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.

The cost structure of doing business in Ontario, both locally and versus our competitor states, is rapidly rising with electricity prices up 400%, hundreds of millions of dollars in cap and trade taxes, increases in CPP, proposed hikes to the minimum wage along with hundreds of pages of new regulations.

The WERCofC is calling for changes to Bill 148 in order to attract and retain jobs and investment here in Windsor-Essex, including a five-year phase-in for minimum wage (similar to California), calling for cost offsets to help employers secure cost predictability, and working toward closing the skills gap to drive higher paying jobs.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Participating in Standing Committee Hearing on Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (July 13, 2017)

 

Labour Relations and Employment Standards Changes Too Much, Too Fast (July 10, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Information Session on Changing Workplace Review Presented by WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (June 15, 2017)

According to Skills Canada estimates, 40% of new jobs created in the next decade will be in the skilled trades, but only 26%of young people aged 13 to 24 are considering a career in these areas. The labour force participation rate for youth aged 20-24 has also dropped from 79% in 2004 to 75.5% in 2016. The declining youth participation rate is partially attributable to young people pursuing further education and it captures those that are discouraged because they believe that no suitable work is available.

The WERCC is working to align government, employers and educators to find solutions to the skills mismatch in order to strengthen our economy and ensure there are meaningful career opportunities here in Windsor-Essex.

Ontario Business Finding it Challenging to Find Qualified Talent: Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (June 20, 2017)

Report: Talent in Transition: Addressing the Skills Mismatch in Ontario (June 20, 2017)

Business and Community Leaders Discuss Economic Outlook for Windsor-Essex Cited in Ontario Economic Report (March 8, 2017)

Ontario Economic Report Launches in Windsor (March 6, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional and Ontario Chambers Release Inaugural Economic Report to Shape Public Policy (February 8, 2017)

Report: Ontario Economic Report (OER) (February 8, 2017)

$16 Billion Ontario Tourism Gap Requires a Dedicated Government Strategy: Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (November 17, 2016)

Report: Closing the Tourism Gap: Creating a Long-Term Advantage for Ontario (November 17, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures Support for Deferring TPP, Closing Skills Gap, Strongly Encouraging Domestic Steel, One Time Allocation Connecting Link Program and Transparency for Development Charges at Ontario Chamber AGM (May 1, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber to Attend Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting to Discuss Key Regional Issues (April 28, 2016)

Ontario’s Skills Gaps Worsening: Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Report Points to Immigration Reform as Part of the Solution (April 7, 2016)

Report: Passport to Prosperity: Ontario’s Priorities for Immigration Reform (April 7, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Calls For Ontario Budget that Extends Business Engagement on TPP, Skills, Cap & Trade, Reducing Regulatory Burden and Fiscal Balance (February 18, 2016)

Report: 2016 Pre-Budget Submission (February 18, 2016)

The Canadian steel industry is a cornerstone of our national economy and important to Windsor-Essex with key employers such as Atlas Tube in Harrow. The instability of the steel market, in large part due to China’s steel dumping and non market economy, has led to the sharp decline in the ability of our steel industry to compete globally, costing middle class jobs.

Windsor-Essex Regional, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie Chambers Headed to Ottawa for All-Party Parliamentary Steel Caucus Meetings (May 29, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce to Appear Before House of Commons’ Standing Committee on International Trade on Steel Industry (March 16, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber and Ontario Chamber Partners Secure Support for National Steel Strategy at Canadian Chamber AGM (September 19, 2016)

Read the full resolution: Support the Canadian Steel Industry and its Supply Chain Clusters (September 19, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Partners with Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie Chambers of Commerce, Urging Prime Minister to Address China Dumping Steel into Canada (August 29, 2016)

Letter to The Right Honorable Justin P.J. Trudeau (August 29, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures Support for Deferring TPP, Closing Skills Gap, Strongly Encouraging Domestic Steel, One Time Allocation Connecting Link Program and Transparency for Development Charges at Ontario Chamber AGM (May 1, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber to Attend Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting to Discuss Key Regional Issues (April 28, 2016)

