CPP expansion another burden

by Admin 29. June 2016 12:50

Our business community is being asked to swallow another cost increase. The potential expansion of CPP outlined by the federal finance minister and endorsed by most provinces and territories would join a growing list of incremental, uncoordinated charges levied against Winnipeg businesses.

Separately these growing fees and virtual taxes may be understandable, even palatable. Added together they have the potential to hamper free cash flow and eliminate margins, particularly for small and medium businesses.

We share the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s concern this plan makes our businesses less competitive, not more.

The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce looks forward to meeting with government representatives to advise on the consequences of CPP expansion and advocate for other effective approaches to preparing Canadians for retirement. As your advocate, we invite you to contact the Chamber Office for Business Support (204-224-COBS) to discuss and let us know how additional cost increases would impact you.

 

 

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General | policy

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Tour of the IISD – ELA Facility

by Admin 29. June 2016 12:42
When: August 18-19, 2016 (Dates are tentative based on response)
Where: The facility is located four hours east of Winnipeg off of highway 17. Tours from Winnipeg generally stop for a break in Kenora which is about ½ way to the field station.
Cost: $140 per person (includes meals and accommodations) 
Transport: Individuals registering for the One Day Option would be responsible for their own transportation to and from the facility; group transportation is being planned for those participating in the Two Day Option
 
One Day Tour Option (August 18):
 
8:00 a.m. Depart Winnipeg 
12:00 p.m. Arrive at ELA facility 
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (all meals are included in tour package)
1:00 – 4:30 p.m. Tour of the IISD-ELA facility:
  • A welcome presentation which gives an overview of the history of ELA and ELA Science
  • A tour of the facility and closest research lakes including: discussion of standard hydrological and water quality sampling, tours of the chemistry and fish labs, tour of the Environment Canada metrological station
  • Visit to the ongoing whole ecosystem experiment in which scientists have reduced water flowing into a lake to mimic drier conditions expected in the Canadian Boreal shield due to climate change
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Dinner
  • One day tour participants may either return to Winnipeg after dinner or stay for the camp fire
6:30 – 10:00 p.m. Camp fire on Lake 240 with research scientists and graduate students
 
 
Two Day Tour Option (August 18 and 19):
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. A visit to the longest running project examining phosphorous and eutrophication
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Return to Winnipeg
 
The facility includes a full kitchen and meals are provided for researchers and visitors daily at 7:00, 12:00 and 5:30.  Facility managers should be notified of any food related issues to ensure adequate meals are prepared.
 
The facility includes dorm style accommodation with private rooms and shared bathrooms.  The facility can be quite busy with researchers during the summer months and advance booking is recommended.
 
To register and/or for more information, please contact Loren Remillard, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (204-944-3318)

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communications

2016/2017 Board Nominees announced

by Admin 29. June 2016 12:38

Four Chamber Board seats are due to become vacant in October, and business leaders from various business sectors have been nominated to fill the vacancies. The slate of names was put forward by the Nominating Committee, a group appointed by the Board in accordance with The Chamber’s By-Laws, to set the annual election process in motion. The nominees were selected on the basis of their individual strengths and the demographics of The Chamber’s membership, according to Wadood Ibrahim (Protegra), Chair of the Nominating Committee.

Last call for nominations

  • Additional nominations for the Board may be made until July 15, 2016.  The following conditions governing nominations are described in paragraph 5.4 of The Chamber By-Laws:
  • Nominations must be made on the prescribed form available from Loren Remillard, Incoming President of The Chamber.
  • To be included on the ballot, a nomination must be signed by a minimum of five Chamber members.
  • The member nominated must sign an undertaking to carry out his or her duties faithfully and diligently, if elected.  At a minimum, this will require regular attendance at Board meetings, which are held on the fourth Thursday of every second month at 8:00 a.m.
  • The completed nomination form must reach The Chamber offices by no later than 11:00 A.M. on July 15, 2016
  • Retiring Board members of the present Board who have served four consecutive years are not eligible for re-election.

Board Nominee for 2016 to serve until 2017:     

  • Kate Fenske [CN]                                       
  • Mark Jones [Olafson & Jones Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.]
  • John Proven [Conviron]
  • Alfred Schleier [PCL Constructors Canada]  

To be installed by virtue of office:

  • Wadood Ibrahim [Protegra] | Chair
  • Johanna Hurme [5468796 Architecture] | Incoming Chair
  • Priti Mehta-Shah [49-97 Capital Partners] | Past Chair of the Board 2015/2016
  • Michael Legary [Start up Winnipeg] | Past Chair of the Board 2014/2015
  • Loren Remillard [Winnipeg Chamber] | President and CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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communications | General

Secret ballots and the fear of democracy

by Admin 29. June 2016 12:23
When logic and fact do not support your argument, use fear. It’s an approach that’s worked in elections and is being used to fight Bill 7, which would return secret-ballot voting for union certification to Manitoba.

