Twenty Chambers Across Ontario Call for Deferral in Provincial Cap & Trade Program to prevent jobs, investment from leaving Ontario
Chambers cite high costs of program on top of skyrocketing electricity prices as well as a changed policy direction of the United States
PETERBOROUGH, ON, Tuesday, December 20, 2016 – Today, 20 chambers across Ontario are calling for a deferral of the Provincial Government’s Cap and Trade program scheduled to be implemented January 1, 2017. There are several reasons for this call including:
“Businesses are already struggling under the weight of ever increasing costs,” says Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “And we are extremely concerned about the impacts of these additional charges on jobs and the economy.”
As well, with the recent federal policy calling for the provinces to have plans in place by 2018, we believe deferring the program for at least a year to better understand and communicate the exact impact would benefit all. The Chamber Network passed a resolution at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM in May 2016. The first recommendation was that the program be deferred until 2018.
“There’s no need to push this program through,” adds Harrison. “Why not take the year and start the Ontario program at the same time as the other provinces that have signed the federal agreement? Deferring the program also allows for analysis of any new policies that may come from the Trump administration in the U.S.”
Ontario has already made great strides in reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) with the elimination of coal; however, the full economic impact of that decision is still playing out.
Our members tell us: “Business loves certainty” and without it, they are less likely to hire and invest in themselves.
As a result, these 20 Chambers across Ontario request that the Ontario government delay the implementation of the cap and trade program for at least one year.
For more information contact:
Sandra Dueck, Policy Analyst/Communication Specialist
Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
705.748.9771 x215 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• The recent Auditor General concerns outlined in her recent report (Chapter 3): http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en16/v1_302en16.pdf. Some of the report’s main concerns are presented below:
LIST OF PARTICIPATING CHAMBERS
Ajax Pickering Chamber of Commerce
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce
Greater Kitchener Waterloo
Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Ingersoll Chamber of Commerce
Kingston Chamber of Commerce
London Chamber of Commerce
North Bay Chamber of Commerce
Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce
Newmarket Chamber of Commerce
Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce
Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
St Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce
Timmins Chamber of Commerce
Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce
Cyber security for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is a major issue especially with the increasing popularity and use of e-commerce and amount of saved data that can potentially be accessed through our computers.
I had the opportunity to attend a webinar, called Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats, offered through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the US Consulate General in Toronto, and the U.S. Commercial Service. The speakers were the president of XAHIVE Sem Ponnambalam, Rick Rennie from Mastercard and Scott Augenbaum, a special FBI Agent whose focus is on cyber crime (pretty cool to hear from a real FBI agent!)
Their message was unwavering: businesses need to have a cyber security plan, understand how information can be accessed from their database, and ensure business passwords differ from personal passwords.
The Special FBI Agent laid it out quite clearly: as a business never under estimate the power of your data. He said in most of the cases he deals with the first thing the victim says is, “Why would they hack us? We have nothing the bad guys want.” Wrong, your business has data, information about your customers and vendors.
Hackers dealing in cyber crime are not teenagers in a basement looking for a thrill; these are people after money and information that can fool people into parting with their money.
XAHIVE President Sem Ponnambalam stressed that it’s not a matter of if your business will be attacked, but when, adding that the global cost of cyber breaches per year is around $1 trillion. She says most breaches are due to hardware failures, but human error accounts for 30% of all breaches. SMEs are encouraged to outline protocol for staff and undertake “cyber drills”.
77% of all cyber crimes target SMEs, as these businesses are viewed as the gateway to entering larger organizations or enterprise level clients. Ponnambalam estimates the average cost for an SME to recover from a data breach at about $38,000.
She identified a number of sectors that are of particular interest to the bad guys right now including legal, financial, healthcare, insurance, SMEs, and government. The reason for interest in these areas is that data capture is happening more and more through electronic means. For example, online insurance claims or health care programs, and email lists for SMEs.
The federal government is currently reviewing cyber security policy and held public consultations earlier this fall to review measures to protect critical infrastructure and Canadians from cyber threats. A report on those consultations is now in development.
Many businesses are taking in customer payment data at point of sale and it is this information that criminals are targeting, explained Rick Rennie of Mastercard. He says understanding your risk and mitigating it is half the battle. He suggested inspecting your payment terminals on a regular basis to make sure they have not been tampered with, to remove data from your system when it is no longer needed and to use multi-factor authentication to limit access to your system.
Rennie also spoke about passwords, noting that 80% of data breaches involved stolen passwords.
FBI Agent Augenbaum agreed, saying that passwords can lead a cyber criminal from your personal accounts to your business accounts. He encouraged the use of pass phrases that are about 12-15 characters in length.
Agent Augenbaum says that these cyber criminals, many of whom are overseas, want you to click on links provided in false emails. Therefore, “thinking before you click” and ensuring you and your employees are your business’ human firewall are two of the key prevention methods in cyber security.
“There are also very specific hardware and software steps that will minimize the risk of a breach," says Amy Simpson of MicroAge Peterborough. "However, human error remains a single point of failure as these cybercriminals use more sophisticated methods to infiltrate our networks.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has a survey open asking businesses about their use of digital technology as it relates to cyber security.
Watch for more Chamber programming around cyber security in the new year.
A letter from MP Maryam Monsef:
Each year, the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program helps employers create valuable summer job opportunities for full-time students aged 15 to 30 years old, while strengthening local economies and communities across Canada.
