• Advocacy

    SSMCOC joins in Queen's Park Advocacy Series
    April 16, 2021 - Communicating the concerns of our members to elected officials and formulating solutions that best represent the needs of local business are central to the activities of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. The SSMCOC recently completed a whirlwind series of virtual meetings with elected officials and Ontario Ministers, taking part in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Series. Between March 22nd and April 6th, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce took part in meetings and round table discussions which included:
    • Ontario Premier Doug Ford, ahead of the Ontario 2021 Budget
    • Leader of Ontario’s NDP party and Leader of the official Opposition, Andrea Horwath
    • Leader of the Ontario Green Party, Mike Schreiner
    • Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, Steven Del Duca and a post-Budget panel of MPPs
    • Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy
    • Assoc. Minister of Children & Women's Issues, Jill Dunlop
    • Assoc. Minister of Energy, Bill Walker
    • Minister of Infrastructure, Laurie Scott
    • Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade, Victor Fedeli
    • Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, Stan Cho
    • Minister of Health, Christine Elliott
    • Minister of Labour, Training & Skills Development, Monte McNaughton
    • Minister of Colleges & Universities, Ross Romano
    • Assoc. Minister of Small Business & Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria
    • Minister of Agriculture Food & Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman
    • Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney
    SSM Chamber of Commerce and STRIVE Young Professionals Group establish Algoma Vaccination Support Council
    March 19, 2021 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) and the STRIVE Young Professionals Group have established the Algoma Vaccination Support Council (AVSC). The working group, which has started meeting weekly, is comprised of local businesses, organizations, and community stakeholders, and has identified the goal of increasing vaccination literacy, information dissemination about local vaccination efforts, and providing support wherever possible, such as food and beverages for vaccination clinic staff and volunteers as well as transportation for those unable to secure transportation to those vaccination clinics. READ MORE. 
    Chambers urge government to address pain points and lay the groundwork for strong rebound as the province grapples with the economic fallout of COVID-19 
    February 26, 2020 - Today, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its 2021 Ontario pre-Budget submission, focused on recovery, growth, and modernization. The submission calls for policies that minimize the impacts of business closures, uplift the sectors and demographics hit hardest by the pandemic, invest in the infrastructure and workforce of the future, and modernize government services to improve outcomes for businesses and residents. READ MORE.
    Chambers call for virtual care to become a permanent fixture in health care system 
    December 11, 2020 - This week’s report from Ontario’s Auditor General has put the spotlight on virtual care. While telemedicine sites have been in place for decades in Canada, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual care in Ontario. Virtual visits have enabled more Ontarians to continue accessing quality health care while not exposing themselves to COVID-19. The latest report by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Ontario Chamber network, including the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC), 'Realizing the Full Potential of Virtual Care in Ontariounderscores the need to permanently integrate virtual care into Ontario’s health care system.
    Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Chalks Up a Win with Provincial Budget
    November 5, 2020 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is applauding steps in the provincial budget which are aimed at reducing taxes for job creators struggling to ensure that Ontarians keep their paycheques during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the action items provided in the budget are precisely in line with what the SSMCOC recommended in its recent Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Policy resolution, Achieving Property Tax Fairness Across Ontario.
    SSMCOC represents Sault Ste. Marie businesses at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM
    October 28, 2020 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce was pleased to take part in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting on October 26th and 27th. This year's CCC AGM marked the first time that the event was held virtually. Policy discussions held during the AGM will now form the framework of advocacy efforts undertaken by the CCC at the federal level. More than 300 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from across Canada took part. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber was proud to represent our members and our community at this event. Each of the AGM sessions can be viewed HERE.
    SSMCOC Policy Resolutions Accepted by the OCC
    September 2020 - A number of policy resolutions authored, and co-sponsored, by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce have been accepted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber Network following presentation and debate.  These policy resolutions will now form part of the framework of the overall networking efforts by the Ontario Chamber network, which speaks on behalf of over 60,000 businesses in the province.
    Achieving Property Tax Fairness Across Ontario (submitted in partnership with the Burlington Chamber of Commerce)
    Improving Indigenous Education in Ontario (co-sponsored by the SSMCOC)
    Chamber supports 'Our Restaurants' campaign to prevent closure of restaurants
    August 26, 2020 - More than 60 per cent of Canada’s restaurants risk having to close their doors permanently by November, according to government data. The campaign puts a spotlight on the current situation faced by Canada’s restaurants amidst COVID-19: high costs, fewer customers, and government programs ill-equipped for the unique, long-term challenges faced by the industry.
    SSMCOC appears before Ontario's Standing Committee on Financial and Economic Affairs
    August 20, 2020 - Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce CEO, Rory Ring appeared before the Ontario Government's Standing Committee on Financial and Economic Affairs by video conference on Thursday, August 20th. As an effort to review the government’s numerous actions to support small businesses, the Standing Committee on Finance held a Small and Medium Enterprises hearing. The purpose of this hearing was to take feedback and recommendations from stakeholders regarding the government’s response to COVID-19. The committee will generate a final report on the government’s response which will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly this coming September.
    Chamber looks to take municipal tax system concerns provincial
    July 16, 2020 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) is looking to escalate the issue of property tax fairness to the provincial level. A policy resolution drafted by the local Chamber, and co-sponsored by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, will be presented for discussion as part of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) annual policy process in September.
    A Win for Communications and Broadband.
    June 5, 2020 - the Chamber welcomed the Ontario Government’s announcement of $150 million in broadband and cellular service in rural areas. This has been a long standing issue of advocacy for the SSMCOC for several years. The SSMCOC has long-held that increased capacity for high speed internet and modern communications is essential to the economic success of northern, rural and remote communities and to the well-being of the people living and working in those communities. The Chamber has repeatedly used its role as the voice of business to make the issue a point of discussion with provincial leaders. Read more.
    Chamber calls on City to defer non-residential property tax
    March 23, 2020 - On March 19th the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce sent a request to Mayor Christian Provenzano and members of City Council, requesting the immediate deferment of all non-residential property taxes for the period of 3 months or as directed by those health professionals and the Province of Ontario ending the pandemic classification of Covid-19, and when the State of Emergency in Ontario is lifted. The Chamber also recommends that with the reinstatement of the property taxes that the deferred amount be payable over a 6 month period, allowing for adjustments to be made in their cash flow requirements. Read more.
    Taking our Message Directly to Queen’s Park.
    March 9, 2020 - Today, the SSMCOC took part in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Day of Advocacy at Queen’s Park. It was an opportunity to meet with party leaders, provincial ministers and key staff to discuss challenges and opportunities that Ontario’s communities and businesses are facing.
    SSMCOC joins in the release of the Ontario Chamber network's Ontario Economic Report
    February 26, 2020 - Released today, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) fourth annual Ontario Economic Report (OER) reveals opportunities where both business and government can focus to create an environment more conducive to small business success. 
    Ensuring Business and the Economy was Front-and-Centre in the 2019 Federal Election.
    Fall 2019 - In the lead up to the 2019 Federal Election, the Chamber hosted a Federal Election All Candidates Breakfast. Each of the candidates vying to represent Sault Ste. Marie discussed their platforms specific to business and the economy and took questions from Chamber members. The SSMCOC also partnered with Algoma University to host its Federal Election Candidates Panel Discussion; the event was televised by Shaw Spotlight and live streamed by Sootoday.com. STRIVE YPG also hosted its own meet-and-greet and candidates’ debate giving young professionals and interested participants an opportunity to engage the local candidates.
    Chamber round table looks at red tape
    October 11, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host a round table discussion with Hon. Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape on October 11th. Minister Sarkaria met with Chamber small business owners to listen to the red tape challenges that they face as entrepreneurs and employers. Joining Minister Sarkaria was SSM MPP, Hon. Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.


