Monthly Archives February 2020

The Discover Ability Network is making it easier for employers to hire inclusively through a new hub community in the Sarnia-Lambton region.

While the Discover Ability Network is available for free to employers across the province, the new hub community will offer employers with locally-focused resources, workshops and events encouraging inclusive hiring practices across the Sarnia-Lambton region.

With the business case for hiring people with disabilities becoming increasingly apparent, employers can take advantage of the Discover Ability Network’s powerful job matching technology to connect with diverse job seekers. Employers who would like to join the Discover Ability Network can create a free account at to start connecting with qualified talent.

The Discover Ability Network is a joint initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce, which aims to address the high unemployment rate of qualified job seekers with disabilities while simultaneously providing local employers with the skilled talent to fill vacant positions in their workplaces.

To learn more, visit:

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We invite you to celebrate  International Women’s Day at the Chamber with a breakfast event.

The event will be held March 13th at the Chamber boardroom beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $10 plus tax and can be purchased online by CLICKING HERE.

As part of She Leads, Sarnia-Lambton Prospers series, we are pleased to have Jenna Simpson join us as our keynote speaker for the morning. As co-owner and Director of Transformation and Development at Albany Retirement Village in Petrolia, a third-generation family business, Simpson has a diverse background in business and leadership with a focus on improving business processes and performance.  Jenna will speak about the importance of “Effective Allyship” in our community.

The event includes a buffet breakfast powered by Personal Touch Eatery & Catering.

There will be networking opportunities as we celebrate women and gender equality.


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The Sarnia Imperials Football Club, a Chamber member, is offering its fellow members a 50% discount on its community pass, regularly priced at $20.

The organization, which plays on Alix Field at the corner of Exmouth and Christina Street,  competes in the Northern Football Conference (NFC), a league that was formed in 1954 as the Northern Ontario Rugby Football Union (NORFU).

Here is how the Perks Card Program works:

Everybody loves a deal!  Membership Perks is a highly valued benefit of being a Chamber member. All member businesses receive one Perks card for every member of their organization. In other words, you just improved your employee benefits at no additional cost! In addition, your participation invites thousands of member organizations’ employees to patronize your business.


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Welcome  Brookstone Windows & Doors,  a local, family-owned and -operated home improvement company serving homeowners throughout Southwestern Ontario, as one of the newest members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

When you partner with Brookstone, you can expect a home improvement experience that is truly one of a kind. The fact that no two homes are alike — nor are any two homeowners — is one key reason why Brookstone takes the time to get to know its customers and works with them to evaluate their home and find the best solutions to their specific needs.

With its comprehensive warranty protection, the company will be looking out for its customers and their home long after your project is completed.


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As part of the Frontline Essential Skills series, we are offering two free workshops,  appropriate for all business sectors.


“Road Map to Simple Safety Solutions” on  Friday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m at the Chamber boardroom and presented by Lori Shepherd, Regional Community Coordinator for Workplace Safety & Prevention Services.

Lori Shepherd has more than 25 years in the field of occupational health and safety. She connects with businesses and communities in southwestern Ontario, to share simple safety solutions.

To register for this FREE seminar click HERE.





“Legal Pitfalls: Employers’ Top Ten Tribulations,”  a seminar co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Siskinds LLP, will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 5 at the Sarnia Riding Club. The event includes a complimentary buffet breakfast, followed by the formal program running from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The event will feature ” Six of southwestern Ontario’s most accomplished lawyers will lead a spirited discussion of the most common pitfalls awaiting the unwary employers and more importantly, how to avoid them.!

Registration is required and can be done online by clicking HERE.

For more information please contact Makenzie Carroll, law clerk, (519) 672-2121.

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Chamber representatives from the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will travel to Queen’s Park in Toronto on Monday, March 9, 2020, for “Advocacy Day,” organized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, will be part of a local delegation, as will Mary Jean O’Donnell, currently first vice-chair.

Chamber delegates from across Ontario will meet with a selection of senior staff from various ministries as well as Members of Provincial Parliament.

“Bringing chambers together to Queen’s Park is an opportunity to showcase the power of the network,” said de Silva “These opportunities have historically been an outstanding chance for Chamber representatives to present the views of the business community in a face-to-face setting while gaining new insight into what we can expect in the next year and beyond.  These conversations remain one of the most strategic ways for the business community to dig deeper into what initiatives are likely to occur down the road.”


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Regardless of how far along we may be in a new season, we are often filled with a sense of control over our destiny and a desire to begin again. If you’re feeling the same, here are a few ways you can capitalize on the new year’s momentum by embracing the habits of successful people:

Get some sleep. While sleep deprivation may work in creative pursuits, for most of us we really need 7-8 hours of rest to be able to make thoughtful decisions. While you’re at it, make your health a priority.

Connect in a new way. Join an online community of people you’ve been curious about. Maybe you have always wanted to try out photography. Maybe you’re interested in podcasts. Select a new area of learning and join a group that focuses on that.

Admit a mistake and learn from it. Some people put themselves under a huge amount of stress because they make a mistake and are afraid everyone else will think less of them. Just admit the mistake and process the learning experience. How will that shape what you do in the future?

Realize you have the skills. Many people suffer from the imposter syndrome where they feel like they are in over their heads and not qualified to do what they’ve been selected to do. If you feel that way, make 2019 the year in which you let that self-defeating attitude go.

Leave your comfort zone. Do something different. If every decision you make is a comfortable one, you’re missing out on opportunities for growth.

Listen. Inspiration can come from anywhere so you need to listen. Listen to customers, former clients, children, drivers, people in the checkout lane. You never know who will help you solve a business dilemma without them even realizing it.

Say no. Don’t feel guilty.

Eat that piece of cake. In moderation.

Remove emotion from the decision-making process by thinking about goals. Every business decision moves you closer to your year-end goals or farther away. Which is it?

Be grateful. Don’t explain a compliment. Don’t wish the good things away hoping for better things. Simply say thanks.

Realize comparison is not healthy. Comparing how you’re doing against your business competitor may be critical to business success. But comparing your friend’s life to your own on Facebook isn’t.

Let go of what might have been. We all have plans for our lives that sometimes don’t work out. Make this the year you either go after those plans and make them a reality or give them up for new and improved aspirations.

Learn someone’s story and help tell it. Maybe there’s a community member or an employee with a story that needs to be told. If you have a larger amplifier than their, help them tell it.

Try saying “and” instead of “no.” If someone presents an idea to you, instead of giving them 15 reasons why it won’t work, ask them to tell you more about why it will.

Find quiet time. Wake up early. Stay up late. Use whatever technique suits you best but find a time when you can be left alone with your thoughts and listen. You can not do this on Facebook

Eliminate your unproductive space fillers. What did you do with those three minutes before your last meeting? How about your drive to the client? Even busy days are filled with downtime. If you can recognize and utilize those moments for more than cat videos, you can gain a lot of extra time over the course of a week.

Drop what you’re not needed for. I once worked for a CEO who stocked the fridge and cleaned the office. He did these things because he enjoyed them. That’s ideal for people with lots of time on their hands, but if you’re not one of those people you should give up doing tasks that others can do for you. No one else can put together the budget for your department or create that report on the project you managed so tend to those things first and delegate the rest.

Stop making excuses. There’s a saying: you’ll either find a way or find an excuse. Do more of the former.

Find a creative outlet. Schedule some time for something creative. Draw a picture, write a haiku, tell a story but do something that requires you to make something out of nothing.

Believe in the power of Yoda. Yoda said to Luke, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Remove “try” from your vocabulary. In 2019, be all in or all out.

Learn something new. Every day.

Send a thank-you email once a week. Thank someone who made an impression.

Challenge someone around you to contradict you. Instead of brainstorming, try another approach. Throw an idea out there and ask someone to contradict it and defend their answer. This will create an environment where people aren’t afraid to offer their opinions.

Unplug. Often.

Find what soothes you. In 2019, take time for yourself and find something that puts your mind at ease. It could be a long car ride, a walk in the woods, listening to music, or meditating. Find something that calms your mind and helps you listen to your needs and solutions.

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Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has received $15 million in funding from FedDev Ontario to promote new sustainable innovations and bring business support to Eastern Ontario in Canada.

The Sarnia-Lambton based business accelerator provides support, services and investments to developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies, including biofuels.

Following the 2015 creation of the Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) initiative in Sarnia, BIC is now establishing the Ontario Bioindustrial Innovation Network (OBIN), which will be a second hybrid chemistry cluster in the St. Lawrence Corridor, located in Brockville, Eastern Ontario.

BIC will partner with the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission and St. Lawrence College to deliver OBIN, an initiative that will support companies in sustainable chemistry and clean technologies to address setbacks to commercialization while reducing environmental impacts.

The project is expected to help 150 businesses and organizations while creating 700 jobs. The new sustainable chemistry hub will position Ontario, and ultimately Canada, as a leader in helping innovative clean technology companies scale up.

“The federal government has been a strong supporter of our work at Bioindustrial Innovation Canada,” said BIC executive director Sandy Marshall. “With this support, BIC has successfully provided investment, advice and services to business developers of clean, green and sustainable technologies within Canada. We are thrilled to receive this investment to establish the OBIN.”

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A provincial initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, along with local organizations including the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, is being launched to promote employment opportunities for those who might not otherwise be considered in a hiring decision.

The program—Discover Ability—aims to connect job seekers with disabilities to inclusive employment opportunities as part a Southwestern Ontario Hub initiative, says Shirley de Silva, President and CEO.

The Discover Ability Network’s job matching platform is a free-to-use, online tool that matches job seekers with employment opportunities based on their skills, experiences, education and professional interests.

While anyone can use the Discover Ability Network to find employment, users who self-identify as a person with a disability will receive exclusive employment opportunities.

Additional details on how employers and employees alike can benefit from this initiative will be forthcoming in the near future.

In the meantime, details on the Network can be found online by clicking HERE.


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Siskinds LLP, a law firm with offices in Sarnia and London, is teaming up with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce to present a complimentary breakfast seminar on labour and employment issues, to take place at the Sarnia Riding Club on Thursday, March 5, 2020 as part of the Frontline Essential Skills Program.

Six lawyers from Siskinds will be leading a spirited discussion of the most common pitfalls awaiting the unwary employer and, more importantly, how to avoid them.

Topics include:

—Employment contracts & terminations provisions;
—Probationary periods;
—Imposing discipline;
—Disabilities & job-protected leases;
—Getting employees across the border
⋯ and much more!

The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a complimentary buffet breakfast, followed by the formal program running from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Registration is required and can be done online by clicking HERE. Two registrants per organization, please. Additional registrants will be placed on a wait-list and contacted if space is available.

This program qualifies for HPPA CPD credits of two hours.

For more information please contact Makenzie Carroll, law clerk, (519) 672-2121.

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