CSJ provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Not-for-profit employers can receive up to 100 percent of the provincial/territorial minimum hourly wage as well as employment-related costs. Public-sector employers and small businesses can receive up to 50 percent of the provincial/territorial minimum hourly wage. You could benefit from funding from the Government of Canada to help a student and help your business.
This year, the CSJ program will focus on the following local priorities:
Employers are encouraged to come forward with applications that support and complement a number of national priorities. These include:
I encourage you to take advantage of this great program and apply for funding for students that you require to help you. If you aren’t directly involved in a not-for-profit organization or small business, please share this information with those in your network who could benefit from this program.
This year, applications are being accepted online from December 7, 2016 until January 20, 2017, with students starting their jobs as early as April 2017.
For more information on CSJ, including the eligibility criteria and application guide, visit the Canada.ca/Canada-summer-jobs, a Service Canada Office or by calling 1-800-935-5555.
Getting down to business in tourism has not been a smooth road. From a significant cut in federal funding for tourism, to increased competition for the travel dollar, to growth in the number of international people travelling to Canada, to years of an up and down dollar with one of our closer tourist draw areas (the United States), it’s been a wild ride for the sector.
Recently, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a report called: Closing the Tourism Gap on our provincial tourism sector. Some have asked why the Chamber is writing about tourism and the answer is simple: many tourism based businesses in our area are Chamber members and many are small businesses. In the global economy, tourism is an area of growth with 9 percent of global GDP and supporting one in 11 jobs (Closing the Tourism Gap 2016). One of the main points in the Chamber report is that globally international travel has been increasing and Ontario has not been able to attract visitors at the same pace.
In its recently released strategic framework on tourism called Growing Ontario Together, the province also recognizes the need to tap into the increasing number of international visitors. As the province works through its
strategy, the Chamber report makes nine recommendations to ensure that Ontario doesn’t miss out. Both reports reference the fact that international travelers stay longer, spend more and often, because of a great experience, become our ambassadors.
The recommendations from the business community include:
The provincial government has now committed to include the tourism sector in the Red Tape Challenge, but specific dates and timelines have not been identified.
The issue of timely data on the sector was also a common thread through discussions at the provincial level. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport recently released the tourism statistics from 2014. Traditionally, statistics are two years behind the current year.
Among the available statistics is the Economic Impact of Tourism in Ontario for 2014 which shows visitor spending in the province to be almost $24 billion.
Where does the Peterborough area fit in? Provincially, Peterborough is part of Regional Tourism Organization 8 (RTO8). The City and County are also served by the local tourism office - Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism - which is also the Destination Marketing Organization for Peterborough.
“As an active member of the tourism community in Ontario, we're glad to see so many organizations involved in the call to improve the timeliness of tourism data dissemination, particularly as it related to visitation and spending, “says Rhonda Keenan, President & CEO of Peterborough Economic Development.
The tools used to draw people to our area are just as important as having timely data to tell us who is coming, how they’re coming and what they do when they get here.
“We were pleased to have been part of the background discussions for this report with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce through the Peterborough Chamber,” says Brenda Wood, Executive Director of Kawarthas Northumberland. “We are happy to see the report includes a recommendation for the provincial government to move to a multi-year funding model for provincial tourism marketing funding. The consistency and predictability of such a model would help us in the marketing and promotion of the region and its businesses.”
The nine recommendations above, starting with a comprehensive strategy with clear and measurable targets for growth, are a map that reflects the industry’s needs and supports. Global growth in tourism is projected to grow until at least 2030, and the province has committed to meeting or exceeding 3.3 percent growth in international visits over the next five years, so there is significant opportunity for tourism businesses to tap into and stay competitive in the international destination race.
It’s beginning to look a lot more like Christmas in Peterborough as the streets become a winter wonderland and jingle bells are ringing through the air.
But as you wrangle those wrapped packages into the warmth, wallets wilting and
wanting some rest, let one more phrase sink in: “Keep your town in business by
keeping your business in town”.
This message is never so important as it is during our holiday season. Peterborough
can only grow when it is nurtured by its residents. Our local businesses have enough competition, so sticking close to home to complete your Christmas shopping list can give you that warm fuzzy feeling all year round.
Other than to help strengthen our local businesses, why shop local? Well, one more reason is that that
one-of-a kind gift is out there within our City and County borders.
Consider some pampering products at Euphoria Wellness Spa, a specialty box of goodies from Kawartha Local, something from the shops atLansdowne Place or an experience through our many tourist attractions.
There are so many gems within our city and you can find many of them on the Chamber website’s directory:
As well, check out our Facebook Page for local sales and promotions.
Show your love for Peterborough and #lovelocalptbo this holiday season.
And don't forget to share your shopping experiences on Twitter with pictures and the hashtag #lovelocalptbo
See you in the stores!
The province has launched its latest round of Red Tape Challenge consultations. This time around the focus is on the Financial Services Sector.
Did you know that the financial services sector in Ontario is second only to New York in North America? According to the Ontario Government, there are more than 12,000 companies employing more than 380,000 people. For those working in the sector what are your challenges? What are those regulatory pieces that require time and take time out of your business?
Here’s your chance to speak up and have your voice heard:
About the Red Tape Challenge
The Red Tape Challenge is a provincial government initiative examining six sector areas for efficiencies: automotive parts manufacturing, food processing, financial services, mining, chemical manufacturing forestry and tourism.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce proposed such a program in its Emerging Stronger 2015 document. The program had great success in the UK.