Monthly Archives January 2019

The Annual General Meeting of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce—Wednesday, February 27, 2019—is right around the corner. This year’s AGM will take place, in the Gateway Room of the St. Clair Corporate Centre, located at 265 Front St N, Sarnia.

A networking opportunity takes place from 6 p.m.-6:45 p.m., followed by the beginning of the AGM at 7 p.m.

In addition to remarks from Chamber President and CEO Shirley de Silva and Chamber Chair Charles Fisher, board members will be formally inducted and a guest speaker—Liwordson Vijayabalan from TMRRW Inc.—will be featured.

We look forward to welcoming you at this year’s AGM!

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It’s always a pleasure to welcome a new member of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and this week we’re delighted to “formally” welcome FIVE businesses to our growing family.

We encourage you to reach out to the following:

Blackwell Cycle: James Grant and John Elliott are co-owners of this business, located at the intersection of Blackwell Sideroad and Blackwell Road, once a station stop on the Grand Trunk Railway. The rail line has been replaced with a multi-use pathway, and a few metres from this historic right-of-way can be found Blackwell Cycle. Focused on offering quality products along with knowledgeable and objective sales advice and guidance, Blackwell Cycle, and its associated business, Wawanosh Watercraft, are the antithesis of the big box, chain store buying experience. With a history going back to 1992, the business has earned a reputation as one of the area’s premier cycling and outdoor retailers. Visit them in person or online at (519) 491-1777.

Gina Marie Photography: Owner Gina Marie Robertson worked for nearly three decades as a nurse. Now with her photography business, which can be found online at, Gina Marie talks about the “one BIG lesson” that nursing has taught her: “Life is precious. Life is short. Live it; love it; embrace it. If there’s something that isn’t quite working, change it. Last but not least, DOCUMENT IT! Take more pictures of your loved ones. Take more pictures of your adventures, your milestones, or whatever it is that reaches your soul. This is your legacy. Pass it on!” Gina Marie can also be reached at (519) 542-6138.

O’tools Cart & Parts: Donald Brooks is the owner of this business, now in its 13th year. Located in Forest, O’tools is a certified Club Car dealer, specializing in new, used and custom golf carts and golf cart parts. With a summer staff of 10, the busy location on Highway 21 sells, repairs and rents golf carts for non-golf recreational and commercial uses to both the local market and distant customers. The business can be located online at Their phone number is (519) 786-5902.


BeeFound Business Optimization Inc.: Sean Iovacchini owns BeeFound, which is based in Sarnia. The business is described online (at as a cutting-edge interactive media and imaging company that captures and creates only the best aerial images and video for any project. Sean can be reached at (519) 704-0214.

Ubreakifix-Sarnia: Luke Faria is a franchise owner of Ubreakifix and plans to open in Sarnia this coming May. UBreakiFix fixes electronic devices (it’s in their name after all). From the classic phone drop in the parking lot to the tablet in the toilet, they’ve seen it all. They understand how traumatic it is when you break your favourite device and wants you to feel better the moment you walk in. The corporate website is and Luke can be reached at (647) 898-8178.


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It may be a little chilly outside, but things will be heating up at this month’s Business After 5, which takes place on Wednesday, February 20 at Valley Axe, located at 1886 London Line, Sarnia.

With a theme of “Challenge Yourself,” the event, which is sponsored by Valley Axe and the Sarnia and District Chapter of Human Resources Professionals Association, will be a great place to reconnect with members of the business community.

It’s also an opportunity to meet the two new faces on the Chamber team—those folks are introduced HERE.

“We always look forward to opportunities like the Business After 5 to put faces to names,” said Chamber President and CEO Shirley de Silva. “Our thanks go out to our sponsors—the Human Resources Professionals Association and Valley Axe—for making these events such a memorable part of the Chamber experience.”


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There are two new faces on the team at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

Fatema Bhabrawala is our new Membership Coordinator, having joined the team early in January. Her duties related to the Chamber will include updating our member database and taking steps to ensure that member accounts are current.

A second new member of the team is Gail Ann Bondar, who is also new to the Sarnia-Lambton community. She joins the Chamber team as Manager of Member Engagement & Services.

“We are delighted to welcome these two additions to our team,” said Chamber President and CEO Shirley de Silva. “While they are new in their roles, we’re confident that our members will quickly see a positive impact on the effectiveness of the organization. Please welcome them to the Chamber team!”



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The Enbridge Famous 5 Speaker Series in Sarnia-Lambton, an ongoing series that is co-sponsored by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, is featuring Heather Moyse, a multi-sport athlete and inspirational speaker, at the next event, which takes place on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at the Holiday Inn, 1498 Venetian Boulevard, Point Edward.

Tickets for the event, which includes lunch, are on sale now through Eventbrite.

Moyse is a four-time Olympian an two-time Olympic gold medalist who first captured the nation’s attention in 2010 while standing on the Olympic podium with Calgary native Kaillie Humphries. After setting start records all over Europe on the World Cup circuit, the duo made Canadian history on home soil after bombing down the track to Canada’s first-ever gold medal in the bobsled event.

Moyse has also competed in rugby and track cycling.

She and Humphries successfully defended their bobsled title after a thrilling come-from-behind victory at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Moyse also represented Canada at the 2012 Pan-American Cycling Championships in Argentina and on the National Senior Women’s Rugby team in 22 international games and four international rugby sevens tournaments, including the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow.

A lifelong humanitarian and proud native of Prince Edward Island, Moyse donates her time and talent to many community events and national charities, earning her the inaugural Randy Starkman Olympian Humanitarian Award, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and the Order of Canada.

She is the author of Redefining ‘Realistic,’ a personal invitation from Moyse to her readers to believe in the possibilities and discover, for themselves, what they are truly capable of achieving.

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The federal government recently announced it had made available $1.6 billion to support Canada’s struggling oil and gas sector. While the Federal Government’s recognition of the crisis faced by Canada’s energy sector was welcome, the funds are a “band-aid” solution to what is a much larger structural issue.

Our regulatory system continues to put Canadian jobs and Canadian prosperity in jeopardy. We cannot get our energy products to global markets because not even the Federal Government seems able to get major infrastructure projects approved, let alone businesses.

A recent report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce—A Competitive Transition: How Smarter Climate Policy can help Canada lead the transition to a low carbon economy—made it clear our energy resources are of strategic importance. Canadian oil and gas producers must be given the opportunity to lead Canada’s strategy to reduce emissions, because only they know how to make investments and drive innovation.

Getting support right for this sector is not about offering the sector loans; it is about creating a regulatory system that will get projects like the Trans Mountain Expansion completed. This is the “support” Alberta is asking for, and it is the action from the Federal Government that Canada needs.

A consistent, fair and non-burdensome regulatory system is the backbone of a strong economy. Without a regulatory system that can get major projects approved to move our energy to tidewater, we will continue to lose approximately $80 million a day.

This endangers the competitiveness of our economy and means fewer resources for essential public services or the commercialization of clean technologies. Without a regulatory system free from layered, duplicative standards and regulations, the cumulative costs will make climate policies too expensive for Canadian businesses. A regulatory system that is predictable, transparent, and free of needless cumulative costs, comes first. Doing it in the reverse is putting the cart before the horse.

The Canadian Chamber will continue advocacy work on Bill C-69 to make sure major projects and foreign investment in this country are supported by a regulatory system that is predictable, clear and objective in its assessments.

This also means making it clear to decision-makers that they must take action to reduce the cumulative costs businesses face so that carbon pricing does not become layered with other additional costs and regulatory standards.

Keep an eye out for our latest report, The Cumulative Cost of Climate Policy, which will make key recommendations on how to achieve meaningful climate action at the lowest possible cost to Canadian businesses.

The above commentary comes from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is a member.