The Ontario Chamber and its network of local chambers believes that trade between Canada and many American states yields positive outcomes for employers and workers on both sides of the border. Canada was the top destination for exports for 35 states and the U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner. There is also an unprecedented MOU for automotive between Michigan and Ontario to support growth and innovation. A strong Canada-U.S. trading relationship is essential to our shared economic prosperity.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Hosting Trade Officers (May 24, 2017)

Ontario Chamber of Commerce sends Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Emphasizing that a Strong Canada-U.S. Trade Relationship is Essential to our Shared Prosperity (January 19, 2017)

Letter to Minister Freeland (January 19, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Participating in Town Hall Meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (August 3, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber to Advocate for Region in Front of House of Commons’ International Trade Committee TPP Public Consultation (May 11, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures Support for Deferring TPP, Closing Skills Gap, Strongly Encouraging Domestic Steel, One Time Allocation Connecting Link Program and Transparency for Development Charges at Ontario Chamber AGM (May 1, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber to Attend Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting to Discuss Key Regional Issues (April 28, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Calls For Ontario Budget that Extends Business Engagement on TPP, Skills, Cap & Trade, Reducing Regulatory Burden and Fiscal Balance (February 18, 2016)

Report: 2016 Pre-Budget Submission (February 18, 2016)

The WERCC has been one of the most aggressive Chambers in Ontario calling for the deferral and the suspension of cap and trade due to its costly impact on agri-food, greenhouses and business in general on top of a nearly 400% increase in electricity prices.

The WERCC urges the government to suspend cap and trade at this time, with appropriate cost mitigation to affected businesses. Should suspension not occur, the Chambers encourage the mitigation of risk of the cap and trade system on industry to ensure competitiveness.

Matt Marchand speaking on Cap & Trade at the Leamington Chamber Lunch & Learn, June 7, 2017

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures Ontario-Wide Chamber Support for Suspension of Cap & Trade, Other Successes at Ontario Chamber AGM (May 7, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber to Advocate Key Local Issues at Ontario Chamber Annual General Meeting in Sarnia (May 3, 2017)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber Network Attend Second Annual Queen’s Park Advocacy Day (March 23, 2017)

Twenty Chambers Across Ontario Call for Deferral in Provincial Cap & Trade Program to prevent jobs, investment from leaving Ontario (December 20, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional and Leamington District Chambers Call for Deferral in Provincial Cap & Trade Program (December 9, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Disappointed with Ontario Energy Board Decision against Transparency (September 29, 2016)

Chambers Across Ontario Demand Transparency in Cap and Trade Costs for Business and Consumers (September 2, 2016)

Letter to Rosemarie T. Leclair, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Energy Board (OEB) (September 2, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Calls For Ontario Budget that Extends Business Engagement on TPP, Skills, Cap & Trade, Reducing Regulatory Burden and Fiscal Balance (February 18, 2016)

Report: 2016 Pre-Budget Submission (February 18, 2016)

In partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), the WERCC launched Small Business Too Big To Ignore, a campaign highlighting the important contributions of small businesses to our communities and investigating the top barriers to small business growth.

Coinciding with the launch of this campaign was the report: Top 3 Obstacles to Small Business Growth, aimed at starting a conversation about the underlying challenges weighing on small businesses and stifling job creation.

The report cites the rising cost of doing business as a major impediment to small business growth. OCC survey results show that one in 20 businesses in the province expect to close their doors in the next five years due to rising electricity prices. In addition, 38% will see their bottom line shrink, with the cost of electricity delaying or canceling investment in the years to come.

The Success of Small Business Will Determine the Success of Ontario’s Economy: New Report by Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Kicks-Off 2016 Small Business Week (October 19, 2016)

Report: Obstacles and Opportunities for Small Business in Ontario (October 19, 2016)

Windsor Essex Tech Show Helping Small Business Build a Better Business Through Technology (October 18, 2016)

Presidents of Windsor-Essex Regional and Ontario Chambers of Commerce Hosting Small Business Too Big To Ignore Announcement Event (October 17, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Presents October After Business at ARIIUS Nightclub, Caesars Windsor To Conclude Small Business Week (October 13, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures National Support for Scaling Up Small Business at Canadian Chamber AGM (September 20, 2016)

