Changes to WCB and OHS Will Affect Employers

The Alberta Government has introduced Bill 30 An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans for First Reading. Bill 30 makes significant changes to the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards, which will result in new costs and administrative burdens for employers. The Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) has recommended that the Alberta Government send Bill 30 to a committee for further review and analysis following First and Second Reading. Taking this step will help identify how employers and employees can best adjust to changes introduced with the new legislation, which are intended to prevent illness and injury in the workplace. Read More

News We're Following for the Week of November 27 - December 1, 2017

Value Added Benefit: Rock 105.3 Members Only Offer

Your business will be included in 21 x 30 second commercial messages during the week in the Reach Plan Rotation. Total value of this airtime is $861; Chamber members receive this airtime for only $299!

Business Beat: Time is Running Out on Changes to Employment Standards

There has been a whirlwind of public policy consultations throughout 2017 (albeit often short) and subsequent legislation changes that impact regulations for all employers. Many may not even be aware of the changes coming. However it is critically important to become knowledgeable about these types of changes in order to avoid any potential penalties that may result. One of the changes coming is related to Employment Standards and the Labour Relations Code. Bill 17: The Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act was first introduced on May 24, 2017 and received Royal Assent on June 7, 2017. Unfortunately, we have been waiting ever since that time for the corresponding detailed regulations to help assist businesses understand these changes. The bill impacts everything from leaves and leave eligibility to the use of compressed work weeks. It prohibits certain deductions from wages and changes the rules around overtime, general holidays, vacation, termination and youth employment. There are also many additional details to a number of existing laws - too numerous to mention in just a few 100 words. Read More

Alternative Lending Solutions

One of the most challenging aspects to business is time and trying to find any extra time in your day to find out about, learn and understand all the resources and information available to business. As a member of the Chamber, the advantage for you is that you have your local Chamber of Commerce scouting out information and resources to make sure we are providing updates, opportunities and advice to you. One of those opportunities was on Monday, November 27. We had the opportunity to participate in a recent session about Alternative Lending Solutions hosted by ATB Financial and we think this is something our business community or aspiring business owners definitely need to know about! Read More

Business Beat: Wins for the Region are Wins for Local Entrepreneurs

Regional partnerships with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation received a boost last week from the province’s Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program. Medicine Hat, Brooks, Oyen and Foremost will all receive funding to help build on their economic strengths. Medicine Hat College is involved with two of these projects, one in Medicine Hat and one in Brooks. In Medicine Hat, MHC is the lead on a renewable energy microgrid that will provide a space for clean tech entrepreneurs to develop and test their products. Specifically, the CARES funding will create an adaptable solar canopy with electric vehicle charging capabilities. The canopy will be approximately 100kw in scope. But, energy is not the only goal of the project. This system will be designed with flexibility in mind to accommodate a variety of different types of solar panels, inverters and monitoring systems to test different solar technologies. Read More

New Member: MPE Engineering Ltd.

MPE Engineering Ltd. is an employee-owned, professional engineering consulting firm established in 1983. MPE offers a full-service multi-disciplinary engineering team.

Canadian Chamber Update on Interprovincial Trade

Interprovincial trade barriers are an issue that the Chamber has fought for a very long time. Time and time again we have urged policy makers to negotiate for freer borders in Canada. Although the signing of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement was a step in the right direction, more work must be done. That is why the Canadian Chamber decided to become an intervener in the upcoming Supreme Court Case, R v Comeau. Mr. Comeau is the New Brunswick retiree who drove to Quebec to purchase some alcohol and on the way home received a ticket from the RCMP for transporting alcohol across the border. He challenged the ticket in court and won. Now that the case has gone up to the Supreme Court, we decided to get involved to make sure that the Chamber’s belief in free trade is heard.   Our lawyers have provided a short summary of the case and our legal argument. The Chamber has been given permission by the Court to present their position on this issue at the hearing in Ottawa on December 6 and 7, 2017.

Canadian Chamber Update on NAFTA

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) recently travelled to Mexico on the margins of the NAFTA Round 5 of negotiations. While in Mexico City, along with other Chamber members on-site, they met with the Chief Trade Negotiator Steve Verheul as well as with business and government stakeholders from all three countries. Representing the Canadian Services Coalition, they also participated in a trilateral roundtable with the Coalition of Services Industries (U.S.) and Mexico’s CANIETI (Mexico’s national chamber for the telecoms and information technology sectors).   This memorandum summarizes the views collected throughout the visit.

New Member: Enmax Distributed Generation

Enmax Distributed Generation is a diverse company that understands what it means to buy and make electricity, to move it across our network of wires to homes and businesses, and to market and sell electricity to our customers in a way that works for them. We deliver long-term value to our Shareholder, The City of Calgary, while continuing to invest and serve communities across Alberta.