must take place, in order for us as a community, to grow. The public-sector reliance that North Bay and District has relied upon in the past, has changed substantially in the past decade. These changes have hurt and it is evident in our census data that has also been a discussion topic in recent months. If we are going to change these trends, collaboration, partnerships, and positive attitudes are needed at every level, for this area to rebound and to borrow a title from south of the border, ignite our futures.
We have a lot of talent and experienced people that reside in this city and surrounding municipalities. They are all part of the solution to what ails our economic stagnancy. As a business community, this expertise and their willingness to share that same expertise, is invaluable. Every organization and members sitting at the various tables for economic development, including NBDCC, must work together better in the future. The announcement that I have mentioned previously is a great start to what I hope is just the beginning.
Peter Chirico is the CEO and President of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce.
Congratulations to Mattawa and area for another successful Voyageur Days this past weekend. The organizing committee has done a great job again with their 20th annual festival. The organizers and the Town have always put on a great weekend and attract visitors from around the Province. Great job in the past and again this weekend.
Speaking of festivals…Summer in the Park is just around the corner, with a great weekend line up of music and activities for all. The DIA will be closing off the downtown to traffic and some great events will be taking place on Main Street, without vehicles and we encourage all residents and visitors to take a walk around our downtown and see what is going on. There are so many family events that are free to the public, we hope to see everyone taking part and enjoying the programming that this volunteer group has put together.
The Farmers Market will be setting up on Main Street along with merchants and vendors from the DIA, throughout the weekend. From dodge ball to Cheapskates bike competition, the Million Dollar Hole in One competition, car and bike show, Heritage Railway and Carousel’s, Discovery Museum, midway, beach volley ball, dance, drums, reptiles….and the list continues. Check out the Summer in the Park website @ http://www.northbaysummerinthepark.ca for complete details and listings of all the events. Wrist bands are still available at the reduced price of $40.00 up until Thursday August 3 or can be purchased on line.
The concert line up for Friday and Saturday has something for everyone and it should be an enjoyable entertainment experience for all tastes. The Davedi Club will be providing refreshments during the concerts for those that wish to tip a pint and relax and a huge thanks to all the volunteers and organizers who donate their time especially on a long weekend, to help make this event a success.
The August long weekend and the City celebration with Summer in the Park is a great way to enjoy the City. Former residents and families return annually on this weekend to rekindle friendships and make new friends. People that live here introduce new friends to our community and given the schedules, entertainment, and activities, have a relaxing and hopefully restful and entertaining weekend. The long-term weather forecast is calling for great weather and here’s hoping that we have terrific weather for all our visitors and residents alike.
Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.
Last week’s announcement by the City of North Bay, Sports and Leisure Services was great news for tourism in this area and confirmed that the initiative started back in 2012/13, is paying huge dividends to our tourism sector. The concept of sport tourism was a great one. Book events during non-peak travel times and fill our hotels, motels, student residences and restaurants during their slower, off season peak times.
Councillor Dave Mendicino, Ian Kilgour, Melinda Fry, Erin Richmond, Tanya Bedard and Mayor Al McDonald from the City of North Bay embraced the idea and commenced discussions with former high school teacher and coach Larry Tougas on what would be best practices and set out to attract this fast-growing market. With facilities in place, volunteers ready and buy in from the business community, they charted a course that is paying dividends today and will continue, into the future.
They started slow and worked out the logistics to streamline a model that would work. There were lots of growing pains and many lessons learned as they progressed. Having all parties working together, took some time and it was sometimes referred to as “trying to herd cats”. As more successful bids were being accepted by the various event co-ordinators, the momentum was building and success attracted more success. The estimated economic spin off to date is in excess of $6.1 million dollars and has helped our businesses grow their revenues during their slower seasons.
The story does not end here. The group together with many local champions are booking events today that will reap benefits for years. The Ford Women’s World Curling Championships next spring and various high school provincial championships in curling, golf, basketball, soccer, badminton, and ski racing will be coming to North Bay over the next few years. Within that mix, we cannot forget one of our other attractions, our own OHL team, the North Bay Battalion. Projected economic benefit to our local economy is estimated in the $10-12 million-dollar range which does not include the revenue and or dollars spent by teams and fans coming to our city during the winter periods. That is real and substantial.
When we look at the dollars invested in attracting these events and the benefits that this district receives it is definitely a huge win for all of us. When we look at the facilities that we have in this community and add into that a concerted marketing focus with Stephen Hollingshead of Tourism North Bay and the district hotels, motels, cottage operators and other providers, this is an emerging industry. It looks like they have it right and are well positioned for the future. Good work and let’s make sure we all support these efforts.
Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.
Last Tuesday morning, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce participated in the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The Committee heard presentations by various groups and individuals relating to Bill 148, an act to amend the employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and related amendments to other Acts.
On behalf of your Chamber members, we presented to the committee, the concerns that have been raised by our members together with the collective message from Chamber members throughout Ontario in conjunction with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Although from media reports, it appears that the major issue being discussed, was the increase in the minimum wage to $15.00, that is only one, of many issues that are on the Government’s agenda, regarding the proposed passing of Bill 148.
In the weeks leading up to the Committee meeting in North Bay, we reached out to our membership and surveyed what this portion of the Bill 148 meant to their businesses. In relation to the survey, we received over 320 responses and of those responses, 76% indicated that the increase would have a negative effect on their business. Many of the responses indicated that it was the speed and time frame that the Government was introducing these changes was more of the issue than the actual 32% increase. Businesses need time to plan and implement changes that are a result of changes in legislation.
Business owners and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy and should be given the opportunity to provide input and advice on what works for them. Profit is not a bad thing. It is what pays salaries, buys groceries, pays taxes and supports the lifestyle and amenities that we enjoy as both a City and Province. The business owners are the ones with the “skin in the game”. The investments that they make and continue to make is essential to being successful as a community. The business community is simply saying that consultation and evidence based decisions must be made and not for political gains. We must work together.
On a very positive side, the announcement from the Mattawa Bonfield Economic Development Corporation this week, was welcome news to this area. The potential $140 million-dollar investment by International Wood Industries and the creation of 90 new jobs is terrific not just for Bonfield but the entire region. The hard work and dogged determination by the five Mayors and Donna Maitland of MBEDC has paid off, attracting private investors to their community. Hats off to all involved and the best of luck.
Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 – The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce presented the following to the Standing Committee regarding Bill 148.
Peter Chirico, President & CEO’s speech was as follows:
Good morning and welcome to North Bay. My name is Peter Chirico and I am the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce. I am accompanied by Patricia Carr, Vice President of Policy and Communications. We represent almost 900 members who employ close to 10,000 employees across our district. Thank you for the opportunity to present this morning.
Initially, we would like to state that we are not fundamentally opposed to the increase in minimum wage to 15.00 per hour. What we are opposed to is the speed that it is being instituted and the unintended consequences of the sweeping reforms, that will affect our business community.
From the outset, we have agreed with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, that considering the reforms being proposed, the Government of Ontario should be completing a Province wide economic impact analysis of what these changes mean to our businesses. As stated earlier, it will be the unintended consequences, that will affect our members.
What are these unintended consequences? As we have only 5 minutes to present our case, I will provide a brief summation of what these are:
- The Government is taking an active position to encourage unionization especially amongst temporary help agencies, building services sector, home care and community services sectors.
- 23% increase to minimum wage in 6 months and full implementation within 18 months equalling a 32% increase.
- Employment Standards Act reform requires an educational component for existing businesses and also a single point of contact between government and business.
- Personal emergency leave being extended to all businesses will be detrimental to small businesses and the impact must be looked at. Presently our members are compassionate and assist when required without the Government telling them to.
- Shift cancellation and on call payments to employees do not provide the flexibility that is required in both the manufacturing and/or health care sectors.
- Vacation entitlement after five years – we are not opposed but economic analysis is required for future.
- Temporary Help Agencies will be forced to match wages and companies will lose competitive advantage when cyclical business cycles require temporary workers.
- Labour Relations Act reforms will abolish exemptions for traditional industries that have relied on these exemptions for generations.
Over the past 30 days we have surveyed our membership. We had a 37% response rate with a resounding 73% response, indicating that the minimum wage increase will negatively affect their business. 69% of respondents indicate they will pass on the costs as quickly as they can to the consumers, 46% will reduce staff and 45% will reduce the number of P/T, seasonal or student hires to offset.
Small business is the lifeblood of the Ontario economy and although changes are required, we do believe that the Government must look at the economic impacts. That includes inflationary pressures that will become more and more prevalent as costs are added to businesses.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and other groups which make up The Keep Ontario Working coalition has commissioned an independent economic impact study that will be due out in August. This is in response to the lack of the same study being done, as it should be, by the Government of Ontario. We implore that the changes at least be held until this is brought forward and reviewed.
Thank you for your time and are their any questions?
CLICK HERE for the full document and survey results.
The film and television industry is an important part of our economy in the region of Nipissing.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Tourism North Bay officially kicks off summer with the launch of a new promotional video that features the many things to see and do in celebration of Canada Day this weekend.