Last week, Kevin Rebeck of the Manitoba Federation of Labour stated the current process "is in place in several jurisdictions across the country and is designed to prevent employers from interfering in the process through coercion or intimidation." By several jurisdictions, he is referring to four of the 10 provinces, including Manitoba. Rightfully omitted from Rebeck’s claim is any assertion the current process is designed to prevent organized labour from using coercion or intimidation.

Rebeck added, "Our new government is clearly signalling a new era of labour relations — one of imbalance, where the scales are tipped against workers being able to exercise their free and democratic right to join a union. That's not democracy."

What is democracy, then? If the secret ballot — long upheld as a fundamental pillar of a free and democratic society — is out, perhaps a rethink of democratic elections is in order.

Imagine for the next provincial election, instead of marking a ballot in a private booth, we assemble in our nearest community centres to elect our MLAs with a show of hands. Alternatively, we could have representatives of one political party show up at your house with a voting card and watch as you mark your choice.

I recall my entry into union membership. I had just joined the federal public service. During my first week, two gentlemen arrived at my cubicle one morning with a card that I was told to sign. I asked whether I had any options. Yes, I was told: sign now or sign before lunch.

According to Statistics Canada, over the last 30 years, the trend in Canada has been one of declining union density, to 28.8 per cent in 2014 from 37.6 per cent in 1981. This trend is being driven by employees themselves, who are moving beyond old-style labour relations that marked much of the 20th century.

Statistics Canada data for 2015 show of the 555,500 employees in Manitoba, 35.8 per cent (or 197,400) were members of a union; in 2010, 37.5 per cent (or 194,400) of Manitoba’s 517,800 employees belonged to a union. Union density remains highest in Manitoba’s public sector, wherein 78.4 per cent of all employees are represented by a union, as compared to 17.6 per cent in the private sector.

For a sizable and growing majority of Manitoba workers, the path to prosperity does not begin at a union hall. It is this fact that lay at the heart of organized labour opposition to secret-ballot certification.

Organized labour has long contended the current automatic certification system prevents employer intimidation and coercion. It offers, as proof of supposed employer malfeasance, statistics indicating a decline in certification success once secret ballots are introduced. Studies in Canada suggest the drop in certifications following the use of anonymous voting ranges from nine per cent to 19 per cent.

I offer an alternative theory: union certifications drop when secret-ballot voting is introduced because workers are afforded the best and rightful way to express their true desire, free of fear, intimidation and reprisal by any side.

Bill 7 seeks to restore a balance in Manitoba that was upset by Bill 44 more than 16 years ago. Rebeck contends automatic certification has created a balance, marked by a long period of relative labour peace in Manitoba.

While it is true Manitoba has experienced fewer work stoppages and days lost to strikes or lockouts in recent years, to attribute cause and effect to automatic certification is a tricky proposition. Each work stoppage in Manitoba since 2011 has involved unionized workplaces under provincial jurisdiction. How can we say higher union density creates labour harmony when every instance of disharmony involved unions and employers?

The time has come for Manitoba employees to once again have the right — free of intimidation or fear of reprisal from anyone — to make a clear choice between yes and no, rather than sign now or before lunch.

Loren Remillard is the incoming president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. This editorial first appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 21, 2016.
 
 

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General | issues | policy

Leadership Winnipeg Through the Eyes of Richard Bracken

by Admin 16. June 2016 08:02

Wow. What a day! The Leadership Winnipeg session of Friday, June 3 (our last full day) was jam-packed with visits to important organizations and events that make you proud to be a Winnipegger.

Let’s start with our first stop: Manitoba Technology Accelerator. Sounds cool right? It is! Located in the Exchange, MCA helps startups in the technology sector develop their idea into a business, matching them with investors and mentors, and helping them grow into a successful enterprise. Ever hear of Skip the Dishes? MCA helped them get started, and they’re located in the same building. We got a tour of their shop and it was really neat to see how well these guys are doing.

Our next stop was AssentWorks, a short walk to the other side of the Exchange. I really like the atmosphere of this place. Warm, inviting and what seemed to be the perfect place to incubate ideas and watch them grow. Robert gave a great tour of the facility, which helps people literally build their ideas. They have workshops of all kinds that can be used – everything from woodworking to 3D printing to metal working. You name it; this place has the tools to help you build your product. A couple neat facts about this place – it’s one-of-a-kind in the world, and Prince Charles toured it on his last visit to Winnipeg.

Next we were off to the Chamber luncheon. Jim Ludlow of True North was the keynote speaker, and lunch was a traditional Manitoba meal – that means perogies and kielbasa! Jim gave a great presentation on the future True North Square and other presenters spoke about the great things going on in this city. I left feeling like Winnipeg is in a good place.

Our last stop was across town at Composites Innovation Centre. Check their website out for a full description of what they do, but in a nutshell, help in the research, development and application of composite materials. So for all you curlers out there – ever heard of the Xtreme Force curling broom? It was developed right here in Winnipeg, and CIC was right in the middle of development.

All in all, this was a fantastic day and a real eye-opener to the important organizations and people that work behind the scenes, helping to drive innovation and propel ideas into successful businesses.

 

 

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Leadership Winnipeg Through the Eyes of Philip Jarman

by Admin 30. May 2016 12:10

On Friday, May 13, Leadership Winnipeg visited the University of Winnipeg. Having not been a student at the UofW myself, this was the first time that I have been to the campus since my high school graduation many years ago. From the moment I arrived at the start of the day, I could see the enormous transformations that have taken place over the years. I was vaguely aware of the expansion that had occurred having driven down Portage past the Buhler Centre and science complex on several occasions, but what was visible from that vantage point was just the tip of the iceberg.

Participating in Leadership Winnipeg has afforded us an opportunity to visit with backstage passes to some of the most interesting organizations, located in what are some of the oddest and unexpected nooks and crannies throughout the city, but that was not our primary purpose for coming to the UofW on this day. We were here to find out about the transformation work (beyond the buildings) and the leadership that the university is providing to develop and foster unique partnerships with the community in which it lived.

Our agenda opened with Dr. Annette Trimbee, president and vice-chancellor at the University of Winnipeg, welcoming us for the day. Dr. Trimbee assumed the role of president in August 2014 with a mandate to continue the decade of transformation that was started by her predecessor in both transforming the face of infrastructure of the campus as well as building the strong relationships and ties to the community that the university calls home. She spoke about how the UofW had not always been a good neighbour to the community that surrounds it. This inner-city community is comprised of large populations of young indigenous peoples and new immigrants that often face socio-economic realities that challenge their ability to one day attend classes at this very place that sits in the heart of the community in which they live.

The speakers for the day offered us a glimpse into the work that the university is doing in the neighbourhood, such as the partnership with the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, to build and strengthen partnerships to connect with the community to develop educational and capacity building opportunities. Such partnerships fit well with the university’s efforts to undergo “indigenization,” an approach to improving accessibility for indigenous peoples, and a means of incorporating indigenous content and courses into the academic offerings and requirements of the university.

The remainder of the morniig was dedicated to learning about some of the unique offerings through the university. Model School, as an example, is a high school program offered through the University of Winnipeg Collegiate to give students from under-represented demographics, regardless of socio-economic circumstances, an opportunity to complete high school and prepare for post-secondary education. It is a program that provides full bursaries for students that would otherwise be unable to attend the program.

In the afternoon, we learned two other important aspects to the University of Winnipeg: its commitment to sustainability (both through social enterprise and environmental stewardship) and its dedication to research knowledge mobilization. We learned about Diversity Food Services, the joint venture between the University of Winnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation and SEED Winnipeg. It has a mandate to deliver food services to the University of Winnipeg, while also providing meaningful employment opportunities for people in the community. Having enjoyed the lunch provided to us at Elements restaurant, I can attest to the quality of their food and service. We were also presented with information about the Campus Sustainability Office and the important work that the university has been doing to institute sustainability practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts have paid off. The University of Winnipeg has not only met but exceeded its Kyoto commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels. Finally, on its dedication to research knowledge mobilization, it was evident that the research community at the university is strongly committed to efforts that take research out of the academic world and embed its results into practice in external organizations for positive change.

Upon final reflection, I will not soon forget about the inspiring work that is going on at the University of Winnipeg. I am thankful for having had the opportunity for a glimpse into the behind the scenes work going on in this place and all of the other places that we have visited over the past several months through the efforts of the people that show leadership in our city and its communities every day. As our year with Leadership Winnipeg begins to come to an end, I have reflected on and been inspired by these leaders that have spoken to us about their work to help shape our city. Although our year is quickly drawing to a close, it’s not over yet! I look forward to what awaits us for our final sessions.

