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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

GNCC advocates for lower electricity rates at OCC’s advocacy day meeting with Ministry of Energy officials

Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) along with a delegation of representatives from over 90 chambers of commerce and boards of trade participated in the annual Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park. Chamber/board leaders from Niagara had the opportunity to meet with Premier Kathleen Wynne, senior government officials and MPPs from across the province. This allowed for the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce to discuss local issues of importance with Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid, Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault, and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Small Business Jeff Leal, as well as MPP Victor Fedeli, Progressive Conservative Finance Critic, and MPP Catherine Fife, NDP Economic Development, Employment, Research and Innovation Critic. Specifically, the GNCC discussed electricity rates in Ontario and the impact that they are having on the local economy in Niagara.

During the meeting, Hugo Chesshire, Policy & Government Relations Manager of the GNCC discussed the impacts that rising electricity prices were having on local businesses and the provincial economy. In a discussion with Tim Christie, Director of Energy Policy, Economics, and System Planning and Daniel Cayley, Manager of Electricity Policy and Economics at the Ministry of Energy, along with other Chamber leaders, Mr. Chesshire spoke about policy options for reducing the cost of energy for Ontario businesses, including the FiT contracts and a comprehensive economic analysis of time-of-use billing.

“In addition to convening business leaders from across Ontario and advancing the province’s business priorities, Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park was an excellent opportunity for chamber leaders and local representatives to educate government officials while trying to obtain policy commitments from senior officials and locally elected representatives,” said Mr. Chesshire. “It was an opportunity for the Chamber Network to work with government decision makers on issues that matter most to Ontario’s business community.”

The day concluded with a reception at Queen’s Park, which gave representatives an opportunity to interact with their local MPPs in a more informal setting and allowed for further conversation regarding issues of concern to Ontario business.

“Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park highlights the collective strength of the Chamber Network,” said Graham Henderson, Chair of the OCC Board of Directors. “We know the Chamber Network can and has created positive change at Queen’s Park, and we are eager to see how the provincial government will react to the economic challenges that were discussed here today.”
The OCC’s Advocacy Day is one of the many ways that the Chamber Network engages in influential advocacy work. Through the strength of the Network’s powerful voice, the Chamber Network has seen tangible results including: the implementation of a provincial Red Tape Reduction Strategy, establishing greater transparency and lower costs in energy pricing, enhancing Ontario’s agri-food sector and helping close Ontario’s tourism gap. These exciting initiatives are all a result of the OCC’s and the GNCC’s ongoing government engagement. By working together with businesses and community leaders across the province, the Chamber Network and the GNCC are addressing the unique challenges faced by Ontario’s diverse economy.

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Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the champion for the Niagara business community. With over 1,600 members representing 50,000 employees, it is the largest business organization in Niagara and the third largest Chamber in Ontario. The Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada has recognized the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce with its highest level of distinction.


For further information, contact:
Mishka Balsom
President & CEO
Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
905-684-2361 ext. 227 or mishka@gncc.ca