January is off to a roaring start and we’ve got a full plate of issues and activities on the go this month.

Employment Standards Act Changes

With the arrival of 2018, employers across Ontario are now implementing legislative changes to minimum wage (increased from $11.60 to $14), shift length and refusal rules, vacation and leave entitlement, as well as equal pay and expanded record keeping requirements.  The impacts of these changes on the local economy will become more evident over the coming months as employers evaluate the additional costs of the transition to their business and make adjustments to staffing, pricing and operations accordingly.  Check out our Bill 148 Issue Page for resources to help your business navigate these choppy waters.

Election Time is Here Again

In 2018, Ontario will decide on who will govern the Province for the coming 4 years.  Before the Ontario legislature shuts down for the official election period, this Government will have one more Provincial Budget.  As such, January will be a time for both the Minister of Finance and the All-Party Finance Committee to consult with taxpayers about the budget content.  Our Chamber will be participating in the consultation process on your behalf with a focus on local concerns around natural resources, cost control and competitiveness.

Municipal Budget

Due to changes in budget review scheduling by City Council, the 2018 proposed City Budget was released on January 2nd and will be dissected, debated and discussed throughout the month with the final approval expected on February 5th.   Our Chamber met with City Administration to express our views during the budget preparation and we will now begin our dialogue with City Council on this important document.  Our message will continue to focus on our members concerns regarding cost increases and operational efficiencies.

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