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Significant users of energy in the Sarnia-Lambton region will almost certainly want to attend an upcoming half-day seminar outlining details on a federal grants program offering partial reimbursement of costs related to achieving an International Energy Management Systems standard.

The no-cost seminar will take place on Monday, February 25 at the Best Western Guildwood Inn, beginning at 8 a.m.

Jim Moran, president of Simplify ISO, is working with representatives of Natural Resources Canada to present information on financial assistance for energy management projects.

There will also be representatives of registrars who will help explain the process of achieving the ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems standard.

Simplify ISO is sponsoring this event, which is being offered to Chamber of Commerce members.

The ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems Standard is an internationally recognized voluntary standard that gives organizations a structured framework to manage energy.

Organizations that have implemented ISO 50001 have reduced energy costs and increased competitiveness while minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental impacts. According to Natural Resources Canada, industrial companies that have implemented ISO 50001 have achieved an average cumulative energy performance improvement of nearly 10% within the first two years, resulting in up to $2 million in annual energy cost savings for large Canadian companies.

Members interested in knowing more about this seminar can REGISTER (the event is FREE) to indicate their interest. Attendees coming from outside the area should indicate to the staff at the Best Western Guildwood they are attending the February 25 seminar for a special rate.




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The latest print edition of Lambton Shield, a business publication that launched as a website in 2010, features winners from the recent Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards.

Copies of the magazine, dated January/February 2019, have been mailed to all businesses in Sarnia-Lambton, but additional copies are now available—FREE of charge—at the Chamber’s offices at 556 Christina St. North.

The cover story features Liwordson Vijayabalan, who was named as the Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year. His company, TMRRW Inc. is a proud Chamber member.

The magazine also features stories on:

—AG Event Graphics, which was named Exporter of the Year;

—Dave Watson, the Chamber’s Member of the Year;

—Terrapure Environmental, winner in the Health, Safety and Environment category;

—The Sarnia Community Foundation, Non-Profit of the Year;

—LEADWAVE Technologies, co-winner of the Tech-Novation award; and

—Podolinsky Equipment Ltd., Agri-Business of the Year.

If your business would like to be considered as a distribution point for Lambton Shield magazine, please contact Editor J.D. Booth.

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The Global Business Opportunities Community, a group set up through the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce with the cooperation of other local organizations intent on helping businesses do business beyond the borders of our community, is continuing to build momentum.

With that in mind, GBOC is hosting the first of a monthly morning networking session where both experienced and beginner exporters in the area will be able to share referrals, experiences and opportunities with others.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31 and will take place at the Hampton Inn in Point Edward beginning at 8:15 a.m.

Representatives of Global Affairs Canada, Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, FedDev Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade are expected to attend the event.

As part of the format, each attendee will speak for one-minute about their business, an export goal they have, a funding opportunity, or whatever they think would be of interest to the group.

There will be a 10-minute presentation from one of the attendees, followed by questions and a round of referrals, where attendees can make recommendations to others based on earlier discussions.

“The GBOC is making strides when it comes to helping area companies develop their export profile and readiness to compete internationally,” said Chamber president and CEO Shirley de Silva. “We’re delighted to begin testing out ‘tried and true’ networking opportunities such as this one, where informal sharing can take place that will help grow our exporting community.”


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As those who are familiar with one of the signature monthly events for the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will know, Wednesday, January 16 is a date worth marking on the calendar, and the owners of Sitara Indian Cuisine, located at 1308 London Rd. in Sarnia are looking forward to opening their doors for this special event.

The Business After 5 is a great way of reconnecting with fellow Chamber members and diving right into a New Year from a networking standpoint.

Volunteer members of the Chamber’s Business After 5 committee are working hard to make these events a memorable part of your Chamber experience and the expectation is that our visit to Sitara will be a great way to begin 2019.

As anyone who has already visited Sitara will attest, its menu of authentic Indian cuisine is sure to bring lots of smiles.

We look forward to welcoming you at this month’s Business After 5—Wednesday, January 16 beginning at 5 p.m.

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