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Local Business Leaders Press Government On Regional Issues

Local business leaders from Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade met with Ontario cabinet ministers Monday, May 26th to discuss key issues impacting the regional economy.

In a wide ranging discussion held at Queen’s Park, business and government leaders touched on three priority areas: solving gridlock and improving transit, planning for growth and infrastructure, and promoting economic growth across the region. The meeting also served as an opportunity for business and government leaders to discuss the upcoming 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games, and the ways in which the region can capitalize on this major event.  

“The strength of the Chamber Network was on full display today and businesses in Durham Region were given an important voice at the table,” says Bob Malcomson, CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the GTHA Chamber Caucus committee. “The viability of the Ontario economy depends on strong partnerships between business and government and these meetings ensure that the Province understands the concerns of the regional business community.”

The provincial government has recently restated their commitment to invest $130 billion in new transportation infrastructure, with a large portion of that allocated for the region. This news was well received by the Chamber Network, which has been a strong advocate for necessary infrastructure investments in the GTHA.

The meeting brought together 22 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from Hamilton, Halton, Peel, York and Durham Region, which make up the GTHA Chamber Caucus with the following provincial cabinet ministers:
• Brad Duguid, the MPP for Scarborough Centre, and the Minister for Economic Development, Employment, and Infrastructure;
• Charles Sousa, the MPP for Mississauga South, and the Minister of Finance;
• Ted McMeekin, the MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and
• Michael Coteau, the MPP for Don Valley East, and the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport and the Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games.

“The discussion was constructive,” stated Greater Oshawa Chamber President Jeff Hayes, “and the cabinet ministers that were present were eager to hear our concerns and our suggestions”.

The discussion touched on a variety of issues, including: solving gridlock and improving transit, planning for growth and infrastructure, and promoting economic growth across the region.

The meeting also served as an opportunity for business and government leaders to discuss the upcoming 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games, and the ways in which the region can capitalize on this major event.

“Today was a great opportunity for Ontario’s business leaders from the GTHA to speak collectively with government about the issues affecting the region,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We will be exploring options to deliver similar opportunities for the entire Chamber Network in 2016.”