Read the full resolution: Enabling More Canadian Firms to Scale Up (September 20, 2016)

Small Business Roundtable Consultation with Presidents of Windsor-Essex Regional and Ontario Chambers of Commerce (August 5, 2016)

Small Business Too Big to Ignore: Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber (May 3, 2016)

Report: Small Business Too Big To Ignore (May 3, 2016)

Too Few Entrepreneurs Able to Scale Up Their Business: Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Report Identifies Six Barriers to Growth (April 22, 2016)

Report: Breaking Barriers: Ontario’s Scale Up Challenge (April 22, 2016)

Agri-business has long felt overwhelmed and inhibited by a regulatory framework that is overly prescriptive and difficult to navigate. In order to comply with regulations, producers and processors are required to divert substantial resources to meet obligations. This affects their bottom line and their capacity to invest in growth.

Ontario agri-businesses are experiencing increased pressure to adapt processes to large-scale policy reform, including the introduction of the cap and trade system, waste elimination legislation, and delivered electricity costs that exceed those of competitor jurisdictions.

In Windsor-Essex, agri-food stakeholders cited increased costs, regulatory pressures and the availability and reliability of natural gas as a barrier to growing their competitiveness. Ontario has the largest net loss of plants in the country. Locally, we’ve lost $450 million in investment in two examples alone: Golden Acre Farms and Nature Fresh Farms who set up plants in Ohio instead.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Lays Groundwork to Ensure Future Competitiveness of Provincial Agri-Food Sector in New Report (October 5, 2016)

Report: Fertile Ground: Growing the Competitiveness of Ontario’s Agri-food Sector (October 5, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Secures National Support for Regulating and Maximizing Economic Benefit of Cannabis Industry at Canadian Chamber AGM (September 18, 2016)

Read the full resolution: Maximize the Economic Benefit of Recreational Marijuana (September 18, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Continues to Take Leadership Role on Regulating and Maximizing Economic Benefit of Recreational Marijuana (September 14, 2016)

Letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne (September 14, 2016)

Windsor-Essex and Ontario Chambers of Commerce: County Wide Tour of Key Agriculture Businesses in Advance of a Major Agriculture Strategy to be Released Later this Summer (July 25, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber and Ontario Chamber Deliver Landmark Agenda to Grow Economy and Spur Job Creation (January 26, 2016)

Report: Emerging Stronger 2016 (January 26, 2016)

The WERCC held its Policy & Solutions Forum on May 11, 2016. The Forum was the coming together of business, labour and academia in a non-partisan way offering ideas and solutions, giving newly appointed Auto Advisor Ray Tanguay advice from global executives in the auto sector, senior labour and business leaders as well as academia to maintain and build Ontario’s largest industry and export driver.

 

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber, Unifor, University of Windsor and St. Clair College Presents the Second Bi-Annual Policy & Solutions Forum with Auto Advisor Ray Tanguay, Canadian Chamber CEO The Hon. Perrin Beatty and Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor (May 9, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Wins Prestigious Ontario Chamber of Commerce Award for Work on Auto Strategy (May 5, 2016)

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber Network Attend Queen’s Park Advocacy Day (April 1, 2016)

Bill C-221 would amend the Criminal Code by repealing one small section, allowing sports betting on single-wager sports events by providing the provinces and territories with the freedom to decide if they would like to make these changes.

If passed, Bill C-221 would help stimulate the economy, contribute to job creation, increase U.S. tourism at Canadian casinos and cause a reduction in the organized crime associated with single event betting. This would also provide Caesars Windsor with a strong competitive advantage versus Detroit and Ohio casinos.

It is important to get Caesars Windsor first into the marketplace. Once people experience the wonderful facilities, they’ll certainly come back, which is great for tourism and the local economy in Windsor-Essex. It’s reasonable to assume that the same positive economic impacts would be replicated in gaming facilities across Canada should provinces choose to develop products to tap into this lucrative market. Bill C-221 has the potential to create up to 100 direct jobs at Caesars Windsor, and more importantly, will be able to help secure the existing jobs at Caesars.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber Heads to Ottawa to Meet with MP Brian Masse and Key Stakeholders, in Support of Safe and Regulated Sports Betting (April 15, 2016)