 

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Q & A with Kyle Mason of North End Family Centre

by Admin 26. May 2016 09:01

 

Have you ever wanted to start your own non-profit?

Kyle Mason grew up in the North End and watched his family and community struggle. Fast-forward years later, he decided to stop watching and start doing.

He founded North End Family Centre in 2009 and devoted his new business to help families in the North End break the cycle of poverty. Since his opening, he’s watched his business grow and make a positive impact on his community. Before he joins us on May 31, at our next Toasting Winnipeg, we asked Kyle to share some of his inspirations and tips. 

What motivated you to start the North End Family Centre?

I grew up in the North End with my single-mother and siblings. We were poor and we had to make ends meet. My family could’ve used a place like the North End Family Centre. So when I moved back into the neighbourhood eight years ago, I wanted to give back to the community.

What was the first big step you took when starting the organization?

It was a year from when I first had the idea; it was 13 months later from idea to opening. I knew we would be a small organization to begin with and I wanted to make sure our time and energy and our donors investment would be used to its full potential. So to do that and really to find the gaps in the community, I did community assessments for the first six months. I didn’t see a point in duplicating a service. For example if someone decided to duplicate 529 in the North End, it probably wouldn’t succeed.

The following six months was setting up the legal framework and setting up the board of directors and getting the initial fundraising. After all of that we opened our doors. Until this day, I make sure everything at the North End Family Centre is well thought out, well prepared, and is the first place people go.

In 2015, the North End Family Centre moved into a larger location further down Main Street. What is the single most important factor that attributed to your growth?

We consistently reached out and made sure to hear the community. We listen to the people that we serve. We ask what they want and what they need and move to do that. And when the community feels like they have real input, which they do, they respond. Our initial facility was pretty small – only about 1,000 square feet, but we were seeing up to 1,400 visits a month. The community responded to what we were doing because we were listening to what they were saying. So our small facility reached its capacity so we had to move to a bigger location nearby to respond to the community’s demand.

What are three advantages of operating a business in Winnipeg’s North End?

i) The community. The people of the north end are beautiful people. They are no different than other people in other parts of the city. They want the best for themselves, their family, their kids, and their community. Beautiful, beautiful people.

ii) We get to be part of a large organization with people that work hard who wish to have a positive impact on the city as a whole. What happens in the north end is good for people as a whole and the city.

iii) It is exciting and rewarding to be a part of the north end. It is exciting to see the impact we are having at the North End Family Centre.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?

Work hard, listen to people around you and surround yourself with smarter people than you.

 

Toasting Winnipeg is a breakfast series that celebrates innovative, original and inspiring business stories in our city.  Our goal is to shine light and share stories from our membership proving business success is possible, especially in Winnipeg. 

 

Buy tickets here, and join us for our next Toasting Winnipeg breakfast on Tuesday, May 31, and hear more of Kyle’s success story.

 

 

 

  

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Q & A with Louise Champagne of Neechi Commons

by Admin 24. May 2016 12:34

 

Bannock, bison tacos and beautiful Indigenous art – that’s what you’ll find at Neechi Commons. Louise Champagne, President of Neechi Foods Co-Op Ltd., built the community staple that serves as one of the only grocery stores in the neighbourhood. Next Tuesday, May 31, Louise will share her secrets to success at our next Toasting Winnipeg breakfast. Before then, we asked Louise a few questions about what inspired her to start her business and why she chose the North End.

1.        What inspired you to open Neechi Commons?

The desire to have a successful and sustainable business model that serves the community by providing employment, quality food, and a market outlet for Aboriginal-produced goods that sustains traditional harvesting practices in communities outside of the city such as wild rice, fish, and berries.

2.        What are three advantages of operating a business in Winnipeg’s North End?

It has the highest concentration of (urban) Aboriginal people in Canada. There has been a lot of media talk about an inner-city “food desert”.  Well, a flowering oasis now exists at Neechi Commons. It includes a full-range neighbourhood supermarket, with a produce courtyard, bakery, full meat service and affordable pricing. It also includes a lovely restaurant, catering business, seasonal farmers’ market and a beautiful art store and gallery.

3.       Neechi Commons is an Aboriginal Co-Op, what does that mean to your business and your community?


With 50 employees, most of whom are Aboriginal, Neechi has become the largest commercial employer of First Nations and Métis people in Winnipeg. Through Neechi Niche, its arts store and gallery, Neechi is now also supporting the livelihoods of 230 Aboriginal artists, crafts artisans, authors and musicians. Most of these people live in walking distance of Neechi Commons.

