Kudos to all those involved with Workforce Week 2019.  In particular, the Labour Market Group, who organizes this week annually and includes numerous employment service teams to ensure that job seekers have the necessary skills and up-to-date resumes to put their best foot forward when meeting with employers.

To all the employers that attended the job fair, a huge thank you for your time to allow job seekers to see a number of opportunities available all in one location.  We hope you found some quality new employees to fill your positions.

Last week’s provincial budget, his first by our MPP Vic Fedeli as Minister of Finance, was delivered at Queen’s Park.  The Chamber of Commerce is pleased to see that reasonable steps are being taken to balance the fiscal sustainability of the province and a plan to return to a balanced budget by 2023-2024.

Investments in skills and workforce development are very important to our members for hiring and retaining employees; as it is currently the number one factor indicated in their ability to remain competitive.

Infrastructure investments are also critical and the Chamber was pleased to see investments in not only roads, bridges and electricity but also the critical infrastructure investments to address the broadband and cellular deficit.

With a number of measures already aimed at reducing red tape and growing the economy through acts such as Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, the Access to Natural Gas Act, 2018, and the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019, the budget will ensure that businesses can compete on the global stage.

The Chamber is pleased to organize a breakfast with our MPP and Minister of Finance on Friday, April 26 for members to hear more details on what the budget means to businesses in our region and Northern Ontario.

A special welcome to North Bay to Inspector Michael Dazé who will join the North Bay Police Service as Deputy Chief while the current deputy Scott Tod takes on his new role as Chief.   We wish Chief Shawn Devine well in his new endeavours.

It was my pleasure to be your guest columnist last week and this week, so may I end off by wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter holiday.  Mr. Chirico will be back with his Nugget column next week.

Patti Carr is the VP of policy and communications for the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce