The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has released its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan titled “Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations”.
The 54-page document featuring almost 120 action items outlines how the government will approach various aspects from outlining where the province is today to protecting our air, lakes and rivers, addressing climate change, reducing litter and waste in our communities & keeping our land and soil clean to conserving land and greenspace.
Did you know that? “measured against the same base year of Canada’s target under the Paris Agreement (2005), the province’s total greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 22% – even while the rest of Canada saw emissions increase by 3% during that same time.”
In a submission to the Ministry ahead of the plan release, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce encouraged the government to approach their plan with four principles in mind, in order to strike the right balance between protecting our environment and supporting a prosperous economy. These principles were:
After the release of the province’s plan, OCC President & CEO Rocco Rossi commented, “As Ontario’s business advocate, we are pleased the Government of Ontario is taking steps to strike an appropriate balance between protecting our environment and supporting a stronger economy. Today’s plan will help us achieve global targets under the Paris Agreement, while also prioritizing transparency, fiscal sustainability and business competitiveness. We are encouraged to see that the Ontario government has taken steps to address all four priority areas. With the business community already navigating excessive regulatory
burdens, we urge the government to continue to prioritize and consider impacts on the private sector when implementing the new standards and policies announced in the plan.”
The plan is now in the 60-Day consultation period with the following identified by government as the next steps:
“• Continue to consult with the public and engage with Indigenous communities Throughout the environment plan we have identified areas of action and key initiatives. These are areas where we are engaging with stakeholders and Indigenous communities to develop new approaches that support our
common goals for environmental and climate leadership.
• Establish an advisory panel on climate change An advisory panel on climate change will be
established to provide advice to the Minister on implementation and further development of actions and activities in our plan specific to climate change.
• Begin implementing priority initiatives Some of these initiatives are already underway and we will begin implementation of the remaining initiatives following consultation.
• Measure and report on progress We want Ontarians to see how our plan is helping them save money and improve the quality of their lives and communities. We are committed to reporting regularly on the progress we make on our plan and to developing key indicators of progress because we believe that transparency is important to the success of this plan. We are also committed to reviewing the environment plan every four years.”
You can provide your feedback on the plan through the following link. Chamber members, we will be
looking for your input through a survey.
On November 21, the Government of Canada released its 2018 Fall Economic Statement entitled “Investing in Middle Class Jobs”, which provides an update on the government’s finances and announces commitments to improve Canada’s competitiveness.
The government is projecting steady, moderate growth in Canada’s economy, with real GDP forecasted to rise by 2 percent in 2018. The Fall Economic Statement forecasts a deficit of $18.1 billion in 2018-19, down by $0.9 billion from the previous year. Growth is expected to be more modest over the next four years due to limited economic capacity, higher interest rates, and slowing US growth.
“The Chamber is concerned that the Economic Update lacks any plans to help Canada’s struggling energy industry. We call on government to lay out its plans for oil and gas workers during these exceptional times,” said Perrin Beatty, President & CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “We would also like to understand the government’s plans to address the need for more attention to skills development and training, as well as to attracting and retaining the best talent available for all industries in Canada.”
On Wednesday, November 21, 2018, Bill 47: Making Ontario Open for Business received Royal Assent.
Thank you to our members for filling out a recent survey on the impacts of changes proposed in Bill 47. The public comment period opened on Monday, November 12, 2018 and closed on Thursday, November 16, 2018.
With the feedback from our survey and a roundtable with MPP Dave Smith we were able to write a letter to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.
On November 15, the Government of Ontario released its 2018 Fall Economic Statement entitled “2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review”, which provides an update on the government’s finances and announces commitments for the upcoming 2019 Budget.
The government is projecting steady, moderate growth in Ontario’s economy, with real GDP forecasted to rise by 2 percent in 2018. The Fall Economic Statement forecasts a deficit of $14.5 billion in 2018-19, down by $0.5 billion from the previous year. Growth is expected to be more modest over the next four years due to limited economic capacity, higher interest rates, and slowing US growth.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has provided a brief overview of the government's plan and we have added our Peterborough perspective to it.
One of the most constant refrains from our business community is the amount of red tape and regulation they are required to complete and the time it takes away from their business. We look forward to seeing how red tape reduction is rolled out.
It was in 2012 when the Canadian Government officially proclaimed November “Financial Literacy Month”. Since then, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has turned their focus to encouraging collaboration between the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to help Canadians become more educated about their own finances, including managing money and debt wisely, saving for the future, and understanding their own financial rights and responsibilities.