Neechi’s restaurant, conference room and on-going cultural events have transformed Neechi Commons into a center for the celebration of Aboriginal culture and into a community hub for both Aboriginal and other citizens. Neechi stands out for its regionally harvested freshwater fish, wild rice and fruit and vegetables. It hosts a Friday afternoon farmers-market and supports gardening by neighbourhood youth. Neechi has partnered with a variety of school, employment and training programs, especially youth focused programs, and hosted the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce as one of its office tenants. 

The cooperative’s employee ownership model offers an opportunity to become business owners and entrepreneurs to many people who otherwise would not have that chance, and to do so in the context of community building and positive self-esteem. In short, we believe that support for Neechi Commons will be paid back many times over through its very positive social impact on adjoining neighbourhoods, on the Aboriginal community in general, and on the city of Winnipeg as a whole.

4.        How does your business stay competitive against larger grocery chains?

By doing some things that the larger stores cannot do; notably in regard to regionally harvested foods.

5.       What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?

       Don’t give up.

 

Toasting Winnipeg is a breakfast series that celebrates innovative, original and inspiring business stories in our city.  Our goal is to shine light and share stories from our membership proving business success is possible, especially in Winnipeg. 

 

Buy tickets here, and join us for our next Toasting Winnipeg breakfast on Tuesday, May 31, and hear more of Louise’s success story.

 

   

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BOLD Radio Experts: Settling disputes with Canada Revenue Agency

by Admin 18. May 2016 11:20

 

Canadians will be watching their bank accounts in the coming months for tax refunds (and hopefully not a statement of what they owe). We know there are times when you need an expert to navigate these issues, and so we asked Peter Ward, associate at Winnipeg law-firm Taylor-McCaffrey LLP, to fill us in on resolving a tax dispute with Canada Revenue Agency. 

Click here to watch the in-studio BOLD Radio clip.

 

  

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Chamber Golf Classic to Help Food Matters Manitoba

by Admin 18. May 2016 10:29

On June 1, The Chamber will be moving our office to the greens to enjoy a day of golf and networking at our 26th Annual Chamber Golf Classic.Each year, we partner with a Chamber member from the social impact sector and have them join us on the course as our Putting Green host and Charity of Choice to fundraise for and raise awarenes of their organization.

This year, we are happy to partner with Food Matters Manitoba. With only two weeks before the big day, we spoke with Stefan Epp-Koop, acting executive director, and asked him what our members need to know about Food Matters Manitoba and what our golfers can expect when visiting their hole.

1. What are the top 3 things you should know about Food Matters Manitoba?

       I.          We believe all Manitobans deserve good, healthy food to eat.

      II.          We help kids learn healthy food skills that will last a lifetime through cooking classes, gardens and Indigenous food skills programs. We’ll be highlighting these cooking classes at the putting contest.

     III.          Our work takes us across the province to help make this happen, including here in Winnipeg and in 13 communities across northern Manitoba. 

2. What is your favourite Food Matters Manitoba program and/or initiative?

Right now, I’m really excited about the North End Garden of Nations, a newcomer gardening space we’re building next week on the Old Ex grounds. I love that we are able to help over 300 newcomer families feel at home in Canada, growing foods from around the world right here in Winnipeg. As a newcomer once told me, getting a chance to garden is “a dream that has become real.”

3. What specific impacts has Food Matters Manitoba had on our community?

In many of our programs, people get a chance to grow or make good, healthy food. The good food, though, is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, when kids learn cooking, they gain skills they need for a healthy lifestyle, gain pride and self-confidence, build bridges with their neighbours, make new friendships and learn job skills. I continue to be amazed at how great things can happen over good food.

4. Why did you apply to be The Chamber Classic Charity of Choice?

It has been great to participate in Chamber events over the past couple of years. The Chamber is a great way to connect with our community and make new connections. We’re excited to meet everyone out on the course on June

5. How can Chamber Golf Classic golfers participate in the Putting Green Contest?

For $10 you get three putts. Each putt that you get into the target zones gives you tickets into a draw for a great prize at the end of the night. Want to try something new? Support our kids' cooking programs by trying your hand putting with a selection of kitchen utensils.  If you’re successful, we’ll double the tickets you win. We hope to see you on the putting green!

It’s not too late! Don’t miss out on a day of golf, networking, prizes, drinks and a wonderful menu catered by Pine Ridge Golf Club. The Chamber Golf Classic is a perennial sell-out. Spots are still available, but don't wait too long - register you and your team now by clicking here.

 

 

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