News We're Following - January 30, 2013

Policy Alert - Potential impact of Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL) and suggested actions

The Canadian Chamber is very concerned about new “anti-spam” rules the federal government announced two weeks ago. Canadian anti-spam legislation and the corresponding regulations have taken a “ban-all” approach to regulating commercial electronic messages (CEMs).

All emails, SMS texts, social media sent in a commercial context are captured. The legislation will obligate the sender to obtain consent from the receiver prior to sending a CEM. That consent may not be obtained by sending a CEM. The definitions for consent are quite specific and are more demanding than existing privacy legislation.

The legislation also requires an opt-out mechanism in all CEMs which must be backstopped with a database with the details of all business/personal relationships and removals of consent.

The administrative penalties for non-compliance are excessive. The rules would also provide powers for private parties to sue under the legislation.

Where is this now?
After passing legislation, the government drafts regulations to enforce it. The law usually doesn’t come into effect until the regulations are approved by Cabinet. Before that happens, regulations are published in the Canada Gazette and interested parties can comment on them. That’s where these rules are now. They were published in the Canada Gazette on January 5 for a 30-day comment period. The law could come into effect sometime toward the end of 2013.

What this means for Canadian business?
The broad scope of CASL means that it will impact every single business, association, club, charitable organization and foundation that conducts activities in Canada. Without significant modifications and exceptions, this legislation will impede commercial speech, an essential ingredient of market competitiveness and lead to reduced competition and higher prices.

Member News - Creating Excellence Together Accreditation Achieved by CORE Assocation

About 100 members of CORE Association, including staff and community representatives, celebrated the agency’s achievement of the highest accreditation possible from the Alberta Council of Disability Services on January 22. 

ACDS accreditation and standards manager Clova Lehr praised the organization for its dedication to serving people with developmental disabilities and presented CORE executive director Rita Bessant with Creating Excellence Together certificates for Levels 1 and 2 Accreditation and Complex Behaviour Supports.  The designation covers community services, employment services, overnight staffed residences, support homes, supported independent living, outreach and respite homes.

The three-year accreditation was awarded after intense examination and assessment of the agency’s services by a team from ACDS last fall.  Obtaining Level 2 accreditation, the highest level, is a first for CORE. 

Policy Milestone!

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce passed a policy entitled Medicine Hat Air Service in October 2012, which can be viewed here. Through meetings and correspondence with Air Canada representatives, the Chamber has been advocating on your behalf for more competitive air service in our area and has recently been told “Air Canada has spoken to Pricing and Revenue Management specifically about the pricing structure from Medicine Hat to Calgary and Edmonton.  They have reviewed the core fare structures and will be making some adjustments that will result in lower entry level fares, and are reviewing the rest of the structure as well for other potential changes”. The Chamber will continue to advocate on behalf of our business community for better air service in Medicine Hat in accordance with our policy.

Just another example of your local Chamber of Commerce working for you!

News We're Following: January 25, 2013

Participate in the Federal Pre-Budget Consultation Process

In order to ensure that all Canadians can participate in the pre-budget consultation process, the federal government has
launched online consultations through the Department of Finance Canada Web site. Those interested in participating can find more information at or you may submit your recommendations directly via the online questionnaire at:

Read the Full News Story online here

Medicine Hat Chamber Receives Accolades in Ontario Newspaper

On January 11th the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce received accolades in the Oshawa/Durham Central Newspaper in an article written by Columnist, John Mutton. 

The article stems from a meeting Mr. Mutton had with Chamber Executive Director, Lisa Kowalchuk and speaks very highly of the Medicine Hat Chamber, its role in our community through the promotion of business and the monitoring of municipal, provincial and federal government legislation and initiatives. The final paragraph in the article reads, “Communities in the Greater Toronto Area would be well advised to take a long hard look at the Medicine Hat Chamber of Commerce; they have a business development model and a passion that makes them the best practice that I have seen across our country.”

Jason Melhoff, President of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce commented, “It’s always very rewarding to get recognized for a job well done.  The Board of Directors and Staff at the Chamber are very passionate about their community and the work they do, so to be viewed at as a model for other communities across the country is gratifying to say the least.”

The complete article can be viewed at or

Member News - Top Honours for Budget Blinds

Recently, at the 2013 Budget Blinds Convention in Las Vegas, Budget Blinds Medicine Hat was named the #1 franchise in Canada, and #2 nationally. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!

New Member - PHF Steel & Recycling

PHF began as a one-man hide and fur operation in Spokane, WA in the 1880’s. During WW1, this small company expanded beyond hides and furs into collecting ferrous and nonferrous scrap, which eventually led the company to branch out into new steel products in the 1950’s. Since then the company, with its headquarters in Great Falls, MT, has 47 additional branches under the Pacific Steel & Recycling name.  The PHF branch in Medicine Hat is the company’s first (& only) in Canada.

Our mission at PHF is driven by the desire to develop long-term, successful relationships with our customers, vendors, employees, and communities, treating each as a vital business partner.

PHF is a full-service recycling facility accepting all ferrous (cars, appliances, farm equipment) and non-ferrous material (copper, brass, aluminum).  To best serve customers we offer fully-paved drive through recycling and extended hours on Saturdays (May-Sept).  We also offer an after-hours drop off area.

We strive to offer superior customer service, maintain a safe, organized, and user friendly work place, uphold the highest levels of integrity and ethical behavior and show genuine interest in the Medicine Hat community and contribute to its advancement.

Member News - Registration Now Open For The 9th Annual Chinook Entrepreneurship Challenge

Registration for the 9th annual Chinook Entrepreneurship Challenge is now open! The Challenge involves FREE training to local entrepreneurs on how to write their business plan and get their business started. This training is followed by a competition where competitors can enter to win a share of the over $75,000 in cash and in kind prizes.  For additional information please visit the website at