As the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce continues to monitor various pieces of legislation as part of its advocacy mandate, there are several items for which members should be aware.

The Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is one of the organizations the Chamber looks to as a source of expert advice and input on various issues.

The first issue involves Bill C-45, which is set to take effect on October 17. The legislation legalizes the recreational use of marijuana and observers say this could have a dramatic impact on health and safety in your workplace.

The Chamber, through the WSPS, also has its eye on Bill C-65, the federal Harassment and Violence Act, a groundbreaking bill that will have implications for federal workplaces, and Schedule 5 of Ontario Bill 18, which switches responsibility for the costs of injuries to temp workers to the employer.

Bill 174 amendments

Also taking effect on October 17 is an amendment to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (Bill 174) which will prohibit the smoking and ingestion of cannabis in workplaces. This amendment aligns the province with the federal.

Bill 174 requires employers to post signs and notify employees of the act. It also amends the Ontario Highway Traffic Act to prohibit the smoking of cannabis in company vehicles (inside and outside the workplace). This prohibition applies to everyone including employees who have been prescribed medical marijuana.

Those who haven’t already done so are being encouraged to review both the federal and provincial legislation, update your hazard assessments to include the potential for impairment, and create new policies and programs around substance abuse in the workplace

Bill C-65

Before the federal government enacts Bill C-65, it is consulting Canadians on the proposed framework. The bill aims to strengthen the law by proposing, among other things, that workplace programs and policies include measures to prevent sexual harassment and violence and recognize the impact of psychological injuries and illness arising from violence and harassment.

The bill is expected to become law in fall 2019.

Schedule 5 of Bill 18

Proclaimed on April 6, 2018, this bill attributes temporary workers’ injury and accident costs—which are currently paid by temporary help agencies—to employers. This could lead to higher or lower WSIB premiums for employers. The bill is not yet in force.

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will continue to update members on various pieces of legislation as part of its ongoing advocacy role.

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce will be managing a short-term project requiring the services of a candidate with stakeholder relations experience and strong interview skills.

The successful candidate, who will be paid a set fee for the services required, will also be skilled in the research and writing of reports.

The project being undertaken will include interviews to be done with international students and graduates. The expectation is that the final report will outline the barriers to future employment faced by those students.

Those interested in discussing the position further should contact Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached by email (preferred method):


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Let’s face it: most of us have a tendency, at least part of the time, to “put off” what we know we need to get done.

But think of the satisfaction you’ll have when you stop what you’re doing and book your tickets for what is arguably the most significant event on the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce calendar.

We’re talking about the 2018 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala, and it takes place NEXT FRIDAY, October 12 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

Tickets are going fast and you won’t want to be disappointed.

Our lead sponsor for the OBAA experience is Libro Credit Union, for whom we are grateful for supporting this signature event.

Visit the Imperial Theatre online by CLICKING HERE and give yourself a pat on the back for “getting it done”!

And we’ll see you there!


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It’s that time of year—preparing for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at us. And for the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, being prepared means reaching out to interested members for quotes on snowplowing and salting services for the parking lot at 556 N. Christina St., Sarnia.

Interested? Reach out to Shirley de Silva, president and CEO, with a quote by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12 at NOON. Please clearly mark your email message as being related to snowplowing.

And good luck.

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has reached out to the Federal Government asking for continued leadership in creating a national strategy to support the development of bioindustry, a sector that is particularly important to our area.

In a letter addressed to Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, the Chamber’s Charles Fisher, board chair; and Shirley de Silva, president and CEO, pointed out that such a strategy was supported by delegates to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM, which was held recently in Thunder Bay.

Such a national strategy being advocated would develop value chains, increase international connectivity and investment, advance research, target funding, attract investment and jobs, and establish a national voice.

The letter also acknowledged Federal support that included the $12 million funding in 2016 Bioindustrial Innovation Canada’s COMM SCI project, which has national benefits.


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In a co-branded event that will take place at DeGroot’s Nurseries on Wednesday, October 17, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Blackburn Radio for a combined Sarnia-Lambton Business Showcase/Business After 5.

Members will be greeted by Chamber staff on entering DeGroot’s, followed by opportunities to “mix and mingle.” Many businesses consider the Showcase event to be one of the most effective forms of marketing, especially as the fall season gets into high gear.

‘This is a very good partnership for the Chamber and our members,” says Shirley de Silva, president and CEO. “Our relationship with Blackburn Radio is one that we both benefit from as we continue to build a strong business community together.”

This event has a slightly modified Business After 5 schedule, opening at 4 p.m. and running through 8 p.m.

A full list of the vendors that are participating in the Showcase can be found HERE and there is still room for additional vendors.


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Sometimes it’s the “little things” that can make a difference. For business owners that put their heart and soul into creating value in their community, having Chamber members visit to welcome them into the fold could very well be one of those special touches.

With that in mind, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is set to create a group of “Ambassadors” ready and willing to participate.

Those who come forward to become a Chamber Ambassador will be willing to respond to a periodic invitation to visit new members—perhaps a casual ribbon-cutting event—or even pop in on a special anniversary to thank them for being part of the Chamber community.

If this idea appeals to you, please reach out directly to Shirley de Silva, President and CEO, to take the next step.


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It’s a competitive world. For that reason, the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is presenting a second Amazon Marketplace webinar after an excellent turnout for an earlier event.

The second webinar event will take place next Wednesday, September 26 from noon to 1 p.m.

Speaking at the webinar will be David Heaney, senior manager, and Leith Ledger, sales manager, both of Amazon Canada.

Attending the webinar will give participants all they need to know to start selling on Amazon. Once the webinar is complete, attendees who subsequently register for an professional seller account will receive invite-only access to additional benefits, including advanced account set-up and access to an account representative for help in getting started.

This partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce represents an opportunity to help Chamber members begin selling to more customers in over 25 product and service categories.

To register for this free webinar, click HERE.

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Still not sure of who you’ll vote for in this year’s Sarnia municipal election?

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is organizing an opportunity for members (and other members of the public) to “Meet the Candidates” ahead of this the October 11-22 voting.

The event will take place on Wednesday, October 10, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. near the food court at Lambton Mall.

Candidates are invited to answer questions posed by visitors and share reasons why they deserve your vote.

Voting in Sarnia this year will be held using internet and telephone voting only. Voting starts at 8 a.m. on Thursday, October 11 and concludes at 8 p.m. on Monday, October 22.

More information on voting can be found on the City of Sarnia website.


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The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership is hoping to connect with university graduates to gauge interest in developing alumni networks in the Sarnia-Lambton area.

Aimed at connecting university graduates in the area, the Partnership’s Alumni Network Project was developed to determine the interests of the area’s alumni, which may include career development, community growth, or social activities.  Potential networks could prove to be a very valuable asset in strengthening the community.

To provide the initial steps in making those connections, the Alumni Network Project team constructed a short survey that will be available for completion throughout the month of September.  The survey, which can be found HERE.

In addition to the survey, the Alumni Network Project team will also look to connect with university graduates at various community functions throughout the month of September and is offering to visit with any local businesses or individuals to provide more information on the project.

Anyone interested in more information on the Alumni Network Project can contact the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership at (519) 332-1820 or email

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