We’re looking for a few (or a hundred) volunteers who want to get dirty, get fed, and get busy transforming neighborhoods that all Winnipeggers can be proud of.
What: Earth Day Community Clean Up
Who: Volunteers just like you, as well as Nuburger who will refuel volunteers after and The November Project Winnipeg who will ensure high energy levels throughout the day.
When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 12 Noon – 3 PM
Where: Meet at the Osborne Village Nuburger (472 Stradbrook Ave.) to receive supplies and instructions.
Help us clean up our community on Earth Day and celebrate the place we all call home! Volunteers will fan out and collect garbage, then return to Nuburger for a complimentary lunch. We’ll even create a little healthy competition to see which team can collect the most trash and make the biggest difference.
Since Health Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001, the medical cannabis market serving upwards of 100,000 Canadians has grown to between $80 - $100 million dollars in annual sales. According to Deloitte Canada, legalizing recreational cannabis would generate up to $22.6 billion in sales annually with a potential market reach of 40% of Canadians.
In conjunction with The Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Cannabis Canada Association, representing the majority of licensed medical cannabis producers regulated under Health Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), is pleased to announce Cannabis Canada’s First Annual National Educational Conference and Business Opportunity Forum Friday May 5 and Saturday May 6 at the RBC Convention Centre.
Our two-day Forum is designed to provide the latest information on the current status of the cannabis industry for both the business community and the general public. Friday May 5 will be industry focused on educational awareness and business opportunities behind the growth of our multi-billion dollar industry. The second day will provide the general public with insight into our licensed producers, medical advances, the legislative landscape and the impact on our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Chamber members are invited to participate by registering at www.cannabiscanadaforums.com with a special rate of $75 for the entire conference by using discount code #3333. For further please do not hesitate to contact us via email or telephone at 403.294.0977. (CannabisCanadaForums.com)
Members of the media: view the news release here
Years of negotiation led to the signing of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) earlier this month. The CFTA replaces the over two decade old Agreement on Internal Trade, which previously governed trade within Canada. Estimates on the cost of internal trade barriers vary, but a June 2016 Senate report put the cost as high as $130 billion, or over $3,500 per Canadian. While the CFTA is a positive step forward in improving trade and reducing red tape, much work remains.
The CFTA uses what is called a negative list approach, where the default position is for all trade barriers to be lifted. However parties to the agreement (which are the federal, provincial and territorial governments) can take out exceptions. These exceptions carve out sectors from the trade deal, and leave barriers in place. The list of current and future exemptions takes out almost 40% of the 335 page CFTA document!
However the agreement does include a process where working groups will be set up to harmonize rules and regulations. For example the financial services sector is not included in the agreement, and within six months discussions will commence to look at incorporating rules around financial services. Finance and insurance play a key role in the provincial economy, as they employ close to 36,000 people. Alcohol is another area not covered under the agreement, and a working group is to report back within a year with recommendations on how to increase trade.
As part of the CFTA, there are several measures that will help aid small businesses, such as the creation of a single electronic portal which will allow businesses an opportunity to look at procurement opportunities across Canada. The deal also lowers procurement thresholds in many areas, which will open up billions of dollars in contracts to more competition.
The CFTA will come into effect on July 1, the day of Canada’s 150th birthday. Stay tuned for an upcoming Chamber event that will let members learn more about the CFTA in addition to other trade deals.
For further information on this and other Chamber advocacy initiatives, please contact Director of Advocacy, Michael Juce, at email@example.com or 204-944-3315.
For all the talk of Budget 2017 as a course correction in Manitoba’s fiscal trajectory – reshaping government and making hard financial choices – the first full budget by the new provincial government is largely status quo. An exercise in Manitoba finding its bearings. Yet, bolder action was more than warranted, it was imperative.
There are certainly positive measures to be lauded. Indexing personal income tax brackets and basic personal exemptions is a simple but powerful step in the right direction. Aggressively cutting outdated and ineffective red tape without costing taxpayers a dime likewise shows a government that’s listening. After years of excessive, runaway growth in government spending, reigning in spending to 2.1% annually is no small feat.
But urgency in reducing Manitoba’s deficit is disconcertingly absent in this budget. Our provincial debt will climb again this year, with annual debt servicing fees at approximately one billion dollars.
One billion dollars: that’s roughly the annual operating budget of the City of Winnipeg. You could build two new Winnipeg international airports every year for a billion dollars. And each year Manitoba pays more to cover just the interest with fading hope of actually paying down the principal.
That’s not to say The Winnipeg Chamber believes radical cuts are called for, any more than we back gross largesse to spur economic activity. The current government inherited a financial morass after years of overspending and it’ll take both prudent trims and strategic investments to fix.
More, it needs a reinvention of how government delivers services if Manitobans are ever going to get the savings and the outcomes they deserve. Those innovations and efficiencies are what’s missing in this budget. They’re hinted at. There’s signs they’re coming, particularly in highlights of the Financial Performance Review. But substantive action hasn’t been taken in a budget that cries out for it.
