Policy / Advocacy

Welcome to the Policy & Advocacy section of our website. As a member of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, you have the clout of a much larger business community at your disposal. The Chamber has a long history of success in advancing business interests of its members. Together, we can make significant impact on the political agenda of all levels of governments.

With input from members through our volunteer policy committees, the Chamber develops positions, papers, advocacy letters and presentations that are then used by the Chair and the President addressing municipal, provincial and federal government officials. The Chamber's Board of Directors approves all Chamber policies and presentations before their release to the public and assists in engaging government officials through regular meetings with elected officials and other specialized policy forums.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Releases Regional Agri-Food Paper

Windsor, Ontario, April 17, 2014 – The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has released its Regional Agri-Food Paper (AFP), its fourth comprehensive research paper since February 2013. The Agri-food is the number one or number two industry in Ontario, depending on how it is measured. In the Windsor-Essex region, it is a $1 billion industry and it is well positioned to grow.

Media Release, Agrifood Paper, April 17, 2014

Background for the Agri-Food Paper

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber, Agri-Food Paper, April 17, 2014

Additional Labour Statistics, Windsor-Essex Region Agri-Food Paper, April 2014

Municipal By-Election for City of Windsor Ward 7 Survey Results

Windsor, November 14, 2013 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce released the results of a Municipal By-Election Survey for City of Windsor Ward 7.

2013 Municipal By-Election Survey Results

MEDIA ADVISORY - Ward 7 Survey Results

 

Chamber Releases Results of its 2013 By-Election Survey

Windsor, July 18, 2013 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has released its 2013 Election Survey Results prior to a Windsor-Tecumseh By-Election August 1, 2013The 2013 presentation below compares the results with those from the previous 2011 election survey.

Media Release of the 2013 Election Survey Results

2013 Election Survey Presentation (July 2013)

Windsor-Essex Chamber Releases Municipal Finance & Tax Paper

Windsor, June 11, 2013 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has released its Municipal Finance and Taxation Paper (FTP), its third comprehensive research paper since February 2013 focused on Windsor-Essex business priorities.

Media Release, Municipal Finance and Tax Paper 2013

Chamber's Municipal Finance and Tax Paper, June 2013

Windsor-Essex Chamber Resolutions Approved at the Ontario Chamber AGM

Chatham, Ontario, May 4, 2013 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce partnered with other Ontario Chambers of Commerce to put forward three Ontario Chamber Resolutions for this year's Ontario Chamber AGM. Here are the approved resolutions:

Adopting a more accountable and transparent interest arbitration system

Create a long term, competitive, transparent and accountable energy system in Ontario

Enforcing duty and tax collection at the Canada-US Border

Modernizing the Detroit River Rail Tunnel (Re-authorized)

Windsor-Essex Chamber Releases Regional Energy paper

March 13, 2013 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has released a comprehensive Regional Energy paper. The paper continues the series of three proactive policy papers focused on Windsor-Essex business priorities.

The energy paper was developed by the Chamber's Environment and Energy Committee chaired by David Diemer from Dillon Consulting Limited and vice-chaired by Natalie Byczynski, Chrysler Canada.

The paper calls for an energy system in Ontario that ensures reliable, modern and efficient supply of energy to its customers at reasonable rates to enable business and industry to be competitive in a global market.

Windsor-Essex Regional Energy Paper (pdf)

Energy Paper Executive Summary, March 2013 (pdf)

MEDIA RELEASE - Windsor Chamber Releases Regional Energy Paper (pdf)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber President & CEO Speaks at the International Trained Professionals Conference

March 5, 2013 - Matt Marchand, President & CEO, Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce spoke at the Internationally Trained Professionals Conference organized by the New Canadians' Centre of Excellence at the Caboto Club.

Presentation_ITP_Final hc.2

Windsor-Essex Chamber Releases Regional Transportation Paper (RTP)

February 14, 2013 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has released a Regional Transportation Paper (RTP). The Chamber is releasing the paper as transportation is especially important to the economy of the Windsor-Essex region. The paper presents the business community's perspective on critical elements of a regional transportation plan.

