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From the Desk of the CEO Jill Raycroft

I want to say "Happy Halloween" but I'm not particularly enthused by the fact it is the end of October already!!  But that's really the only bad news... 

We had a great breakfast this morning with the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment's recruiting team along with Honourary Colonel Julie Lange.  I know a lot of you may not have connected why today's guests would matter to you so I will try to share their message briefly (but it's such a great story)! 

I know everyone is looking for employees and the army & air force are recruiting like the rest of you BUT if you have part-time/shift workers that need to supplement their income - you've found the perfect partner!  Or if you want to help your staff (or children) develop their teambuilding & time management skills and get paid - you might suggest enlisting in the reserves!  Basic training is really basic (I think I could do it) and the commitment is as little as 4 days/month but more are available. 

But the best part is this - the Canadian Forces wants you to support their program by sharing your employees so much they've created this amazing program called "Executrek" - where you get to spend a day on the base as a Reserve!  You fly in a Herc, you jump out of a building, you shoot at tanks (I have pretty good aim) and land a plane in the flight simulator.  You also have to eat the food but you end the day with a great piece of pizza!  But that's not all - you get to meet some of the most polite, helpful, warm & compassionate people who help you walk down walls and are apparently willing to put their life on the line for our country.  This changes people.  And it is in our backyard!  The crew this morning connected with some great people today but if you think you might have potential candidates for the Reserve experience - get to know Chris (Military( & Joanne (LCol Chris Comeau & Joanne Ramsay).  If you want to know more about Executrek and how you might get an invitation?  Reach out to HCol Julie Lange (click the links to email directly).

BILL 47

The province is buzzing with news of the repeal of Bill 148 and the introduction of Bill 47 and in some communities, people are very upset.  Part of the challenge in managing emotions around this conversation of stalled increases and repealed sick days is that some of what came out in Bill 148 wasn't different than before but other things were much more invasive and never discussed.  And there were all those unintended consequences we talked about back in May.  There is also the perception that any business owner is the same as every business owner.  We do know there are international corporations whose Ontario's management teams struggle to keep them here and must look for cost-savings where they can but we also know that with the current labour market, there are very few jobs that can retain good employees if they only pay minimum wage.  $15/hour is still not a living wage so the issue of getting by vs. getting ahead wasn't getting solved in January.  We know most of our members start their employees above that rate already and we will get to $15/hour.  The repeal of Bill 148 has also established stability so businesses can begin planning again with some confidence there won't be a huge spike in the cost of human resources or goods required.  If you're interested in reading the full Bill to see what has been taken out, what's up for review and what's staying from Bill 148 - read it here

BOARD ELECTIONS

I also mentioned this morning our nominations closed on Friday with a number of people expressing interest and submitting forms.  We are going to try adding an electronic voting option this year so watch for details to come early next week.  If you would like to help out on a lesser involved scale - we are always looking for people to help on our Government Affairs, Membership and Finance committees!

And, the best news today - clocks go back an hour this weekend so we'll all get the bonus of an extra bit of sleep and some light in the mornings for a little longer before winter really sets in!