This year’s theme, as found on the FCAC website, is "Invest in your financial well-being". The goal is to encourage Canadians to take control of their finances and reduce financial stress by making a budget, having a savings and debt reduction plan, and understanding their financial rights and responsibilities.
Throughout the month, FCAC will feature weekly sub-themes including:
Financial literacy is a space where the Ontario Chamber Network has been extremely vocal, recognizing the importance of learning and understanding the fundamentals at an early age as a way to develop habits that will serve youth and our economy in the future. Earlier this year in Hamilton at the Ontario Chamber AGM delegates passed a resolution called “Closing the Gap on Financial Literacy for Ontario’s Youth”.
The resolution, authored by the London Chamber of Commerce, suggests a pathway forward for government to consider, given that climbing household debt is increasingly concentrated among younger Canadians, with the most indebted borrowers tending to be under 45 years of age. As well, two studies by PriceWaterhouse Cooper and BMO Wealth Management revealed that only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy and yet, in the BMO study 23% cited paying down debt as their highest financial priority.
In the past governments have made attempts to address the issue yet differing opinions on how to
approach it and move the needle have seemed to hold back movement.
The approved policy resolution offers the following:
1. Create mandatory elementary and secondary-level courses aligned with the Ministry of Education’s Transformation Steering Committee’s guidelines that address the following:
2. Provide regular continuing professional development training for teachers required to teach this aspect of the curriculum with measurable standards teachers are required to meet.
3. Involve various stakeholders such as banks, credit unions and the province’s accounting body to assist with curriculum development.
4. Implement a standardized survey or test for students participating at various levels of this curriculum requirement to measure financial literacy rates among youth in Ontario.
5. Consult organizations such as Junior Achievement that have been delivering financial literacy programs for over 57 years.
This last recommendation is critical as the Chamber Network often encourages using the resources we already have in our communities. Junior Achievement Peterborough Lakeland Muskoka is doing great work and has a series of programs it delivers to school aged children.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce also supports a program called Funny Money which is financial literacy information delivered in an assembly setting.
Ultimately, having a population armed with the tools and knowledge to manage finances is a proactive approach to ensuring a productive economy.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is releasing a new series of reports called “Data for Good: The $32-billion Boost”. This is the first of a three-part series exploring Canada’s data opportunity and the critical intersections between prosperity, technology and privacy.
The goal is to examine how personal data is used to help innovate and create products and services that improve people’s lives and specifically how Canada can help lead the global digital community and conversation.
The report looks to answer a critical question: "Will Canada act or be acted upon by the Fourth Industrial Revolution? The fourth industrial revolution is an absolute juggernaut of technological evolution, which is moving exponentially faster than the first three. With AI anticipated to boost our GDP by $32 billion by 2021, Canada needs the right framework to be an actor in the coming data economy that allows for trust and incentivizes innovation."
The report explores a variety of areas around data including what it looks like, how it’s used, how it’s valued, and how it’s important to share it.
One section, “From Datum to Data” differentiates between the bits of information on their own and how they tell a story when structured. The report identifies what good data quality looks like, including that it is:
Did you know that by 2021it's estimated that 53.7% of the world's population will be using the internet?
In keeping with the title of the report the following excerpt drives home the connections we already have to data: "Data provides the intelligence that product developers rely on to improve efficiency and efficacy. Communications, connectivity, infrastructure, safety and well-being are all enhanced by data.
The world is more connected than ever. Not just internet users but also machines. Networks of cameras, sensors, vehicles and mobile applications are all feeding decision-making. Newspaper editors are making decisions about content and placement of stories that are informed by online reading habits, bringing the most relevant and interesting facts to your attention.
The GPS on your phone can now provide you with alternate routes that avoid traffic jams because the system recognizes a pattern of congestion of mobile phones.
Railway crossings are safer because machines are able to alert trains of unusual behaviour at intersections. Speech recognition has decreased wait times at call centres and enabled us to communicate our needs without a keyboard interface. Capturing driver behaviour has enabled vehicle parts manufacturers to design parts that are safer and more resilient."
The report also explores where there are opportunities for Canada such as cybersecurity, articifical intelligence and research.
In their second series, they will be taking a look at some of the major data breaches of the past few years and examine the emerging trends in technology that have put the collection, storage and use of
personal information at risk.
On November 1, 2018, the federal government introduced new rules around how a business must report a data breach. There are five significant changes of which to be aware, including fines.
Amy Simpson of MicroAge Peterborough agrees that awareness is key. “Now more than ever we need to secure our businesses' IT / Data to minimize the risk of a breach. You are responsible for protecting your client’s data, and now there is the possibility of large fines if you don’t report it.”
