Timmins Chamber rallies support to push province for better decision-making

Date ArticleType
5/5/2014 Press Release

TIMMINS, May 5, 2014—The Timmins Chamber of Commerce has secured a major partner in its goal to ask the government to do its homework when making decisions about issues that affect business, especially with regards to forestry and the sell-off of Crown corporations.

Timmins Chamber President Phil Barton successfully lobbied representatives of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the province's biggest business advocacy group, to adopt its policies and push the province on these issues following debate at its annual general meeting in Sault Ste. Marie on May 2-4.

Given the massive, negative impact that specific government regulations have had on Timmins in recent years, the Timmins Chamber put forward two policies in Sault Ste. Marie to help protect against such problems. They proposed that the government be required to research the full social and economic impact of the Endangered Species Act, and the sell-off of any Crown corporations, such as the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC).

"Government must begin to take the politics out of its policies, and instead look at the true cost of making decisions long before committing to them,” said Timmins Chamber President Phil Barton.

“Despite its own stated priorities, the Endangered Species Act and its related conservation plans still fail to consider the devastating effect they have on the people and communities of Ontario. The dangers of this approach were also obvious when Ontario's Auditor General discovered that the ONTC sell-off would cost nearly $1 billion -- and that came to light only two years after its initial announcement. Our policies simply ask for due diligence."

These recommendations were voted on and adopted by the 100+ delegates -- representing more than 60,000 Ontario businesses -- who were on hand at the event to debate policies put forward by Chambers from around Ontario to determine the OCC’s top priorities for the coming year.

Following the Timmins Chamber's success in Sault Ste. Marie, the OCC will now use its ideas as part of its efforts to enact change in the coming months and years.

Designed to protect Timmins' economy and the ability of its businesses to succeed, the two Timmins Chamber policies were assembled with input from its members as well as its Government Regulation and Policy Committee. These policies were also co-sponsored at the event by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, as a sign of the broader impact that they will have on Northern Ontario.

“Given the ongoing effect of the Endangered Species Act on forestry access, and the province's open desire to consider selling more Crown corporations, our members will definitely benefit from having the Ontario Chamber of Commerce adopt these policies," said Barton. "We developed strong partnerships with our fellow Northern chambers to push the issue this far, and now that we have the full support of the provincial Chamber network, we look forward to working with our regional and provincial partners and governments to protect our businesses, our community, and our economy.”

To view the full versions of the policy that will now be championed by the OCC, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.timminschamber.on.ca

About the Timmins Chamber of Commerce

With 800 members, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest accredited chambers of commerce with distinction in northeastern Ontario. As the “Voice of Business in Timmins” since 1949, our advocacy and policy initiatives focus on ensuring a positive business climate in the City of Timmins.

Nick Stewart
Manager of Policy, Research and Communications
Timmins Chamber of Commerce
(705) 360-1900