Barrie Haywood, 1935 – 2019

Barrie Haywood, 1935 – 2019

We are truly saddened to hear news of the recent passing of Barrie Haywood, an important member of our Burlington community.

He was a great supporter of BitNet during its lifetime and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years. He was also actively involved within the Burlington community, volunteering for local causes and initiatives.

Barrie had an impact on everyone he encountered: friends, family and strangers were all important to him.

On behalf of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, we would like to offer our sincere condolences to Barrie’s family and friends.

Lydia Jones, 1928 – 2019

Lydia Jones, 1928 – 2019

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Lydia Jones, a pillar of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce community. She contributed to our city while leading the Burlington Chamber of Commerce as the Executive Director from 1980 to 1995 and continued to be active in the community after her retirement.

Last year, Lydia moved to Barrie to be close to her family and passed away shortly after her 92nd birthday.

Lydia was an important figure for women in leadership, coming from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce in 1980, she was a quietly confident, trailblazer.

She built on past Chamber achievements, which included starting the Teen Tour Band in 1947, from a small town association into a much larger, very effective driving force for the community advocating on behalf of business, but with a strong community commitment. She also participated in the original twinning ceremony, first in Burlington and later in Itabashi Japan in January 1990. That trip resulted in many business people connecting with the Burlington Chamber of Commerce for the next several years.

On behalf of the Burlington Chamber, we offer our deepest condolences to Lydia’s family and friends. Lydia will be greatly missed by the Burlington community. 

Call for Board Nominations

Call for Board Nominations

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has eleven members on its Board of Directors.  Each year at least one vacancy is created when the Past Chair retires.  It is the role of the Chamber’s Nominating Committee to fill any vacancies.  The Nominating Committee will soon be developing a list of potential candidates for next year’s Chamber Board of Directors.
To be considered for this governance Board, your company must be a member in good standing of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and you must be a voting representative for your company.  Preference is given to those persons who have an active knowledge of the Chamber through a Committee, or who have a skill set required by the Board.
The term of office is one year with an expectation that each Director will serve a minimum of two years. There is an important commitment to attend all Board meetings.  The Board meets monthly (except July and August) on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 8:00 am until 10:00 am.  In addition, Board members may be involved with a Chamber Committee and attend those monthly Committee meetings.  Board members also represent the Chamber at various events. Click here for a position description.
To express interest please complete the application form and email it to by no later than November 22, 2019.

Carla Y. Nell
President & CEO
Burlington Chamber of Commerce

2019 Fall Economic Statement

2019 Fall Economic Statement

Rapid Policy Update on the 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review

On November 6, the Government of Ontario released its 2019 Fall Economic Statement entitled, “2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: A Plan to Build Ontario Together,” which provides an update on the government’s finances and announces commitments for the upcoming 2020 Budget.


The government announced plans to:

  • Cut the small business Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate to 3.2 percent from 3.5 percent, starting January 2020. 
  • Develop an “Ontario Small Business Success Strategy” in which it will host consultations to better identify the needs of small businesses.

OCC Response:
We would have preferred to see a revenue-neutral restructuring of the Small Business Deduction (SBD) to encourage scaling up of small businesses. This would provide businesses with the right incentives while avoiding a loss in government revenues. The OCC and Ontario Chamber Network look forward to participating in the consultations as the government works to develop and “Ontario Small Business Success Strategy.”


The government announced plans to:

  • Form a Premier’s Advisory Council on Competitiveness to consult with business and make recommendations on improving Ontario’s competitiveness. 
  • As part of the Province’s upcoming Forestry Strategy, the government is investing $10 million annually to support the sector through the renewed  Forestry Growth Fund (FGF). The redesigned FGF will use an open and competitive rounds‐based application process that predominantly uses loans and loan guarantees to support business.

OCC response:
The OCC looks forward to participating in these consultations with government. The OCC has also asked for a Forestry Strategy. We are pleased to see movement on supporting innovation and competitiveness in this industry.


The government announced plans to:

  • Consult on ways to encourage investment into rural and undercapitalized areas of the province. 
  • The government plans to engage with rural stakeholders on the proposed Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot.
  • Beginning with a session at the 2020 Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference, the government will conduct a series of consultations with rural stakeholders on economic development challenges and opportunities in their regions.

OCC response:

The OCC supports measures to improve access to capital for businesses in rural regions. In The Great Mosaic: Reviving Ontario’s Regional Economies, we recommend introducing a Rural Investment Tax Credit (RITC). The OCC supports efforts to encourage immigrants to live and work in rural and Northern communities, adding more skilled workers to communities where they are needed most. 

The OCC and the Ontario Chamber Network look forward to participating in the government’s consultations with rural stakeholders to address economic development challenges and opportunities.


The government has announced plans to:

  • The Government of Ontario is proposing to simplify industrial electricity billing and introduce advisory services to assist businesses with navigating regulatory approvals and connection issues. The government will also direct the IESO to retain an independent third party to undertake a targeted review of existing generation contracts for opportunities to reduce electricity system costs.

OCC response:
Industrial electricity rates are one of the top factors affecting business competitiveness in Ontario. While the OCC is pleased with commitments to review existing generation costs and help businesses navigate the electricity system, more can be done to reduce industrial electricity rates. In particular, we would like to see the government consider revisions to industrial rate structures to support businesses that have not benefited from the program, as recommended in our submission on industrial electricity rates.


The government has announced plans to:

  • The Government of Ontario will propose legislation to reduce the aviation fuel tax rate in North Ontario to 2.7 cents per litre from the current 6.7 cents per litre, returning it to 2014 levels. This change would take effect on January 1, 2020.

OCC response:
Between 2014 and 2016, Ontario’s aviation fuel tax increased by nearly 150 percent, making it the highest in Canada. This acts as a financial barrier to many of Ontario’s attractions, particularly in northern and remote communities, where other forms of travel may be infeasible for visitors. While this announcement is a good first step, the OCC would like to see the aviation fuel tax in all communities be lowered to match other Canadian provinces.


The government announced plans to:

  • The Government of Ontario announced that it will begin its first‐ever assessment of how climate change will affect Ontario’s economy, infrastructure, communities, public health and safety, and ecosystems.

OCC response:
The OCC applauds this decision. An assessment of climate change impacts will enable the province to take meaningful steps to protect Ontarians and the economy.


The government has announced plans to:

  • The Government of Ontario announced that it will amend legislation to allow authorized cannabis retail stores to sell cannabis online or over the phone, with pick-up by the consumer in-store (also known as click-and-collect).

OCC response:
As recommended in our recreational cannabis report, Supporting Ontario’s Budding Cannabis Industry, the OCC supports this decision as it offers a consumer-friendly option to purchase legal cannabis, allows retailers to better serve customers, and will help combat the illegal market.


The government announced plans to:

  • The Government of Ontario announced that the Ministry of Finance will consult with representatives from industry, retail associations, public health, and First Nations communities to address contraband tobacco.

OCC Response:
The OCC applauds this decision given that contraband takes away revenue from the Province, Ontario accounts for the lion’s share of contraband tobacco in Canada, and the profits are used to fund organized crime. The OCC is undertaking a comprehensive report on the tobacco and vaping industries and looks forward to providing the Province with analysis in December 2019.


The government plans to:

  • Introduce legislation to pause wine and beer tax increases.

OCC Response:
In our beverage alcohol report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario, the OCC undertook a comprehensive analysis on the tax issues facing all four categories – wine, beer, cider, and spirits. While the OCC is pleased that the government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would pause wine and beer tax increases, we encourage them to take a comprehensive approach to reforms. Neglecting to consider taxation as it pertains to cider and spirits would serve to reinforce inequities between producers in Ontario.


The OCC would have liked to have seen new announcements in the following areas:

  • Considerable new infrastructure investments, especially in rural and Northern Ontario, as well as the development of adaptable and resilient infrastructure standards.
  • A commitment to streamlining public funding programs and removing regulatory barriers that limit private sector investment in high-speed broadband internet
  • Meaningful transformation in health care, particularly related to value-based care, digital health, and modernizing procurement and supply chain processes.
  • A clear commitment and timeline on the government’s plan to implement an open allocation model for licenses for retail cannabis based on demand. 
  • With the dissolution of the Ontario College of Trades, further details on what the stewardship process looks like for apprentices and journeypersons.



Small Business Week 2019

Small Business Week 2019

In partnership with:

Small Business Week runs from October 20th – 26th

Small Business Week is an annual celebration of Canadian entrepreneurship. Events held during the week bring entrepreneurs together for workshops, networking, and tradeshows across the country.

Small Business Week is about celebrating the amazing things being done in our own neighbourhood. We are hosting a variety of events available to members and non-members. You do not need to be a small business owner or employee to attend!

As a tireless advocate for local businesses, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them in celebrating small businesses and the incredible contributions they make to our community!

Why celebrate Small Business Week?

According to the Government of Canada, small businesses account for 97.7% of all businesses.

That’s a lot of businesses to celebrate! Help us recognize the people behind our businesses in Burlington and the hard work they put in all year round.

Federal Election 2019

Federal Election 2019

Election Day is October 21, 2019

The Candidates

Burlington Riding

Oakville North-Burlington Riding

Economic and Business Debates

Register here.

The Two Ridings of Burlington

Party Platforms

Business Platform

Election Day is October 21, 2019.

Vote Prosperity reflects the priorities and concerns of job creators in communities across Canada. Developed in partnership with Canada’s provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, Vote Prosperity lays out our seven priorities, along with a series of specific measures to attract investment to Canada, and help businesses create jobs, grow and strengthen our communities.

Within the seven priority areas there are a total of 18 recommendations on how to achieve prosperity and bolster Canada’s long-term economic future and competitiveness.

Seven Priorities and Recommendations

1. Taxation

A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern.

  • Appointing a royal commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the Canadian tax system guided by the principles of tax competitiveness, simplicity and fairness.
  • Adjusting the tax mix to better promote business investment, including offshore investment and economic growth.
  • Presenting a concrete plan, with timelines, to return the federal books to balance.

2. Regulation

A regulatory system that works for everyone…including business.