As stated on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada website: “The amendments impose a new set of obligations onto organizations to inform individuals if their personal information has been lost, stolen or inappropriately accessed, and they are placed at risk of harm. Specifically, the Digital Privacy Act states that:
The provincial government has released its planned changes to labour regulations through the Open for Business Act, Bill 47.
This bill is designed to make amendments to Bill 148. During the discussions around Bill 148 the Peterborough Chamber maintained the following position:
That government should put in place:
The chart below, in part, from Wilson Vukelich LLP, details the rules in place before and during Bill 148 and then what is proposed under Bill 47. There are several pieces from Bill 148 that will not be changing including:
It is anticipated there will be opportunity for public comment on Bill 47 and as we learn more we will pass on the information on how to connect with government committee going over the bill.
We will also be looking to our members for feedback around what's being changed in order to submit our recommendations.
Download the Chart
Details of Changed and Repealed Items:
Details of Unchanged Items:
Feedback can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Tourism is a vital sector for Ontario's economy. That's why we encouraged the new Ontario government to implement a strategic plan for the tourism sector. We're very pleased Minister Jones has announced that the government will be working with tourism stakeholders to create a new tourism strategy that'll lead to an even stronger tourism industry in Ontario."
— Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Tourism is one of the key economic sectors for the City and County of Peterborough. The Tourism Industry Association of Canada provides business and jobs by riding. Within the three ridings that include Peterborough there are 1793 businesses and 17, 493 jobs in the tourism sector.
Earlier this year, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce using the policy resolutions of the Chamber Network provided the provincial government with a blueprint letter with recommendations on how to drive the tourism sector in Ontario.
Five key priority areas were identified:
Consultations are expected to be held in late fall of this year. The government is seeking feedback on several areas impacting the tourism industry from the roles of government and industry to workforce and regulatory burden.
Congratulations to all… All who put their names on a ballot for office. All who volunteered on the campaigns. All who voted. All who participated in the most fundamentally important process there is, a democratic election.
This was a remarkable election on many levels. We have a remarkably more diverse Council in the City of Peterborough. We have a remarkably more efficient voting system, though not without a few hiccups. And I
believe we have witnessed a remarkable shift in thinking. I’ve seen the word “progressive” tossed around during the campaign. I’m not sure that captures what was obviously an unsettled mood among municipal voters. But one thing is clear, Diane Therrien understood the mood, and was able to tap into it with her “Expect More” message, resulting in a remarkable landslide victory.
Diane Therrien also campaigned on three fundamentals – Jobs, Taxes and Infrastructure, which nicely sets the table for the next four years, because when it comes down to it, this fresh new Council still has a City to run, and a balancing act to perform.
Daryl Bennett and the two Councils that he led over the last 8 years also had to strike a balance, and both Daryl and the returning and retiring Councillors need to be commended for their work. It’s been said that every decision you make as a municipal councillor makes someone angry. Much has been made of the multiple 6-5 votes that occurred in the last four years, and perhaps therein lies some of the explanation for the unrest. Indeed, Council has been criticized on many occasions for “not listening to the people”. This sentiment was particularly ugly during the divisive debate on the sale of PDI. But I will never forget Councillor Henry Clark’s eloquent response to being accused of not listening to the people. To loosely quote Henry – “on the contrary I am listening to the people… the people who want us to sell PDI, and the people who don’t want us to sell it. I’m listening to the arguments of my fellow Counsellors. I’m listening to the reports of the consultants and staff, and I’m listening to my own heart as I weigh all of this input and make my decision. This is what I was elected to do.”
This will not change in the next four years. There will be many divisive issues. Council will not always agree. But one thing is clear, each and every elected official, City and County will listen to their constituents, read the reports, weigh the options and decide on the future of Peterborough City and County.
And toward the future is where we must turn our focus. Let’s work on tomorrow, not yesterday.
For the Chamber, nothing changes. We try to cultivate a high level of mutual respect between the
business community we represent and our elected leaders. Our positions on various issues are based on the positions of our members. We focus on policies that encourage a strong business
community, and we communicate these policies to both City and County Councils. Our election
platform, called “Building a Community Outside the Ordinary” had three foundational pillars:
Strengthening Peterborough’s Competitiveness, Economic Growth and Job Creation
Building Whole Communities
Our new leaders will have to deal with many issues, many pressures, and will face many big decisions, but opportunity abounds. The completion of the 407, the potential for VIA Rail service, Cleantech Commons at Trent, the Airport, and many more, will all create an opportunity for Councils to create the conditions for sustainable growth. We wish them well.