Messages from the Chair of the Board and the President
We were very pleased to see the Oakville Beaver’s recent series on transportation in the GTHA. We hear frequently from our members that transportation – the movement of goods and people – is a key barrier for their businesses. In fact, in our 2013 Advocacy Survey, it was identified as one of the top factors by our respondents in deciding to do business in Oakville.
The series puts a face on the issue and the impact transportation barriers have to Oakvillians’ quality of life.
Ontario’s transportation network is a major part of the province’s infrastructure and a significant economic enabler of trade and economic investment.
Sixty-two percent of Oakville’s residents who are employed leave the community each day to commute to work. This number is 50% above the provincial average. Transportation improvements can make a significant difference to Oakville commuters’ quality of life, allowing them to spend more time with their families.
Businesses understand the cost of congestion. The ability to get people moving helps the bottom line – opens up new markets, allows goods to move freely, and grows the pool of potential employees from which they can draw. Current traffic congestion costs the economy an estimated $6 billion per year. For every $100 million invested in infrastructure, 1,670 jobs are created.
Encouraging business development in Oakville by making it attractive for companies to locate here with competitive development charges and business taxes can help to reduce the number of commuters. Affordable housing offered at competitive residential tax rates may encourage people who commute in to Oakville to relocate here.
So what else can we do? The Metrolinx Big Move Project is a 25-year, $50 billion plan designed to coordinate, integrate and build transportation and transit infrastructure across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). The chamber network supports the urgency of moving on this plan. We recognize that the status quo is simply not an option. We cannot let the problem worsen for future generations.
Beyond the Big Move, we realize that we need to have a broad discussion dealing with transportation issues in the GTHA. To that end, the Oakville Chamber has partnered with the Professional Engineers of Ontario, Oakville Chapter, to present a symposium focused on transportation in the GTHA. Experts in each area of transportation (air, land, sea, rail) will present their insights and ideas on moving today for tomorrow. This symposium will take place in May 2014. Stay tuned for more details.
Chair of the Board
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
As you will read in this edition, we hosted the launch of our Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs Group (YPEG) in late November. I wish we could bottle the energy and enthusiasm of this group. Held at the new Oakville office of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, there was such a buzz in the room and it was encouraging to see so many young people unplugging and engaging in face-to-face interaction. It’s good to know that old-fashioned networking crosses generations.
We are thrilled that YPEG is gaining momentum. As an organization, the chamber wants to reach out and connect with and engage our future leaders. We need to tap into the energy and talent of Oakville’s young professionals and entrepreneurs.
Developing YPEG is a key part of the chamber’s strategic plan. Another objective for the coming year is to submit policy resolutions to both the Canadian and Ontario chambers of commerce. These resolutions represent issues of importance to you, our members, and once approved at each organization’s annual general meeting (AGM), form the basis for policy recommendations to both the provincial and federal governments. Please refer to page ____ in this edition for information regarding resolution submissions.
Our Board of Directors will be updating the strategic plan over the next few months to ensure that the chamber continues to be relevant and aligned with our members’ needs.
2014 marks the 65th anniversary of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. We are planning a celebration to which all our members are invited – stay tuned for more details. Although our chamber is young in relative terms compared to many other chambers in Canada, we are proud of what we have accomplished in our 65-year history.
Did you know the chamber was instrumental in bringing Crime Stoppers and the YMCA to Oakville? The chamber was also instrumental in working with the other Halton chambers and the Halton School boards to create the Halton Industry Education Council, a not-for-profit organization which fosters partnerships between industry, education and the community in Halton.
The Oakville Chamber has won awards from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for our advocacy work on the local air quality by-law and our work related to economic development.
The chamber created an award-winning e-learning program available to all members covering many of the skills required for success in any business. The Chamber partners with community organizations to bring the Annual Environmental Awareness and Random Acts of Kindness days to Oakville. In partnership with the Rotary Club of Oakville West, the chamber presents the Annual Awards for Business Excellence.
We are proud of the effective working relationships we have forged with representatives from all levels of government and the high-profile speakers we have brought to Oakville to speak to our members. Hosting the Prime Minister of Canada, the new Governor of the Bank of Canada, the Premier of Ontario, federal and provincial cabinet ministers and leaders of industry has earned us a reputation as Oakville’s podium of record.
Celebrating our past and looking towards our future, we are excited to offer more trips this year – locations will be determined soon.
Most importantly, we will continue to do what we do best:
•Advocate on behalf of our members
•Provide member benefits
• Connect our members with each other and the business community
•Educate our members on business issues and skills
•Hosting business and political leaders
We look forward to seeing you. Happy New Year!
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
| Wed Mar 12 @ 5:00PM|
Business After Hours March 2014
| Wed Mar 19 @ 7:30AM|
Aon Good Morning Oakville March 2014 Regular Registration
| Wed Mar 19 @ 7:30AM|
Aon Good Morning Oakville March 2014 (2 Minute Member Speaker)