This morning (Wednesday, September 9), the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) – in partnership with over 10 local chambers including the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce (FCC) – was pleased to host Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a discussion focused on the Ontario economy. Executive Director Arend Kersten represented the FCC at the meeting, which was held in Welland. The OCC has extended invitations to the leaders of all the parties to discuss important issues as Canadians prepare to go to the polls on October 19. To date, only Prime Minister Harper has accepted the invitation.

The Prime Minister and OCC President and CEO Allan O’Dette engaged in an extensive conversation about the province’s top economic priorities, in addition to the future of manufacturing and the need for long term infrastructure investment.

“Now is the time for Ontario businesses to be bold and visionary,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “Ontario businesses need government to equip them with policies that will support success not only today, but in the future. By leveraging long standing industries such as manufacturing through supportive policies, while encouraging new industry innovations, a long term vision for Ontario’s economy can be born. Manufacturing investments are a key component to a successful future for Ontario business.”

“The manufacturing sector is a major source of economic growth and jobs in Ontario and across the country, and our Government’s manufacturing strategy – rooted in low taxes, a skilled workforce, and support for research and development – is helping to ensure that it continues to be a world leader,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Discussions around the need for further investment in infrastructure led the Prime Minister to outline his commitment to future investment to ensure economic growth across the province.

“Our Government has made historic investments in infrastructure – including launching the largest and longest federal investment in Canadian history – while balancing the budget and keeping taxes low,” said Prime Minister Harper.

The OCC has put forth several platform proposals that are key priorities for Ontario’s business community. The organization has reached out to each of the main party leaders to facilitate discussions that will put the Ontario economy in the spotlight. You can view the OCC’s election positioning paper HERE. On October 6th, the OCC will release a major report that assesses each of the party’s policies against this platform.

Through cooperation and collaboration with all levels of government, the OCC is committed to advocating for its membership in order to ensure that Ontario will emerge stronger in the years to come.

“It is important that Ontario businesses across the province have an advocate and voice. Today was an opportunity for the Prime Minister to hear first-hand from Ontario businesses about what they require from the federal government to succeed,” said O’Dette.

In partnership with TV COGECO, the FCC will continue a tradition by hosting a community All-Candidates Debate starting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 7 at Waterdown District High School (WDHS). There will be a more informal discussion with the candidates in Flamborough-Glanbrook for members of the FCC (and their guests) at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Harry Howell Arena on Wednesday, September 23. Please notify the FCC if you plan to attend the AGM (either by return email or by calling 905-689-7650).

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