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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid to speak in Niagara

On March 29th, at the White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa, the Honourable Brad Duguid, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, will address Niagara’s leaders in business, government, and non-profits.

At his keynote address, sponsored by the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, the Niagara Immigrant Connections Initiative, and Brock University, he will speak on the Business Growth Initiative outlined in the 2016 Ontario budget and other topics of importance to Niagara.

The Initiative is the Government of Ontario’s framework that will support and nurture Ontario businesses.

Among other things, it includes improvements to Ontario’s tax competitiveness by cutting taxes on business, reducing red tape and unnecessary regulatory burdens that will save businesses $100 million by the end of 2017, and investing more in entrepreneurs and in research and innovation.

After Minister Duguid’s keynote, he will take questions about this key initiative and other important topics from the audience.

Also speaking at this exclusive event will be Corinna Carson, Interim Executive Director of the Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB).

Continuing Minister Duguid’s theme of supporting and nurturing business, Ms. Carson will speak on NWPB’s role as a provider of labour market information to the business community, as a service provided by the Government of Ontario through funding from the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and others.

The luncheon is co-sponsored by the Niagara Immigrant Connections Initiative (NICI). NICI connects recent immigrants with mentors in Niagara, who generously donate their time, under the guidance of NICI, to help recent Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs) find their feet (and work).

Their program has helped more than five hundred ITPs land jobs in their fields, and many employers find skilled people to fill their vacancies.

Blake Landry, Senior Business Analyst for Innovate Niagara, mentored Yemi Okuwa through the mentorship program. With the collective support of Blake, YMCA Newcomer Services, and NICI, Okuwa was recently hired as a Business Analyst at Brock University.

This example shows how the NICI program benefits newcomers, who can assimilate into Canadian society and find rewarding work; employers, who make connections with skilled job-seekers; and the mentors themselves.

Landry said, “NICI has helped me develop my coaching and mentorship skills that I continue to apply in my career with my business clients.  Furthermore, I have developed lasting friendships with mentees and have witnessed them grow into valuable, contributing members of the socioeconomic fabric of Canada.”

After Minister Duguid’s keynote, NICI will honour several of those who have contributed to the success of the program in its sixth year of delivery. Minister Duguid will present those so recognized with awards to thank them for their service.

Interested parties can contact the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce by phone at 905-684-2361 or email at for tickets.


“With programs like our Business Growth Initiative, this government is aggressively working to create the conditions needed to ensure Ontario businesses thrive and Ontarian workers can enjoy success. I’m thrilled to have the chance to speak directly to the people of Niagara about how this initiative can bolster the region’s economy and workforce.”

 – The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

“This is an amazing opportunity for Niagara businesses to hear first-hand about the Government of Ontario’s plans to help them to succeed, and to have their own questions answered. The follow-up from the Niagara Workforce Planning Board on labour force information makes this a must-attend event for any business in Niagara planning for its future success.”

– Mishka Balsom, President & CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

“Labour market information and integration, and those who work diligently to support the labour force and business, are an integral component of economic development in our region. We hope that this event will make business leaders more aware of the help and services available to them from the Government of Ontario.”

 – Corinna Carson, Interim Executive Director, Niagara Workforce Planning Board

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the champion for the Niagara business community. With over 1,500 members representing more than 45,000 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 more information and interviews please contact:
Mishka Balsom
CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
905-684-2361 ext. 227 or

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