The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has been named as one of the Top 20 Canadian Economic Development Groups in Site Selection Magazine’s Canada’s Best Locations 2020 Awards.

Recognizing local or regional economic development groups, the awards take into consideration excellence in regional partnerships, proactive and innovative programming, and quality data, web tools and resources. In a recent news release, Site Selection Magazine credits recent projects and investments such as Forge Hydrocarbons, LCY Biosciences, and Woodland Biofuels as key factors in Sarnia-Lambton’s recognition, along with population growth.

This is the third consecutive and seventh time overall in the 14-year history of the Canada’s Best Locations awards that the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has been named as one of the best economic development groups in Canada. “We are thrilled to once again earn this recognition for the Sarnia-Lambton area,” said Stephen Thompson, CEO of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership.

“The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has established a strong team that proactively engages in unique projects to support business in our communities,” Thompson added, noting “We are proud to offer a wide array of programming that positively assists businesses of all types and sizes.”

“The real reward for that quality programming, above all else, is to bring the jobs and the investment to the area,” he noted. “The Site Selection recognition will bring great exposure to the area, aiding that fundamental cause.”

Joining SLEP on the Top 20 list are economic development offices from larger cities like Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal. “It’s putting us amongst an incredible list of innovative communities and economic development offices,” Thompson said.

Site Selection’s Canadian Competitiveness Award also recognizes Ontario as the most competitive province in a competitive nation, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. “The annual Canada’s Best Locations feature sheds additional light on Canada’s many location options for corporate site selectors,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. “We salute the provinces and communities that made this year’s rankings.”

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are looking for your insight on what matters to business amidst the pandemic. How confident are you in Ontario’s economy and recovery? What is your organization’s outlook for 2021? How happy are you with the pandemic recovery programs offered by the government? 

Share your views by taking a short three-minute survey here:[Sarnia_Lambton

All responses will be kept strictly anonymous and confidential.  Closing date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at midnight .The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is committed to ensuring the government understands the issues impacting business in this province. That’s why we need your help to express the voice of business loud and clear at Queen’s Park.

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Local talented musician Donovan Woods newest album release called ‘Without People’ is due out in stores like Cheeky Monkey on November 6th.

Sarnia raised folk and country singer-songwriter Donovan Woods has released several albums of folk and roots music over the years, including the Juno Award-winning Both Ways. Not only does Donovan write and record his own songs, but many other high profile musicians have recorded his songs including Matt Andersen, Alan Doyle, Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, Logan Mize & The Reklaws to name a few.

The announcement of a new release from Donovan is exciting to his many fans, but this release does have another purpose. Donovan has put together special indie-retailer exclusives for the vinyl release of his forthcoming album, ‘Without People’.

The message to fans from Donovan is to consistently remind fans that the spirit of this campaign is to support indie retailers. Donovan has delayed launching the sale of the album/new merchandise on his web store to ensure as many indie retailers can take pre-orders so that fans have the option to support local businesses.

Leading up to the release, Cheeky Monkey will be taking pre-orders of both the limited edition exclusive to indie stores coloured vinyl… and of the CD. The limited edition vinyl will include an autographed insert and a special note written by Donovan.

The Top 10 indie stores with the most pre-orders by mid October will be awarded a ‘Without People T-Shirt Bundle’ to use as a draw item for all their customers.

As of Thursday, September 10th Cheeky Monkey will be taking orders in the hopes of making Donovan’s hometown THE #1 seller of this release.

To pre-order your’s stop into Cheeky Monkey located at 130 Christina Street North downtown Sarnia, call 519-332-0978 or email

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September 19, 2020 would have been the fourth annual Petrolia Harvestfest event at the Petrolia Farmers’ Market site. The event has become incredibly popular, often selling out weeks ahead of time. The meal has always been sourced within 100 km of Petrolia and has featured food from Petrolia Farmers’ Market vendors using the talents of local chefs.

Director of Community Services and Facilities, Dave Menzies said, “The decision to move this popular event to 2021 was made with many factors in mind. Namely, we would like to encourage those that would generally purchase tickets to this event to spend that money in a Petrolia restaurant that evening and show your support to our local restaurateurs. Secondly, gathering limits and physical distancing requirements make the “family-style” dining event unattainable. We want to welcome people to enjoy this event when it is safe to do so.”

The sponsors for the 2020 Petrolia Harvestfest event are pleased to join the Town of Petrolia in announcing “Petrolia Harvest Days” – a series of Saturday events designed to celebrate the season in a safe, family-friendly way.

September 15 – October 13 – Annual Scarecrow Festival in Victoria Park

September 19 – 9 a.m. – noon – Get your family photo taken with the Scarecrows! Immediate family photos will be taken by the Petrolia Community Services Advisory Committee! * All you need to do is bring your family and a camera!

*Weather permitting. Alternate date September 26 from 9:00 a.m. – noon

September 26 & October 3 – 7:30 a.m. – noon – Petrolia Farmers’ Market Thanksgiving draw! You could WIN one of three turkey, produce and Petrolia Bucks prize packs just for shopping at the Petrolia Farmers’ Market!

October 3 – 7:30 a.m. – noon – Visit the Petrolia Farmers’ Market for some last-minute ballots! The draw for the three turkey, produce and Petrolia Bucks prize packs will take place, and the winner will be announced at Noon.

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

October 10 – 9:00 a.m. – noon – Bring your carved pumpkin to Victoria Park! We are having a carved pumpkin contest!