Windsor-Essex Regional Transportation Paper (RTP) (pdf)

Media Release - Regional Transportation Paper - RTP (pdf)

Food Packaging Regulations Letter

December 2012 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce co-signed a letter to the Federal minister of Agriculture voicing concerns due to the lack of clarity with respect to new proposed food packaging regulations that if enacted could potentially have a significant effect on the business community. The proposed regulations stem from the border  agreement signed in 2011 known as the Beyond the Border agreement between Canada and the U.S.

Click Here to obtain the text o the Chamber letter.

SR&ED Round Table

KPMG Overview of the Federal SRED ITC Program

KPMG Provided Overview of Federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Investment Tax Credit Program Power Point Presentation (November 16, 2012).

Policy Development

CHAMBER'S CURRENT POLICY PRIORITY ISSUES:

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

The Chamber's plan is to work closer with other economic development oriented organizations in the region and to seek initiatives that will serve as an advocacy item related to economic development. Other specific topics can be brought in under the topic of economic development.

Some of the other issues can also be addressed separately but belong within the scope of economic development. The most prominent development projects that can be supported with policy and advocacy are the Windsor-Essex redevelopment zones and projects that support small business.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
The Chamber can address the sources of capital and match the investors with the broader business community to drive economic growth. The Finance and Taxation committee is putting together an Access to Capital Seminar to address the issue in an information based forum. The Government Relations Committee can identify the projects and opportunities for advocacy on investment issues.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT:
Conservation of Power, Environmental Awareness and Energy Planning, Energy Infrastructure. The main concern for the business community under this policy issue is the reliability (predictability) of energy supplies and their cost. Although the Environment and Energy Committee has the lead on developing policy and positions for the Chamber all policy committees have a role in developing recommendations for the Board.

BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE:
This issue generally belongs to transportation but implications to our members span finance and taxation, environment and government relations. All policy committees should have a role in developing recommendations for the Board on border infrastructure issues. The policy chairs group is a good forum for cross referencing the issues.

Both can be in the mix of policy and advocacy priorities. The role of the committees is to develop the policy issues and move these issues into the advocacy plan.

BUSINESS PROPERTY TAXES:
Property taxes, in Windsor in particular are at the top of the business issues for many of the Chamber members. The businesses are complaining about the amount of business taxes and fees they pay to operate in Windsor. A serious study of the tax situation and the business fee structure in Windsor-Essex is needed.

The Finance & Taxation Committee will lead the effort to address the issue for the region. More free resources will be brought into the research and analysis effort in the upcoming year. Business and property taxes and fees together are one of two top issues that were identified in the municipal election membership survey, the other one being economic development and jobs.

COORDINATION OF MUNICIPAL SERVICES:
The issue is related to creating the conditions for developing closer relationships within the Windsor-Essex region. The Chamber's role is to advocate and create policy aimed at municipalities comprising the Windsor-Essex region. All policy committees can have a role in recommending policy positions, advocacy activities and forums to advance closer regional coordination.

WATERWAY MANAGEMENT:
The issue refers to policy and advocacy related to the Great Lakes basin water as transportation and natural resource. The issue relates to transportation, environment and economic development. Other aspects of the issues are related to environmental degradation, port development issues, etc.

Recent Chamber Policies & Advocacy Campaigns

WINDSOR-ESSEX REGIONAL CHAMBER MAKES CANADA WIDE CASE TO SIMPLIFY ACCESS TO FEDERAL SR&ED PROGRAM

Windsor, Ontario – The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce introduced a resolution that was approved by the chambers of commerce from around the country at the Annual General Meeting held in Hamilton, Ontario on September 22, 23, and 24, 2012. The resolution was co-sponsored by the Mississauga Board of Trade.

Chamber's SR&ED Resolution (September 23, 2012)

2011 TAX POLICIES PRESENTATION TO CITY OF WINDSOR COUNCIL

MAY 3, 2011
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to City of Windsor Council on the City's 2011 Tax Policies. The Chamber welcomed across the board reductions in business tax ratios as well as additional $1.2 million in total savings for business property taxpayers.

