THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce will be participating in the Ontario pre-budget consultations being held today by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Nathan Lawrence, NOACC President said, “We thank the government for changes made over the past year that support regional business and will highlight our concerns about regional development and increasing costs for business.”
Items to be discussed include:
– Current energy policy requires new or expanding mines to pay the full cost of new transmission lines or upgrades to existing lines. This policy is a significant detriment to mineral development in remote areas.
– The mismatch between skills required and those available and the need for training that ensures a strong, skilled labour force.
– Encouraging the province to continue to move forward in the planning and development of the Ring of Fire in order to be ready when global markets rebound.
– Reminding the province of the negative impacts on the economy of highway closures and calling for a long term, fully funded plan for highway investment that ensures that alternate routes are available to keep goods and services moving.
Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce stated, “We are very concerned with the economic and social impacts felt by increases to the aviation fuel tax and are calling on the government to immediately implement an exemption for Northwestern Ontario.”
The NOACC submission is available at www.noacc.ca. The Thunder Bay Chamber presentation is available at www.tbchamber.ca