Sault Ste Marie Chamber Of Commerce

Your Recognized Voice of Business in Sault Ste Marie

MEDIA RELEASE - With campaign underway, Chamber reminds candidates that business and economy have to be front-and-centre

With campaign underway, Chamber reminds candidates that business and economy have to be front-and-centre
Chamber will host candidates forum on May 17th
For Immediate Release
May 9, 2017
Sault Ste. Marie – With Sault Ste. Marie’s provincial by-election campaign now officially underway, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) would like ensure that the economy, both local and provincial, and the challenges currently facing Ontario’s businesses remain front-and-centre during the campaign and following the election.
“Following the June 1st by-election, one of our local candidates are going to be heading to Queen’s Park to represent Sault Ste. Marie and its unique opportunities and challenges,” says Rory Ring, CEO of the SSMCOC. “We need our new MPP to know that our economic well-being is challenged by the increasing costs of doing business in the North and in Ontario as a whole. High costs of energy, regulatory burden, cap and trade, and the potential work force review are current and contemplated policies that are hampering our growth.”  
Ring continues, “While the current budget does not raise taxes and contains some positive policy development for quality of life issues, it remains that the provincial debt, which is the largest sub-national debt in the world, requires that we pay more in interest cost than we do on education. Education that must be driven to address the skills gap is crucial to expanding the economic base of Sault Ste. Marie.”
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce has been active recently, positioning the priorities of the city’s local business community at the provincial level.  Issues such as Cap-and-Trade, Connecting Links funding, as well as workforce accessibility, immigration and skills training are all having a direct impact on local businesses. Each of these issues have been discussed when the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce met with provincial ministers and party leaders during the past year.
At the same time that the local by-election campaign launched last week, a delegation from the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce travelled to Sarnia-Lambton to take part in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting.  As part of the OCC AGM business, delegates voted on a number of resolutions put forward by local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from across the province.  The resolutions passed will form the framework for advocacy undertaken by the Ontario Chamber, which represents over 60,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors from across the province and is recognized as Ontario’s strongest and largest business advocate.
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce authored and submitted a policy resolution encouraging the Ontario Government to create Northern Ontario economic hubs, technology clusters and innovation ecosystems. In addition, the SSMCOC co-sponsored resolutions on reducing permitting delays in mining exploration; helping industries and communities transition to a low-carbon economy; making the Ontario Energy Board hearing process more accessible; increasing transparency in crown corporation divestment; finding balance in the Endangered Species Act and Crown Forest Sustainability Act; improving indigenous education in Ontario, and; providing post-secondary students with the supports needed to gain employment. These are all issues that the Sault Chamber will continue to encourage our new MPP to advocate for at Queen’s Park.
The Chamber will host a by-election candidates forum on May 17th open to its members and local business people.  Each of the candidates will have an opportunity to address how their party, and they themselves as the potential MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, will tackle issues specific to Ontario’s businesses and economy. For more information on registering for this event, visit the Chamber website at
SSMCOC President Paul Johnson encourages Chamber members and business people to join the Chamber for the event, noting that the Chamber plans to survey its members for questions to pose to the candidates.  “We want to provide our members with an opportunity to address each of the candidates on the provincial issues, regulations, red tape and economic concerns that are impacting their ability to do business.”
Media Contact:
Don Ferguson
Communications Officer
Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce