With a door open from the perspective of newly re-elected Member of Provincial Parliament, the Chamber is starting the first of what is hoped to be an ongoing series of meetings, all with a view to discussing the new government’s priorities when it comes to strengthening local business.

A first meeting took place last week with Bailey in his Sarnia constituency office.

“We were encouraged by the discussion we had in Bob’s office,” said de Silva. “For several years, our MPP has served our community in an Opposition role in the provincial legislature and while there were opportunities for dialogue, clearly there is a renewed sense of hope and optimism in having our representative at Queen’s Park in the role of government.”

Along with topics as diverse as the government’s plans around Bill 148, government spending priorities and Bailey’s role as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, there was also a very preliminary discussion about how the region could benefit from a visit to Queen’s Park next spring.

Bailey said the meeting with the Chamber was both positive and welcome.

“It’s always great to work with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce,” said Bailey. “With a new government comes a new opportunity to make sure that the issues important to the Chamber and its members are front and centre. I’m looking forward to the upcoming legislative session and the positive work that we can do to help businesses grow and thrive in Ontario.”



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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is calling a SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING to be held on Wednesday, September 26, at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place at the offices of the Chamber (boardroom) for the following purpose:

To pass a special resolution of the members to ratify and accept the revised bylaws.

Proposed and existing bylaws can be viewed on the Chamber’s website.

Registration is required, click here to register.


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Circle Studio and the Town of Petrolia is proud to be hosting September’s Business After 5 event on Wednesday, September 19.

The event will be held at Circle Studio, located at 4215 Petrolia Line, Petrolia. Circle Studio is a holistic health, healing and wellness studio, run by women (and moms) with a passion for health, wellness and family fitness.

Mark your calendars for September 19 and we’ll see you between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.


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It’s become a tradition at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala and this year, there’s been a steady stream of “repeat customers” when it comes to sponsors of the “Red Carpet” along the sidewalk near the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

The good news is that there are still several spots available, which will be among the most visible sponsorship opportunities connected with this year’s OBAA event, which takes place on Friday, October 12, 2018.

Price for each square is $750 plus HST.

Sponsorship “squares” on the sidewalk are installed several days before the event and remain in place for a few days following.

Contact the Chamber office to secure your spot. You can email the office (info@slchamber.ca) or call (519) 336-2400.

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Marijuana is set to be legalized for recreational use as of October 17, 2018. For many employers still struggling with how to accommodate employees who have been prescribed cannabis for medicinal purposes, this will create new challenges and questions. How do you define impairment and fitness for work? What types of tasks are safety-sensitive? These are key concerns that leadership needs to manage before the legislation passes.

Here is a sampling of insights from the CEO Health + Safety Leadership Network panel discussion, captured in the Marijuana in the Workplace: Conversations About the Impact on Employers and Employees, a white paper published by WSPS.

Participants agreed that understanding all of the nuances of this issue will take time and experience.

What employers need to know:

  • Prior to legalization, marijuana is the most prevalently used illicit drug in Canada.
  • Consuming recreational marijuana at work is and will remain illegal.
  • Marijuana use, particularly THC products (the principal psychoactive constituent), can cause residual impairment for 24 to 48 hours.
  • The legislation may affect the entire organization, not just safety-sensitive positions.

Basic principles when dealing with marijuana in the workplace

  • Safety should always come first.
  • Protecting employees’ rights is important, but employers have rights too.

How to move your organization forward

  • Review highlights of the federal cannabis legislation and Ontario’s new workplace rules.
  • Update your hazard assessments to include the potential for impairment.
  • Create a policy and program on the use of any substance that can cause impairment. Write the policy in a way that leaves room for dialogue. Include definitions of key terms, such as “impairment” and “fitness to work.”
  • Consider the entire organization’s needs, not just safety-sensitive positions.
  • Consult with stakeholders and experts.
  • Follow what leading organizations are doing, such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). In the white paper, you’ll find an interview with Megan MacRae, the TTC’s executive director, Human Resources, on the organization’s drug and alcohol testing program.

How WSPS can help

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As the wheels continue to turn on the journey we know as the 2018 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala, a special appeal: there is a need for more judges.

The task is relatively straightforward, with volunteers to receive copies of online submissions on or about September 4.

Submissions are then reviewed and returned with scoring to organizers (details will be communicated to volunteers). The time frame is designed to give judges enough time between reading the submissions, each of which is a maximum of 2,000 words.

When it all comes together, the drum roll on the 2018 Oustanding Business Achievement Awards gala—Friday, October 12 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia—can begin.

“We appreciate the help from our volunteer judges!” said Sharon Sielky, chair of the Chamber’s OBAA committee.

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Chamber office—by email (info@slchamber.ca) or phone (519) 336-2400.

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is recruiting for a full-time staff position that will combine new membership development with member retention and membership services, including affinity type programs that will benefit Chamber members.

The Manager of Sales and Retention position will report to Shirley de Silva, president and CEO.

Competencies in negotiation, leadership, networking, innovation, communication and strong time management skills will be seen in the successful candidate.

For more information or to express an interest in the position, contact Shirley by email (sdesilva@slchamber.ca) or by phone (519) 336-2400, extension 1.


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Lambton Shield, currently a digital-only media outlet that has its roots in the very first publication in Lambton County, is planning a debut print edition, which will be distributed to attendees at this year’s 2018 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala on Friday, October 12, 2018.

The circulation of the print edition of Lambton Shield will be 7,000 copies, with approximately 3,000 copies delivered by Canada Post to business addresses in Sarnia-Lambton. The balance will be available in high-traffic locations, including the OBAA event.

A proud Chamber of Commerce member, Lambton Shield was launched in 2010 and is currently edited by J.D. Booth, a seasoned journalist who has called Sarnia-Lambton home since 1985.

In an offer EXCLUSIVE to Chamber members, Lambton Shield is setting aside a very limited number of “category protected” one-quarter page and one-eighth page advertising opportunities for the debut issue. What this means is that for those who respond, there will be no competitors to their line of business in the first issue.

For this offer, which expires on Friday, August 31 at 4 p.m., a total of TEN one-quarter of a page size advertisements will be made available for Chamber members at a rate of $249.95 plus tax per advertisement. A total of TWENTY one-eighth of a page size advertisements will be made available for Chamber members at a rate of $199 plus tax per advertisement. The print publication format is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. The rate is based on the advertiser providing “camera-ready” material (a small fee for design services will be charged in addition to the special rate if that is required).

Chamber members who take advantage of this opportunity will also be able to secure a commitment for up to the first six issues of Lambton Shield at the identical terms of the debut print issue (including the category exclusivity). NOTE: Purchasing any future advertisements beyond the debut issue is NOT a requirement of this offer.

To secure your space, indicate the category and your choice of one-quarter of a page or one-eighth of a page sizes and send an email to J.D Booth (jd@lambtonshield.com).


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A local group that has consistently worked to promote and improve rail service in the area has teamed up with VIA Rail Canada to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The initiative by RAIL (Rail Advocacy in Lambton) follows the selection of Sarnia as one of 40 cities across Canada to be involved in the 40th-anniversary celebrations.

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to help build awareness for a special event that will take place on Saturday, August 25 as part of VIA Rail’s “40 Sustainable Actions for Our 40th Anniversary.”

VIA Rail will be making a contribution to the future of Centennial Park by planting several Native Autumn Fantasy Maple tres.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Organizers encourage attendees to watch for VIA RAIL’s Zachery Wells (pictured), an onboard services attendant who will entertain children and adults alike with magic tricks, juggling and balloon art.

“Rail transportation has the ability to combine energy efficiency with economic, environmental and social value,” said Mabel Higgins, who along with Jim Houston, chairs the RAIL organization.

“Both young and old seek a more civilized way to travel and leave their cars at home (through need or choice),” added Houston. “The members of RAIL continue to seek a high-performance passenger rail service into Sarnia that is more frequent and accessible.”

The day will start with the opening tree planting ceremony of the Autumn Fantasy Maples near the north parking lot. Following the planting, local residents and visitors alike are invited to tour VIA Rail Canada`s 40th Anniversary Locomotive, Coach Car, the Glen Fraser Lounge Car and the Skyline Dome Car.

Also present will be the Sarnia Historical Society, Lambton College student representatives and the CNR 6069 restoration project committee.

The CNR 6069 train will be open for tours as well. RAIL & VIA Rail Staff will be available to assist and answer questions. Free draws throughout the event will culminate in VIA’s premier draw for a roundtrip business class voucher for two anywhere within the Quebec City-Windsor/Sarnia corridor.

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With so many people nominated for one of the 2018 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, organizers at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce felt commissioning a short video to help with the online process would be helpful.

David Burrows, a Chamber member well known in the community for his social media skills and live streaming (including this year’s 2018 OBAA event on Friday, October 12), came through with flying colours.

As mentioned in the video above, nominees will have already received their notification and those who have accepted the nomination will have received a link to the Google Forms document.

If for ANY reason you have not received that email, be sure to contact the Chamber’s office at (519) 336-2400.

And remember, the deadline for submissions is August 29, 2018 at 4 p.m.


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