    The President and CEO of the Canada's largest business association addresses Sault Chamber members
    October 8, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host Hon. Perrin Beatty, P.C., O.C., President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as keynote speaker at its 130th Annual General Meeting on October 8th. Perrin Beatty's full remarks have been available for our members to review. CLICK HERE.

    Addressing Critical Imbalances to Ontario's Future - The Mosaic Report
    September 12, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce has joined with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to release a new report, The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies. The report outlines how governments of all levels can work with industry to unleash the potential of Ontario’s regional economies and reinforce the competitiveness of the province as a whole. CLICK HERE. 

    Advocacy for the creation of private, public and Indigenous partnerships pays dividends in Sault Ste. Marie
    June 27, 2019 - In 2018, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce led the charge on the adoption of a Canadian Chamber of Commerce resolution advocating for the creation of private, public and Indigenous partnerships to address the skills gap that is impacting employers across the country. The Chamber is pleased to see that the Federal Government is taking steps to build these partnerships here in Sault Ste. Marie. The Chamber expects that today’s funding announcement of $2.6million, which will help PQA / Plato Testing build and develop its skilled workforce and help create 76 new jobs, will serve as a leading example of the successes that can come when we invest in partnerships with Canada’s Indigenous businesses. CLICK HERE.

    Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce statement on the removal of tariffs on steel and aluminum
    May 23, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce commends the Government of Canada for its part in successfully negotiating the removal of U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. CLICK HERE.

    Chambers of Commerce, Canadian Manufactures and Exporters & Tenaris Call for Changes to Federal Bill C-69
    May 15, 2019 - Tenaris Canadian Manufacturers and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce came together for a press conference to call for changes on Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act. They are concerned Bill C-69 will impact the ability to build major projects in Canada and will therefore also impair Ontario’s economic growth and potential. If projects do not get built in the province or elsewhere in Canada, Ontario will suffer as it is the manufacturing backbone of the country and the supplier of goods and materials for most major development projects. CLICK HERE.

    Vote Prosperity Puts Business Issues at the Forefront for 2019 Election: Sault Ste. Marie Chamber
    May 13, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, has launched the Vote Prosperity platform to urge federal party leaders to put the needs of Canadian business front and centre in the upcoming federal election. CLICK HERE.

    Sault Chamber elevates business concerns to provincial level and puts Tenaris and Algoma Steel front and Centre
    May 7, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) was represented at this year’s Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting in Muskoka Ontario by CEO Rory Ring and President Don Mitchell.  They did not go empty-handed. They brought with them a policy resolution calling on the Ontario government to support Ontario’s steel industry and its supply chain clusters. CLICK HERE.

    Chamber hosts Round-Table discussion with Andrea Horwath, Ontario's Leader of the Official Opposition
    April 24, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce had an opportunity to sit down for a roundtable discussion with Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition in Ontario and Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Some of the items discussed included: infrastructure, transportation, skilled trades training, and steel. CLICK HERE.

    Provincial Budget 2019 Strikes Right Balance for Business Community: Sault Chamber
    April 12, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) is pleased to see that the Government of Ontario has heard the message of the province’s Chamber Network, and is taking reasonable steps to build a stronger Ontario. CLICK HERE.

    Advocating for Business at Queen's Park
    March 25, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce takes part in the Ontario Chamber network's annual 'Day of Advocacy at Queens Park. Representatives from Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from accross the provinceare on hand to advocate for Ontario's businesses. We spend the day meeting with party leaders, provincial ministers and senior staff from various ministries. 

    Business Confidence Improves but More Remains to be Done: 2019 ONTARIO ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
    February 20, 2019 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) have released their third annual Ontario Economic Report (OER), offering a unique perspective on the experience of businesses of all sizes across the province. Through the Business Confidence Survey, the Business Prosperity Index, and the Economic Outlook, this report presents a candid look at private sector sentiment and opportunities for economic growth for the year ahead. CLICK HERE.

    Ontario Government’s move to make province Open for Business is the correct course of action: Sault Chamber
    October 24, 2018 - The Ontario government's announcement of the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, was welcomed by the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and by the wider provincial Chamber network. The proposed legislation includes a repeal of some of the most cumbersome and economically-challenging aspects of Bill 148. The new legislation would also see the dissolution of the Ontario College of Trades and improvements to the journeyperson-to-app
    rentice ratio. CLICK HERE.

    Sault Chamber applauds a proposal that would open bidding and tendering opportunities for local businesses
    December 19, 2018 - The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is applauding the Ontario government's proposal to explicitly deem public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities, as "non-construction employers". CLICK HERE.


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