What is there in black and white is a troubling cut to a department and its partner organizations that support our economy’s evolution. It’s not certain where the $16 million savings from Growth, Enterprise and Trade (budget to budget) will come from, but supported organizations such as World Trade Centre Winnipeg are the ones who add fuel to our province’s engine. We, and the organizations who count on these partners, wait to hear their fate.
We’ll have to wait on a tax review also, it seems. Minister Friesen is absolutely correct to take on our confusing, inefficient patchwork tax credit system. But Budget 2017 misses an opportunity to launch a holistic review of our entire tax ecosystem. A thoroughly study of where our taxes and credits overlap hasn’t been done since 1999 and would give valuable information on future fiscal policy.
On social media following lock up, we called Budget 2017 uninspiring given its ‘wait and see’ tone. We’re waiting to see how the government will innovate around public service delivery. We’re waiting for a strategy that will grow the economy beyond its usual stroll. We’re waiting for a deficit reduction plan that sees possible interest rate hikes, expected trade turbulence with America and health care cost pressures for what they are: urgent incentives for action. At one billion dollars a year, can Manitobans truly afford to wait around?
Six years ago, Ryan Sourisseau was in pain. Lifting weights on an incline bench press, he’d just damaged his shoulder – an injury that would cost the fitness fan a year of recovery.
Fast forward to this spring and that injury has shaped how Sourisseau has outfitted Snap Fitness Downtown Premiere – the Winnipegger’s third gym and his first venture in the city’s core. Barbells for the bench press, incline press and military press rest on handles that pivot over a weightlifter’s body before releasing their bar. These “breaker benches” only maneuver their weights a few inches, but the small shift to an ideal start position greatly reduces the risk of injury.
“When I saw the opportunity to get this equipment, I knew they were a bit more expensive but thought they’d be a great addition to our club,” says Sourisseau. “I’m pretty sure we’re the only gym group in Manitoba using them.”
Attention to detail was poured into the rest of the facility as well, especially since it leaves the comfort zone of a typical Snap Fitness gym model. Open 24 hours across from the MTS Centre, it’s the largest Snap Fitness in Canada with a hot yoga and TRX studio on the space’s second floor. Standard free weights and cardio equipment are augmented by boutique pieces – curved treadmills for avid runners, Keiser function trainers for sports that pack a strong stroke (baseball, hockey, golf), a Jacob’s ladder and bumper plates for cross fitters – to cater to specialists while adding variety to people just trying to burn some calories.
Steam rooms, tanning beds, personal training support, plus nutrition and workout plans also elevate the facility beyond the normal experience – though adding all these details has required Sourisseau’s team to get creative with their scheduling.
“I’d say the most challenging part since we’ve been open is getting the class schedules and yoga sessions flowing,” says Sourisseau. “And I owe my team the credit for that, to be honest. I’m still dealing with contractors and builders, so I’ve had to lean on them a lot operationally. We’re making adjustments based on members’ feedback to build the optimal schedule.”
The few architectural details that lasted until opening are what Sourisseau wishes he could share with himself two years and a half years ago when he started negotiations for the space. As much attention as his team have paid to fine details, Sourisseau wishes he’d given greater scrutiny earlier.
“I would have jumped into the fine details a lot sooner, knowing now how that would have prevented delays,” he says.
Still, the effort to open an out-of-the-box gym have paid off from openable front wall (“We’ll try to keep it open through spring and summer.”) to the compliments of Winnipeg’s seasoned weightlifters.
“It still feels surreal. To do something this large outside the box and see the response from staff and people – it’s just a great feeling.”
This article first appeared on the Canadian Chamber of Commerce website April 11, 2017.
Canada’s businesses are optimistic about increasing investments this year, but there is a big barrier that needs to be addressed.
Before any development project, such as a mine or road can begin, the Crown has a constitutional duty to consult with and accommodate Indigenous peoples whose rights could be affected. Governments often rely on industry to do these consultations as part of the regulatory approval process. But there is often no guidance on how business should engage with Indigenous communities, or what constitutes appropriate consultations. As one business person from Saskatoon told us, “There’s expectation but no direction from the government. If your project is shut down, it’s your own fault.”
This lack of clarity can result in nasty surprises for companies and Indigenous peoples who believe they have done all they can and should do within the process. This often happens when the Crown intervenes late in its engagement to impose new obligations or when it fails to executive its duty effectively at all. This can lead not only to the delay or cancellation of private sector projects but to companies abandoning them altogether. This is unfortunate because most projects have the potential to provide long-term economic and social benefits to Indigenous communities and all Canadians, including education and training, infrastructure, employment, the creation of new Indigenous businesses, improved health care resources and housing as well as the means to sustain cultural priorities.
Canada’s businesses see real opportunities in the government’s efforts to restore a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples – modernizing the National Energy Board (NEB) and reviewing all federal laws and policies affecting Indigenous peoples.
Last September, we released Seizing Six Opportunities for More Clarity in the Duty to Consult and Accommodate Process. The report was driven by businesses’ concerns that the lack of clarity on the Crown’s execution of its duty is frustrating relationships with Indigenous communities and stopping projects from which both could benefit.
