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 Energy Cost Savings Incentives
Windsor, Ontario, June 18, 2014 - The WERCC Environment and Energy Committee would like to remind its members that energy conservation incentive programs are available to ease the financial burden of energy usage. These programs were initiated with the passing of the Green Energy Act, and will continue in the near term, as Ontario’s 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) placed a renewed emphasis on conservation measures. These financial incentive programs available from the province are administered by your local distribution company (LDC).
Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Resolutions Approved at Ontario Chamber AGM
Windsor, Ontario, May 7, 2014 - The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber was succesfully behind three key member priority resolutions approved at this year's Ontario Chamber AGM held in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, May 1st - May 4th, 2014. The resolutions covered the issues of year-round greenhouse operations, enegy competitiveness and workforce development. Click on the links below for the media release and the actual resolutions.
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.
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.
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, 2013. The 2013 presentation below compares the results with those from the previous 2011 election survey.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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 Provided Overview of Federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Investment Tax Credit Program Power Point Presentation (November 16, 2012).
CHAMBER'S CURRENT POLICY PRIORITY ISSUES:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.