New M2M Discount: 15% off at the Ramada

Have company coming in for the holidays?  Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce members receive 15% off standard room rates at the Ramada Limited - Medicine Hat when they ask for the Chamber discount, and present a valid Membership card at check-in.

Policy Blog: Bill 6 - Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act

On November 17th the government of Alberta tabled Bill 6, the "Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act." This act, in a nutshell, removes the wording currently found in several pieces of legislation that exempts farms and ranches from a wide range of occupational health and safety, labour relations, and workers compensation related laws. As a result, farms and ranches will have to comply with all aspects of these regulations. A close reading of Bill 6 seems to indicate that farms and ranches will retain a few exemptions, but significantly less than they do currently.

According to the government, the changes are:
- Ensuring farms and ranches are subject to Occupational Health and Safety legislation to prevent farm and ranch incidents that can result in injury or death.
- Providing Workers’ Compensation Board insurance coverage so that workers can continue to support their families if they are injured on the job, and protecting farm and ranch owners against the impact of workplace injuries and illness.
- Including farm and ranches in Employment Standards and Labour Relations legislation.

It is important to note that the first of these changes take effect on January 1st 2016. As of the start of the new year, farm and ranch workers will fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and will also be required to be covered by Worker's Compensation Board coverage. 

Beyond that they are promising changes to the Employment Standards and Labour Relations legislation that will take effect in Spring 2016, and then work out technical OHS rules that will take effect in 2017.

The initial press release on November 17th highlighted a number of town hall consultations that were to take place around the province. Our Chamber of Commerce promptly requested that Medicine Hat be added to the list of town hall locations. We were successful in securing a date for Medicine Hat, however the session quickly filled up. Please continue to view the Farm and Ranch Session webpage in case more seats are made available.

The Medicine Hat & District currently does not have a policy on farm and ranch workers or workplace regulation. We support the concept that all workers have the right to a safe environment, but are concerned that this legislative process appears to be moving much to fast without appropriate consultations with those that will be most affected. As such, we encourage all members who are involved in farming or ranching to contact us with information on how these changes will affect you. Concrete details on the impacts it will have on your business are very valuable for helping us shape our policy. 

- Alberta Government Enhance Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act announcement.
- Legislature official pdf copy of Bill 6.
- Alberta Government's Farm and Ranch Workplace legislation changes site.

News We're Following November 27th, 2015

CTS students preparing for a bright future in a diversified economy - AB Gov - Alberta’s Career and Technology Studies provides students with the skills they need for tomorrow’s workforce. This program provides many courses designed to meet current labour market needs.

Climate Leadership Plan will protect Albertans’ health, environment and economy - AB Gov - Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan accelerates the transition from coal to renewable electricity sources, puts a price on carbon pollution for everyone, and sets emissions limits for the oil sands.

Member News: Weddingstar recognized at Startup Canada Awards

In addition to being selected as the Prairie winner of the StartUp Canada Award for International Trade,  Weddingstar is now also the national recipient in the same category which will be presented at the Startup Canada Awards in Toronto on December 1st.  National winners were selected by the National Adjudication Committee, which includes some of Canada's leading entrepreneurship and industry experts and hundreds of nominations were submitted from across Canada.

Congratulations to the team at Weddingstar!

Member News: Volunteer with Shaw TV

Shaw TV Channel 10 has the volunteer experience opportunity of a lifetime for those interested in finding out more about a career in television.  If you've ever wanted to operate a camera, edit a television clip, produce, direct or even host your own TV show, email Shaw for more information.  No experience is necessary as their professional staff provides expert support and training in using the studio and equipment with flexible options to suit your schedule.  Also, if you have a story or show idea, but don't know where to start, they can help transform your idea into reality.  Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or call (403)488-7077. 

Benefit Highlight: Members Only Prices on Electronic Advertising

Tis the season to promote and market!

As a proud member of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce, Digital Mall is offering 15% off the setup of any digital signage, digital menu board system or promotional screens, with an additional 10% off for Chamber members who are also Condor P.O.S. Solutions Business Clients. Digital Mall Ltd is a forward-thinking digital marketing and inventory display company offering a variety of diverse digital solutions including digital inventory displays and signage, kiosks and digital menu boards.  Call (403) 529-0011 or email Digital Mall for more information. 

New M2M Discount: 20% off at Perfecting You Fashions

Chamber members and chamber member employees receive 20% off regular priced items at Perfecting You Fashions in downtown Medicine Hat. 

Please present your valid membership card in order to redeem this discount.

New Member: Carol’s Creations & Designs

Carol's Creations & Designs was established over 30 years ago when Carol began her custom sewing business in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Carol is a Certified/Accredited Interior Decorator and has a background in Accounting, Business Administration, Banking and Health Care.

Carol is dedicated to designing products to your specifications and assists you in the total look you wish to achieve. She is mobile and will come to your home or business to help you co-ordinate your total décor. This includes: fabric, paint, window coverings, deck shades, furniture and style, whether it be contemporary, modern, or traditional, "Created & Customized For You".

Additional unique products available for purchase include personally designed jewellery, handbags, jackets, and artwork.

As an established home-based business we are able to provide an affordably priced product without compromising quality.  Additionally, Chamber members and their employees receive 20% off custom orders of $200 or more

Policy Blog: Climate Change and Canadian Business

On November 30, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Premiers will meet with the representatives of nearly every nation in the world at the UN climate change conference in Paris. This conference aims to mitigate global climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses produced. Our new Government has stated that Canada’s pledge will be “a floor level” and they want to be more aggressive on climate change.

This commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions brings with it a variety of changes for businesses: Some businesses will see prices rise due to carbon tax and similar measures. Other businesses will profit from the opportunities to provide green products and services. Since the results of the conference are still to be determined, the only sure thing for business is that there will be change.

For more information on the Climate Change Conference in Paris and Canada's current commitments, read more in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce briefing.

You can read the Honourable Catherine McKenna's statement regarding the climate change conference here. Or read the news release of November 10th.

Policy Blog: Off-Site Levies Explained

We would like to extend our thanks to City Council for endorsing the off-site levy assist at the November 16th council meeting. However, we also recognize that there is still much confusion and misinformation in the public about off-site levies, what they are and the costs associated. We wanted to take some time to provide the what, when, where and how of the levy system and the recently adopted assist to help explain our ‘why’ and why we support the assist.

In brief, an off-site levy helps pay for roads and municipal utility systems, such as water, storm and sewer systems, required outside or "off" the site of a particular development or subdivision that will directly or indirectly serve that development. The City charges the off-site levy fee to developers on the issuance of a development permit or plan endorsement. The Off-Site Levy Assist is a process through which the City agrees to assist with part of the off-site infrastructure fees for a development. In Medicine Hat, Council has decided to cover 40% of the Off-Site Levies for most areas of the city in 2016 and 2017, with 30% in 2018, and a 90% assist for priority intensification areas such as Downtown. This measure was adopted to encourage new development in Medicine Hat, and in particular to attract new investment to the city.

Read more about Off-Site Levies and how they work.