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Stay informed and discover the latest happenings in Belleville, Ontario with the Belleville Chamber of Commerce News.


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Network News - What matters most to Ontario's Chamber Network

OCC staff have appreciated the engagement by our network around several issues in recent weeks, especially Cap and Trade, and look forward to Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park next week when we will present a united voice to government.

The OCC is currently engaged in a number of policy files. We are in conversations with senior government officials to help achieve additional support so that Ontario’s business community can successfully transition into the Cap and Trade regime.

On energy, Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan will bring immediate relief to residential consumers by “smoothing” the Global Adjustment rate over a longer time period and tying rate increases to inflation over the next four years. While this will alleviate challenges associated with the cost of electricity for many in the near-term, the Ontario Chamber Network is advocating for further amendments to the province’s energy strategy that address the needs of the business community.

Finally, the OCC is closely monitoring the Changing Workplaces Review. We will continue to update our membership as the final report of from the Special Advisors is made public in the coming weeks.

Karl Baldauf
Vice President | Policy & Government Relations | |


Changing Workplaces Review

There has been increased attention paid to the provincial government’s Changing Workplaces Review (the two year review of the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act). The OCC has led a coalition of industry and sector associations in an organized employer response to the Review under the banner, Keep Ontario Working, learn more

The changes being considered through the Review could potentially impact the relationship between every employee and employer in the province. When the final report is made public in the coming weeks, we will continue to lead Ontario’s employer community to ensure government avoids legislative changes that would lead to the unintended consequence of negatively impacting our competitive position.

Please read coverage of our advocacy in the CBC and the Globe & Mail.


Federal Budget 2017

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance tabled the 2017 Federal Budget. Read the OCC's response to the budget here and learn more about the budget and the implication for Ontario's business community in our Rapid Policy Update

Clarifying Ontario's Fair Energy Plan

The announcement of Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan left many employers uncertain about the implications for their business. Through correspondence with senior officials at the Ministry of Energy, the OCC has been diligently engaged to help better understand the impact of the announcement on behalf of our membership. The OCC has designed a backgrounder to answer some of the questions that emerged since the announcement.

Skills Symposium

The OCC will facilitate the first in a series of policy initiatives within the 2017 Skills and Workforce Policy Program on April 19. At this forum, the OCC will convene business leaders, educators and service providers to discuss workforce development in Ontario. The forum will include three policy breakout sessions designed to ensure that participants are able to meaningfully engage in a series of targeted discussions pertaining to the skills mismatch.

The insights and recommendations shared by participants will be reviewed by the OCC policy team and considered for inclusion in a follow-up report scheduled for release in late May 2017 .

Market Renewal Working Group

This month, Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy & Government Relations, has been invited to participate in the IESO’s Market Renewal Working Group (MRWG). The MRWG to date has played an instrumental role in providing input and advice into the development of a Benefits Case analysis for the Market Renewal project. Looking to the design phase, the MRWG will transition into a more enduring and collaborative stakeholder forum to help guide and contribute to the overall success of Market Renewal. MRWG members will also be asked to review and consider any policy and potential ‘seams’ issues that may become apparent as market design discussions evolve.


Community Hubs

Community Hubs provides a central access point for a range of needed health and social services, along with cultural, recreational and green spaces to nourish community life. The Premier's Community Hubs Framework Advisory Council is looking to better engage the local business community to better integrate and engage in community building initiatives. On May 1-3, 2017, the Province of Ontario will be hosting a Community Hubs Summit that will feature keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, and opportunities to interact with and learn from others. Learn more about Community Hubs or contact for more information on how to get involved locally. 

Meridian Business Academy

Join a free Business Planning Webinar (April 12, 2017 3:00–4:30 p.m.) from MNP and Meridian Credit Union. Businesses must ensure that their planning process is well outlined and covers all essential components. This webinar is designed to cover the essential components of an effective business plan and will assist participants in addressing questions or concerns they have regarding the scope and depth of the proposed plan and provide a guide to build this comprehensive plan. Sign up today!

Ontario Business Achievement Awards

We are now accepting nominations for the 2017 Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAAs). Nominate an outstanding business in your community.

Visit for more information and check out the OBAA Hall of Fame


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