  • Giving regulators economic growth and competitiveness mandates.
  • Implementing a 2-for-1 rule to require the elimination of two regulations for every new one introduced over the next five years.
  • Creating a Minister of Regulatory Efficiency responsible for regulatory oversight at the Treasury Board to lead an ambitious federal regulatory reform agenda.
  • Providing compensation to major project proponents and Indigenous communities that lose economic opportunities when projects cannot proceed because the Crown or its agencies fail to discharge their legal responsibilities.
  • Allowing First Nations to extricate themselves from aspects of the Indian Act via a Band Council resolution and the support of a clear majority of band member.

3. Trade

Access to new markets around the world and the elimination of trade barriers at home.

  • Completing negotiations with Mercosur and Pacific Alliance in the Latin American region.
  • Accelerating the process for additional countries to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  • Launching negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • Tackling foreign industrial subsidies so Canadian companies can compete on a level playing field at home and abroad. Protecting and expanding trade opportunities with the United Kingdom after its departure from the European Union.
  • Enhancing labour mobility and increasing the scope of mutual recognition of professional qualifications at home and abroad.
  • Promoting trade facilitation measures to ease the movement of goods across the border.
  • Developing a Canadian position in support of cross-border data flows in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
  • Tackling non-tariff barriers, particularly in the agriculture sector.
  • Developing concrete plans with clear timelines for creating the necessary infrastructure to get Canadian energy products to global markets.
  • Working with the provincial and territorial governments on the mutual recognition of regulations, rules and policies to allow for the free movement of labour, goods and services in Canada
  • Conducting a full review of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) to ensure it:
    • Covers all sectors of the economy and includes all government entities, including ministries, Crown corporations and regional and local governments
    • ​Institutes a dispute resolution mechanism that includes binding and enforceable powers.
    • Includes a specific focus on the removal of barriers to interprovincial trade in wine, beer and spirits.
    • ​​Includes the elimination of non-tariff regulatory trade barriers through mutual recognition.

4. Small Business

Resources to help small and medium companies grow and succeed.

  • Providing sector-by-sector analyses of free trade agreements (rather than agreement-by-agreement) and communicating them widely.
  • Providing high-potential SMEs with access to experts to help them navigate the relevant markets.
  • Ensuring federal programs and interactions with business align with and respect small business realities.
  • Conducting an independent service delivery audit of the Canada Revenue Agency, targeted at identifying and eliminating the compliance, audit and communication problems small businesses face in dealing with the agency. 

5. Connected Canada

Innovation and infrastructure to make Canada the most connected country in the world.

  • Embracing a more nimble, flexible and evidence-based approach to regulating new technologies in the digital age.
  • Recognizing the need to promote and strengthen Canada’s ability to capitalize on intangibles, like intellectual property.
  • Working with businesses to create an environment that is attractive to investors and innovators both from abroad and at home.
  • Improving access to high-speed networks in underserved communities.
  • Prioritizing the auction of the 3,500-megahertz spectrum so Canadians can take advantage of 5G networks.
  • Accelerating the pace of mmWave spectrum allocation so businesses can use the power of the internet of things (IoT) for logistics and other industrial purposes.
  • ​Enhancing the digitalization of government, including more user-focused services that reduce administrative burdens on business.
  • Closing the gap between infrastructure demand and investment in Canada by maintaining current levels of federal infrastructure funding and making economic growth and productivity, not politics, the criteria for project selection.
  • ​Allocating a greater share of funding in federal infrastructure plans towards trade-enabling infrastructure projects throughout Canada.

6. Skills

A workforce with the skills, education and training to prosper.

  • Working with business to ensure government re-training programs meet the demand for skills required for the economies of today and tomorrow.
  • Working with business and other levels of government to ensure primary and secondary education includes the skills necessary for our evolving economy, including the soft and hard skills required to thrive in a world of increased automation and globalization.
  • Supporting private sector upskilling/re-skilling initiatives.
  • Expanding work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities by:
    • Broadening the definition of WIL to include a wide range of experiences across fields, regions and participants.
    • ​Providing more accessible funding supports, such as refundable tax credits, employment insurance premium reductions and more flexible grant programs, to SMEs and organizations that have not previously offered work placements
  • Replicating the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project outside of major urban centres across the country.
  • Ensuring the Indigenous workforce has the skills required to meet local labour shortages.

7. Pharmacare

A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians.

  • Building on the strengths of the existing system without reducing or replacing the coverage already enjoyed by most Canadians.
  • Consulting with private sector stakeholders (including benefits providers, pharmaceutical companies and health care practitioners) when designing and implementing a national program to prevent unintended consequences, such as loss of access to medicines.
  • Ensuring the costs of any new program are not passed on to businesses/employers.
  • Ensuring any new program addresses coverage for rare diseases and other high-cost medications.
  • Fostering an investment and regulatory environment that encourages clinical trials in Canada by applying our competitive advantages in artificial intelligence and big data to health innovation.
  • Ensuring our businesses have continued access to health data to improve health outcomes as well as government funding that goes beyond early science for both medications and devices.

Learn more about the Prosperity Platform