THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Representatives of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce have returned from a productive meeting of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in Niagara Falls. The two-day conference included presentations from elected officials of all four provincial political parties and discussions on various issues affecting businesses, such as skills shortages, immigration, infrastructure, and red tape.
The Thunder Bay Chamber was able to secure support from OCC delegates for policy recommendations aimed at improving accessibility of Ontario Energy Board hearings, implementing a regional approach to procurement reform, and extending exemptions for the non-resident speculation tax to participants in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The text of these policy resolutions can be found on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce’s website, www.tbchamber.ca.
The Thunder Bay Chamber also received the Outstanding Advocacy Campaign Award for its successful advocacy efforts in the implementation of the Rethink Zoning by-law by the City of Thunder Bay in 2022. The Chamber worked closely with city administration for four years to promote walkable, mixed-use, mixed-income neighbourhoods and achieve the change in policy. The Urban Mixed-Use Zone provides flexibility for small-scale, pedestrian-oriented businesses, while the revisions to urban low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise zones can address the shortage of affordable housing and enhance opportunities for increased neighbourhood density.
Additionally, Nathan Lawrence, a past Chair of both the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, was awarded the OCC’s Richard Dolphin Community Service Award for his dedication to community service and exceptional representation of his Chamber of Commerce.