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The Federal Government is accepting applications from eligible applicants interested in receiving funding from the Enabling Accessibility Fund, which is intended to help  businesses to improve accessibility and/or safety for people with disabilities. It does so by supporting the capital costs of renovation, construction and/or retrofit activities and the provision of accessible technologies in workplaces and communities across Canada.

The deadline for the current round of applications is July 6, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The improvements made must be addressed through renovation, construction and/or retrofit activities or through the provision of accessible technologies, in facilities where people with disabilities work or could work in the future. While proposed projects can address accessibility needs that are specific to one current or future employee, the measures/features to be implemented must be usable/transferable to other current or future employees facing similar accessibility barriers, and must remain with the organization for their use (e.g. an accessible workstation with adjustable counter tops and cabinets with pull-out shelves meets the objective, whereas hearing aids would not).

A full explanation of the program, including a guide that employers can use to determine their eligibility, can be accessed HERE.

 

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A team of staff and amazing volunteers from the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is ready to roll out the welcome carpet for delegates to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual General Meeting, which begins this Thursday, May 4 and runs through Saturday, May 6.

In addition to various presentations and discussions taking up much of Friday at the Holiday Inn in Point Edward, delegates are being treated to social events and dinners arranged by the local chamber to highlight what Sarnia-Lambton has to offer, including a First Friday experience and the Beer Show.

Saturday features the Ontario Policy Advocacy Report, a debate of 37 policy resolutions put forward by the individual chambers, and a discussion with Patrick Brown, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

Sarnia Lambton Chamber members are encouraged to come out to the Beer Show at First Friday in downtown Sarnia if they would like to meet the delegates.  Members are also encouraged to attend a Meet and Greet with Andrea Horwath.

 

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Ontario’s political parties will be making a point to reach out to the business community as the next general election, scheduled for no later than June 7, 2018, approaches.

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, in its role as the definitive voice of business in the area, is committed to helping facilitate that dialogue, says President & CEO Shirley de Silva.

“We understand how important it is to begin the dialogue on issues of importance to business and we’ll be doing everything possible to help the various political parties engage with our community,” she said.

One example of that dialogue beginning, but by no means the only one, is a website being hosted by the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, which serves as the Opposition at Queen’s Park.

The site—www.forontario.ca—is seeking input from business as well as other constituencies.

“We do expect other opportunities to engage with political parties and candidates will come our way and we’ll pass on those to our members and do our part to facilitate those conversations,” said de Silva.

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A committee of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is ready to help businesses with questions related to exporting. The Global Business Opportunities Committee (GBOC), which has been building a community of exporters since its launch last October, is offering its expertise to mentor and advise businesses of all sizes, sectors and experience who are selling (or just thinking of selling) their products outside of Canada.

If you are wondering how to access global markets, contact GBOC Chair, John Wood. He can be reached by email at gboc@slchamber.ca.

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Members of the Energy Committee at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce met this week with two members of the Canadian Senate’s Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.

The opportunity came as part of the Senate’s mandate to consult with business around “Canada’s transition to a lower carbon economy,” the overall goal being to understand the scope of the issues, identification of key questions and considerations and to explore policy recommendations that would be proposed to the federal government.

The Senate delegation, which included Senator Richard Neufeld (chair), Senator Glen Patterson and support staff  heard from members of the importance of having the government understand the full economic, social and environmental impacts of its policies before making changes.

Those being consulted also urged the government to look at what other countries have done, with an objective being to learn from both mistakes and successes.

“We are grateful that the Senate Committee is doing this consultation,” said Chamber CEO Shirley de Silva. “The idea of conducting a life-cycle analysis that takes into account the impact any proposed legislation may have on trade-exposed industries is key to any future legislation. For example, the manufacturing of fertilizers creates carbon, but it also significantly increases crop yields, an activity that captures and reduces carbon that would otherwise go to the atmosphere.”

Other key points included in the message to Senators:

—Assist innovators with upfront costs and reduce burdensome funding processes, which are delaying the transition to a low carbon economy.

—Provide innovators with more time and support for their efforts.

—Get ahead of the game by identifying, enabling and marketing Canada’s niche. Canada is known for its innovation, engineering, and health and safety expertise. We can become world leaders in the low carbon energy industry and by doing so we can generate economic growth. Other jurisdictions are moving this way, so we need to be ahead of the game and find our niche.

—Support the traditional oil-and-gas industry through this transition. Traditional oil and gas and renewable energy industries should not be seen as competitors. There are other, smarter and more beneficial uses for oil and gas (manufacturing, clothes, medicines) than burning it.

—Transition to smarter, value-added, use of our carbon-based resources.
Government will be asking Chamber members for ways to reduce red tape

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