Chamber's City of Windsor Council Presentation on 2011 Tax Policies (pdf)

CHAMBER MAKES PRESENTATION TO CITY OF WINDSOR ON 2011 OPERATING BUDGET

MARCH 7, 2011
The Chamber's Finance & Taxation Committee Chair, Robert Rea and Jason Ilijanic, Vice Chair, presented the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber comments on the 2011 City of Windsor Operating Budget. The Chamber applauded the City of Windsor for delivering a net zero tax levy increase while holding the level of services needed by businesses this year. The City's Tax Policies will be discussed for approval at a future date. At that time the Chamber will address the issues related to municipal business taxation policies.

Chamber's 2011 City of Windsor Operating Budget Comments - March 7, 2011 (pdf)

City of Windsor Business Property Tax Rates Comparison Table - March 7, 2011 (pdf)

CHAMBER MAKES PRESENTATION AT CITY OF WINDSOR COUNCIL ON 2012 OPERATING BUDGET

MARCH 5, 2012
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to City of Windsor Council regarding the 2012 Operating Budget.

Click Here for a copy of the presentation.

CHAMBER APPROVES CITY OF WINDSOR TAX POLICY

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has adopted a municipal tax policy calling for a multi-year plan to lessen the business property tax burden. The policy contains guiding principles and recommendations for the Chamber and the City of Windsor in addressing business property taxes in the upcoming budgets.

Click Here for a copy of the Chamber's Municipal Tax Policy document (pdf).

CHAMBER'S OP-ED PIECE ON NEW BORDER DEAL

DECEMBER 28, 2011
Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce assessed the Canada U.S. action plan on the Border as highly practical, welcoming the direction the government is taking to improve trade with the U.S., the country's most important international trade partner.

Click Here to read the full Op-Ed article.

CHAMBER URGES RAIL RETHINK

NOVEMBER 17, 2011
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce is urging the federal government to reconsider its decision to refuse funding for a high-speed rail link between Windsor and Quebec City. The Chamber stated its position for an article in the Windsor Star. The Chamber took action on the issue earlier in the month by sending a letter to the federal Minister of Transport.

Click Here for the full text of the article.

CHAMBER SENDS LETTER TO TRANSPORT MINISTER ON HIGH SPEED RAIL STUDY

NOVEMBER 1, 2011
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Hon. Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport addressing the issue of the High Speed Rail Service study of the Quebec City - Windsor corridor. The yet to be published study report downgrades the feasibility of the Windsor to Toronto segment of the project. The Chamber has put forward suggestions for the study and urges the government to release the report. A connection using the existing rail assets between Windsor and Detroit could open a rapid passenger rail link between Toronto and Chicago, significantly enhancing ridership on the Windsor-Toronto segment of the Canadian system.

Click Here to view the Chamber's letter to the Minister.

NEW YORK BALLAST WATER REGULATIONS POLICY

MARCH 28, 2011
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has approved a Ballast Water Regulations policy to address the issue of New York regulation that has the potential to preclude all vessels to reach ports beyond the territorial waters of New York state.

New York Ballast Water Regulations Policy - March 28, 2011

CHAMBER RECEIVES ONTARIO CHAMBER AWARD FOR ADVOCACY

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce has been recognized provincially as a leading advocacy Chamber by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce at their 100th Annual General Meeting in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Click Here for full text of the Media Release.

Chamber Resolution Approved at Ontario Chamber AGM

May 5, 2012 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce together with the Chatham and London Chambers of Commerce approved a policy resolution in support of the Ontario One Call Act. The resolution was adopted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM Policy Convention.

The Ontario One Call Resolution- May 5, 2012 (pdf)

2011 PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

Chamber's Election strategy Successful at Building Relationships with Political Leaders
The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce stated it is looking forward to working with the newly elected MPPs. The Chamber identified the economy, jobs and energy as key election issues for business.
Windsor Star quoted Matt Marchand, Chair of the Chamber's Government Relations Committee after the local results were announced late in the evening:

Matt Marchand, chairman of the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce's government relations committee, said the organization is "looking forward to working with the two new elected members of parliament and look forward to developing a strong working relationship with both of them."
"The Chamber has felt throughout this campaign that the key issues have been jobs, the economy and energy and we're looking forward to seeing how our elected members deal with those important issues," said Marchand.