Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

May 06, 2007 10:49 ET

Improving Ontario's Competitiveness: New Mandate at 95th Annual General Meeting

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 6, 2007) - Ontario's business community has clearly identified what needs to be done to strengthen the province's competitiveness and build a stronger, more productive economy.

"Our direction is clear," says Len Crispino, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Ontario's share of global trade and investment is slipping and we must work together with government to provide real, workable solutions."

A total of 39 priority areas were identified after intense debate among representatives from communities throughout the province.

"The lack of integrated and long-term transportation planning and investment was clearly identified by chamber representatives from across the province as the number one issue curbing Ontario's competitiveness today," says Crispino. "We'll press for 30 year planning in transportation infrastructure and investment versus the current trend of five years or less."

Other approved priorities:

- Calling on the provincial government to establish an independent minimum wage review board that conducts periodic reviews in conjunction with an economic impact assessment

- Recommending a change in the way MPP salaries are determined by de-linking them from MP salaries and restoring them to the responsibility of Ontario's Integrity Commissioner

- A long-term tax package strategy for Ontario

- Encouraging the exploration of Energy from Waste alternatives as a way of generating electricity and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites

- Strategically investing in Ontario's agricultural community considering the importance of the industry to Ontario's economy

This new policy agenda will set the course of the OCC's advocacy efforts for the coming year - forming a framework to guide the Chamber as it works with the provincial government to build and improve Ontario's economy.

"Recent events have demonstrated that business must be part of the solution," said Crispino. "The chamber network, representing 57,000 businesses from across the province of every size and sector, provides government with the insight needed to identify real solutions - solutions that, like Corporate Tax Consolidation, will lead to a more competitive business environment and ultimately, higher productivity and job creation."

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has accepted responsibility to mobilize all parts of the economy to tackle the issues facing Ontario's competitiveness head-on.

"Through our advocacy efforts and initiatives such as the Ontario Economic Summit we have demonstrated the willingness of business, labour, government and academia to work together to find solutions and we will carry on with this vital efforts," adds Crispino.

A full version of the adopted policy resolutions can be found at www.occ.on.ca

The OCC represents over 57,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since 1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance & taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce
    Amy Terrill
    W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241 or C: (416) 605-8205
    amyterrill@occ.on.ca