We need a consistent framework that brings Indigenous communities and business together to establish a relationship when one doesn’t exist already. Once discussions regarding a project begin, the Crown should clarify such issues as what has triggered the duty, which Indigenous peoples are affected and their rights, its involvement, what information needs to be provided, timelines, and how it will follow up to determine if the process met its objectives and whether those involved met the expectations of them.
There are real consequences for business and Indigenous communities when the Crown fails to execute its duty. In 2016, a Federal Court of Appeal upheld an appeal blocking the Northern Gateway pipeline because the Crown “offered only a brief, hurried and inadequate consultation with First Nations.” Most of the time, the process works well. When it doesn’t, there needs to be repercussions for officials as well.
Unless we fix this process, our competitors will dismiss us and get what they need elsewhere, leaving behind businesses, Indigenous communities and all Canadians.
We’ve all heard the saying, that, if you love what you do, it is not work. Let me share my personal thoughts on the subject. Doing what you love may not feel like work, but doing what you love with excellence takes tremendous work.
But not just work, it takes smart work. Smart work includes getting better with measurable outcomes, while reducing stress, efficiently using resources, and keeping your team happy and motivated. To strive for excellence in business is to strive for excellence twofold in personal development.
My fiancé and I are opening Verä Chiropractic. Our focus is to create a work environment that allows our employees and practice members (in our case) to excel in their lives. The two key points we hold dearly are 1) education, and 2) objectivity. When someone comes into our office, we want them leaving with more knowledge than that with which they entered. Secondly, we want everyone under care in our office to know why he or she is improving, or why he or she is not. This should be measurable, and we strive to provide that.
The biggest asset any clinician has is knowledge of normal physiology. To return to a state of normal physiology is to return to health. This need not be addressed by masking symptoms, but by looking at the body as a whole. The same wisdom holds for business.
Please feel free come for a tour of our facility, 2080 Ness Avenue, Unit 102. We would love to have you - and we could not be more excited to join the Winnipeg business community.
You’ve heard it now before, Manitoba is Canada’s most generous province per capita. Today it’s important to note how that is measured. It’s measured by tax filers, not by government support but by everyday Manitobans who generously support charitable organizations in our community.
Our Province is experiencing a shift. For the last year, all examples pointed to the potential for our Government to move from being known as a principle philanthropic donor. Their support was often counted on as a first step to campaign planning. Now, it appears they can be counted on as a funding partner with opportunities in newer, more emerging areas of investment including social impact bonds.
Change is always difficult and this could represent a significant change to how the nonprofit sector is funded. However, with change comes opportunity. We have the chance to get back to the fundamentals of fundraising. Here are my top three suggestions:
This is a time of change but also a time of opportunity. It’s the time to be adaptable and show positive leadership. Thank those who have been your closest donors, volunteers and investors, review your goals and your activities, understand the newer forms of giving and ensure your organization is ready to adapt to the next phase of reality. If our sector commits to this, Manitoba will continue to be known as our country’s most generous province.
Recently Bill 3, The Pooled Registered Pension Plans (Manitoba) Act, passed through committee stage at the Manitoba Legislature. Once passed, it will give thousands of Manitobans easier access to another retirement savings tool.
Enabling Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) in Manitoba will make it easier for smaller companies to offer employees the opportunity to participate in a pension plan. PRPP’s are created by pooling of assets from many employees and companies, essentially bulk buying. Pooling together helps reduce administrative costs, and the plans are then administered by a third party, which helps to further reduce costs.
PRPP regulations require the costs of PRRPs be at least equal to or below the costs of defined contribution pension plans for groups of 500 or more members. This ensures PRPP plans will be cost competitive with anything a large employer can offer. In addition costs have to be the same for all members, and those costs have to be disclosed to those in the PRPP.
Employers aren’t forced to offer PRPPs to their employees; the decision to do so is completely voluntary. As well employees can choose to opt out of a company plan.
Self-employed individuals can also sign up for a PRPP plan. Contributions to PRPPs that employers make are tax deductible and not subject to payroll taxes such as CPP and EI.
The Winnipeg Chamber has long been an advocate for implementing PRPP’s in Manitoba, and it was featured as a recommendation in the Manitoba BOLD pre-election document. Manitoba will join the majority of Canadian provinces and the federal government once this legislation is in place. The Winnipeg Chamber encourages all members of the legislative assembly to support this legislation as it makes its way through the legislative process.
As the Easter holidays approach, Shut Ur Pie Hole has a delicious deal for Winnipeg Chamber members to make your feast that much sweeter: 10% off Easter Pie orders.
The pies (available for pick up or delivery with a $10 charge) are available in Apple, Sour Cherry, Saskatoon, Key Lime, Pucker Up Lemon, Bootyliscous Banana Cream, Strawberry Rhubarb, Pecan, Chocolate Pecan, Chicken Pot Pie and Tortiere. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-691-0910 to pick your pie.
See other Winnipeg Chamber member offers
Our members love to offer exclusive deals to other members as well as offers to the Winnipeg public. You can find current offers in the Coupons and Discounts page of our membership directory, including: