News We're Following - June 30, 2016

WCB Feedback Deadline July 15, 2016

The Government is seeking your opinions and experiences with the workers’ compensation system and is inviting you to provide your thoughts in an online questionnaire or by written submission through this website by July 15, 2016.

Whether you’re a worker, from large industry or a small or medium-sized business, a safety and industry association, or an Albertan who has an interest in the WCB system, the Government is asking for your input and participation.

Following the questionnaire and submissions, the Government will continue to work together with Albertans throughout the fall and winter to dig a little deeper into the issues identified. If you haven’t done so, please sign-up for updates so you can get the latest progress updates. 

Member 2 Member Discount: The Boarding House

Lost your favorite shades?! Show your Chamber Membership card at The Boarding House and get 15% off a new pair of sunglasses!

5 Minutes for Business: Fail Britannia! What the U.K. Exit Vote Means for Business

In this edition of 5 Minutes for Business, Hendrik Brakel, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Director, Economic, Financial and Tax Policy, looks at the Brexit vote results, their impact on the economy and what Canada needs to do now. The polls were wrong; the government was wrong and even the bookies were wrong, and now the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union. The hardest question in all of this is “Why?” Is it partly a protest vote, a symptom of frustration with politicians, globalization and declining family incomes? Regardless the reason, this decision caused the pound to fall to its lowest level in 30 years, and global markets lost $2.1 trillion. So what does this mean for Canada and what should we do now?

Read 5 Minutes for Business to find out.

Chamber Trade Shows...Get In On the Action!

Each year the Chamber invests time and resources into creating quality trade shows for our community, and we are proud to host not only the longest-running, but the largest home, garden and leisure trade shows in Medicine Hat. With thousands of consumers visiting the shows over the course of three days these trade shows give an incredible opportunity to gain exposure for your business, demonstrate and sell products, and showcase your services.

We are now taking bookings for both the 2016 Great West Home & Leisure Show and the 2017 Sunshine Home & Garden Show! We were a SOLD OUT show for Spring 2016 and anticipate the same response for our next show…the response has been exception so far so don't be disappointed and book early!

Booths start at just $575+gst! As an added bonus, Chamber members receive 10% off the price of trade show booths! Contact us today to book your booth space or visit the Trade Show page of our website for show details and exhibitor applications.

Member News: United Way of SE AB Campaign Awards & Volunteer Recognition

The United Way held there annual awards night at the Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club.  This event was sponsored by CF Industries.  This event gives the United Way a chance to celebrate Workplaces, Employees and Volunteers that work so hard to raise money for our Community.  Master of ceremonies was our Honorary Campaign Chair Jim Duce.  The winners…. Chairman’s Cup is awarded to the workplace that raised the most money for the 2015 campaign. CF Industries Employee giving including the corporate match $94,796.00 Community Builder Guild presented to the Newest Workplace Campaign. Methanex and the Employees raised $49,439.76 there first Campaign.Chairman’s Choice Award largest increase in employee giving from one year to the next. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)Leading the Way presented to the Employee’s with a payroll campaign with the highest participation in leadership giving, CF Industries. Community Spirit Awards this award recognizes businesses in our community that support the United Way in all sorts of different and creative ways.The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, EnerPlus, Primaris Medicine Hat Mall. The United Way Community Volunteer Award of Excellence This award recognizes individuals in our community who are making a difference in their own special way.  These individuals volunteer tirelessly to make our community great: Jeremy Silver Spirit of Christmas Feast, Jim Duce Honorary Campaign Chair, Laurie Kallenberger Board Member 10 years, Victoria Lodon Servus Credit Union CFL Alumni Golf Tournament Chair, and Kristen Jacober and Anika Falkeisen Community Volunteers United Way.The United Way of South Eastern Alberta would not be possible without our Workplace Campaigns, donors  and the many volunteer that assist us through-out the year.  We would like to say thank you to all of Medicine Hat and the surrounding community.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: The Infrastructure that Matters Most

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) released a report today, June 28th, titled ‘the Infrastructure that Matters Most’, which was produced in cooperation with the Canada West Foundation. In this report five recommendations are made to the federal government to: 
  1. Make trade infrastructure an equal priority in the $120-billion Federal Infrastructure Plan
  2. Make trade infrastructure investment decisions using merit-based criteria
  3. Renew the federal commitment to Canada’s trade corridors
  4. Partner with industry to develop a national trade infrastructure committee
  5. Consider the proposed federal infrastructure bank to enhance trade infrastructure investment
For our export-based economy, trade-enabling infrastructure is the category of infrastructure that has the strongest connection to our long-term global competitiveness and economic well-being. Canada is in the process of finalizing key trade agreements with Europe and with countries in Asia. For these trade agreements to be most beneficial for Canada, we have to be able to take full advantage of them, and that means getting our goods and services to market by land, air and sea using the best infrastructure possible. Read The Infrastructure that Matters Most

News We're Following - June 28, 2016

New Tool: Alberta Regional Dashboard Launched

In 2014, the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce was pleased to participate in a consultation regarding the potential for a new regional economic dashboard tool. Two years later we’re pleased to report the new tool has now launched. The Regional Dashboard is a home for data for all of Alberta’s 400+ legal municipalities across 80+ economic, socio-demographic, and environmental datasets. The dashboard provides the ability to view all available data for each municipality at a glance, enabling users to custom build their own regions out of multiple municipalities, look at comparisons and use filters to find municipalities that match specific criteria. The new Regional Dashboard can be accessed online at the following link:

Policy Alert: Proposed Changes to the Canada Pension Plan

On June 20th the provincial and federal governments announced they had agreed on changes to the Canada Pension Plan. Although details aren’t available yet – especially how much employers will have to carve out of everyone’s paycheque - it’s clear the increases will be substantial; an additional 2% shared equally between employees and employers (on top of the current 9.9%) phased in over five years beginning in 2019. As you know, the membership of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) anticipated this issue and passed a resolution in October 2015 urging the federal government to make enhancements voluntary without imposing new costs to employers. The CCC also sent subsequent correspondence to the Minister of Finance. Through this debate, we have consistently warned governments that increasing employers' costs will work against various stimulus measures. We have also argued that highly targeted measures were needed to protect only the population actually at risk and not affect all working Canadians. The agreement announced doesn’t seem to consider either of these points. The federal government has launched dozens of consultations in recent months. Chambers are asking the government to consult all Canadians on this significant change before governments proceed. See more:
CCC press release
Interview with Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

We are eager to hear from you about this very important program and the changes that are proposed. If you have insight or concerns that you would like to share with us, please email [email protected]