Rules for the Carved Pumpkin Contest:

  1. Carve it at home and include any extra items you want to decorate your pumpkin.
  2. Lights will be provided.
  3. The pumpkins will not be returned.
  4. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, October 14, 2020

October 10 -1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Check out the carved pumpkins in Victoria Park and at the Petrolia Library! They will be lit up for one evening only!

These events have been generously sponsored by Barb and Rick Charlebois, Brooke Telecom Cooperative Ltd., Bourque Renovations, Stewart Electric, Suncor, and the Cogeco Connexion Employee Volunteer Program.

“…I am very pleased with the creativity that staff has shown when adapting to meet the ongoing changes and challenges in 2020. Community spirit is so important in times like this, and with these safe and family-friendly events our community can feel like we are all together even when we are apart.” Said, Mayor R. Brad Loosley.

For more information, please visit or find the Town of Petrolia on Facebook.

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September 14, 10:00 A.M. ET | Virtual Briefing On The B20 And G20 – The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and acts as a key arena on a range of global issues, including those affecting Canadian businesses. This includes trade, tax, digital economy, health policy and many others. The B20 is the voice of the private sector at the G20 and represents the global business community across all G20 member states, including Canada. On Monday, September 14 at 10 am (Eastern Standard Time), the Canadian Chamber is hosting a virtual meeting for you to hear about the work of the G20 and B20 under Saudi Arabia’s presidency this year. We will hear from the Prime Minister’s personal representative to the G20 and Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chris MacLennan, as well as the B20 sherpa, Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, and representatives from the Trade and Investment Taskforce and Digitalization Taskforce.

Click here to register.

September 17, 1:00 P.M. ET | Future Of Transportation: Trucking  – 70% of Canadian goods are transported by truck, whether it’s groceries, raw materials, or other items essential to Canada’s economic well-being. Before and throughout the pandemic, the trucking industry has been invaluable in helping to keep supply chains open and flowing. Join us as we focus on the initial impacts of COVID-19 on trucking operations and steps the industry has taken to mitigate those impacts. We will also have a discussion on what the future of trucking may look like in a post-COVID world.

Click here to register.

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Sarnia McDonald’s Franchisees Colleen and Peter Buckley will help provide meals to community children through the 15th annual “Loonies for Lunches” back-to-school food drive. All proceeds from the food drive will be donated to The Inn of the Good Shepherd, an organization committed to offering a helping hand to the working poor, unemployed and homeless.

This unprecedented year of the Covid-19 pandemic, and loss of jobs in the Sarnia Lambton community has increased the need for help. Past “Loonies for Lunches” campaigns have raised as much as $7,000 in a year. Blackburn Radio Inc. have partnered with McDonald’s in this great cause. 

For the duration of the campaign (August 31st – September 13th), local McDonald’s employees will be asking customers for $1 donations at the drive thru for the drive. The funds raised will help the Inn of the Good Shepherd, who serve over 800 children per month, and purchase items for school lunches. 

Donations can be dropped off at McDonald’s locations, online at and

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Sarnia-Lambton Rebound is excited to announce a new fundraiser, in partnership with Lotto Factory Global, who is operating a monthly 50/50 Draw in support of Rebound. 

The first 50/50 draw has a guaranteed prize of $1,000 and will take place on September 30th, 2020 at 7 pm, with new monthly draws to be held on the last day each month thereafter. Tickets are available for purchase online at Ticket options include 1 for $5, 3 for $12, 5 for $15, or 25 for $50. The lucky number will be generated by a Random Number Generator (RNG) through Lotto Factory Global and winners will be notified by email. 

Rebound must fundraise nearly $400,000 annually to operate and run various programs. Due to COVID-19, all fundraising events have been postponed until 2021, which has hampered fundraising efforts. All money raised from the 50/50 draws will help support general programming for youth that do not receive any government funding, such as Rebound Rocks, the r.Lounge, and Spectrum – LGBTQ2S+. 

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The grant applications for the Small Business Relief Fund opened on Monday, August 31, at 1 pm EDT! Businesses can apply for the grant of up to $5,000 for unexpected spending on measures related to COVID-19. With applications now open, your small business members can access the application by click here

The Program Guidelines, along with a Pre-Application Checklist and FAQ, can also be found there.

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The Following Excerpt is an Opinion Piece Written by Perrin Beatty

Any true recovery must, and inevitably will, be led by business. Just as every downturn is first felt on Main Street when the lights begin to go out, every recovery starts when the open signs begin reappearing. 

A unique phenomenon over the past several months sets the stage for a successful recovery. For the first time in generations, business and government are squarely focused on the same thing – getting Canadians back to work safely and building our economy out of global pandemic. 

Not in decades have we seen these often competing protagonists working so productively toward a shared national objective. There is no playbook defining our next moves. We need to work together creatively and collaboratively. 

We can start by building a strategy that gives Canada’s businesses the opportunity to combine the full power of our educated and skilled workforce with our business acumen to drive a historic recovery.

If we truly want to future-proof these companies against subsequent waves of COVID-19, we need digital transformation grants to implement new technologies and support programs to help businesses acquire health and safety equipment and reconfigure their facilities.

Mobilizing a privately financed stimulus package is essential to any sort of recovery. A program that defers or waives capital gains taxes for investments in economically disadvantaged areas can promote inclusion through job opportunities for Canadians in these communities. A time-bound tax incentive to encourage Canadian companies to repatriate more of their international earnings would help fuel growth.

Business is already laying the groundwork for Canada’s recovery. We’re ready to take some of the weight from Minister Chrystina Freeland’s shoulders, we just need her to make sure the path in front of us is clear.

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