MEDIA RELEASE - Chambers Bring Northern Message to Queen's Park
Chambers Bring Northern Message to Queen’s Park
Five Chambers head to Toronto for two days of advocacy and
discussion on northern business and opportunities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2nd, 2016
Sault Ste. Marie – On November 29th and 30th, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) was one of five Chambers from across Northern Ontario that made the trip to Queen’s Park for two days of advocacy and discussions with provincial leaders on the challenges faced by Northern Ontario businesses and the many opportunities and advantages that those same businesses have to offer.
Joining the Sault Chamber were the Chambers from Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins and Thunder Bay as well as representatives from the Sault’s Innovation Centre, its Economic Development Corporation and the Port of Algoma.
SSMCOC CEO, Rory Ring says that the overall goal of the trip was to promote Northern Ontario's business community and demonstrate how each community is trying to advance the Northern Ontario Growth Plan - a 25-year plan, released by the Ontario government in 2011 that guides provincial decision-making and investment in our region. He says that “while we support the Plan, it was also important for us to convey in our discussions that certain policies are in fact hindering business and the final outcome of that plan.”
The whirlwind mission included meetings and discussions with:
- Deputy Premier Hon Deb Matthews and senior staff
- MPP Ted Arnott, Labour Critic
- Hon Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
- Hon Glenn Thibeault, Minister of Energy and Hon Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines
- MPP Patrick Brown, Leader of the Official Opposition, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and Education Critic
- Hon Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth
- Hon Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- MPP John Vanthof, Commissioner of the Board of Internal Economy and Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Critic and MPP Gilles Bisson, Natural Resources and Forestry Critic
- MPP Lisa Thompson, Environment and Cap-and-Trade Critic
- MPP Vic Fedeli, Finance Critic
- MPP Wayne Gates, Transportation Critic
- Hon Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs
- Hon Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure
- Hon Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
- Hon Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade
- MPP Ernie Hardeman, Municipal Affairs and Housing Critic
- MPP Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Recognized Party, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario and Intergovernmental Affairs Critic
The trip also included a northern reception co-hosted by the Sault’s Member of Provincial Parliament, Hon David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Thunder Bay / Superior North’s Hon Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, which offered delegates an opportunity to meet and talk with additional MPPs, Ministers and senior staff in a more relaxed and informal setting.
Ring says that he believes that “the days of advocacy went a long way in advancing the unique opportunities that exist in the north to help develop economic prosperity in Ontario.”
He continues, noting that, “there are unique circumstances in Northern Ontario that public policy makers need to realize, and many assumptions are made by those not familiar with doing business and living in the North. We went a long way in dispelling many misconceptions. Now, we hope that with continued open lines of communication, and with the support of our northern elected representatives, that the voices of Northern Ontario business will be heard a bit more clearly.”
The delegation from Sault Ste. Marie included Ring, SSMCOC Past President Monica Dale, Dan Hollingsworth from the Sault’s Economic Development Corporation, Jennifer Rushton of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and Anshumali Dwivedi from the Port of Algoma.
About the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of 700 plus business and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and has been serving the needs of this community since 1889. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce will lead the way as the voice of business, advancing economic prosperity for its membership and the business community. www.ssmcoc.com