Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

April 27, 2009 13:16 ET

Swine flu reinforces need for pandemic plans in Ontario

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is reminding businesses throughout Ontario to be vigilant in protecting their operations and employees from possible effects of a global pandemic, by issuing an updated pandemic planning guide.

"The quick reaction to the situation occurring in Mexico shows us that we have learned a great deal from past experiences, and yet, research continues to show that while many businesses are aware of the possible impacts of a pandemic, few have made preparations so that they can deal with this possibility," explains Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The Pandemic Planning Tool Kit was first released in January 2007 to businesses across the province in an effort to minimize disruption to the province's economy in the case of a pandemic or other widespread emergency. A national survey confirmed in 2008 that half of Canadian businesses over 500 employees still have no plan to manage a pandemic.

The tool kit includes the following:

- Estimates of potential staff absences

- Legislative requirements governing staff absences during an emergency

and subsequent return to work

- List of possible effects to services and business operations

- Prevention techniques to limit the spread of disease

- Business continuity checklist

- Additional resources

"We've been caught unawares in the past and the impact on the economy has been significant," emphasizes Crispino. "We urge all businesses to carefully plan so that they may cope during widespread emergencies which may involve such things as staff absences, energy supply disruptions and trade interruptions."

The Pandemic Planning Tool Kit is available at www.occ.on.ca.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is a federation of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province. In its mandate to advocate strong policies on issues affecting its members, the OCC is currently focused on economic renewal and business competitiveness. Its over-arching goal is to make Ontario the most competitive jurisdiction in North America.

Contact Information

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