Emissions Reduction Alberta Names New Chair

David Collyer is the new board chair of Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), effective October 1, 2018. Mr. Collyer brings nearly 40 years of experience to the table. He has served as president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, president and country chair for Shell in Canada, and co-chair of the Oil Sands Advisory Group. ERA works with government, industry and the innovation community to advance solutions to reduce emissions.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Responds to Federal Court of Appeal Trans Mountain Decision

Statement by Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty regarding the Federal Court of Appeal's decision regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project: "Both the government and the private sector will need to study the Federal Court of Appeal's reasoning and the options that exist to prevent further delays. However, it is clear even at this early stage that today's decision delivers a serious blow to the Indigenous communities that are counting on this project to create jobs and economic prosperity and to Canada's economy as a whole. It sends a profoundly negative message to investors both here at home and around the world about Canada's regulatory system and our ability to get things done even after the federal government has declared them to be in the national interest. Read More

FarmCash Advance Launches September 1st

The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) have announced another competitive option for Alberta's crop, livestock and honey producers to help manage cash flow throughout the year. Beginning September 1, 2018, AWC will provide cash advances through FarmCash under AAFC's federal Advance Payments Program (APP). APP is a federal loan guarantee program which provides agricultural producers with easy access to low-interest cash advances up to $400,000 per program year based on the value of their agricultural product, with the Government of Canada paying the interest on the first $100,000 advanced to a producer and the remaining $300 thousand at a low interest rate. Read More

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Alto Awards

You've worked hard all year long. You've created unique and unforgettable tourism events or experiences, and crafted marketing campaigns to showcase the best of what Alberta has to offer. Now it's time for you to celebrate and shout your story from the rooftops. Applications are open for the 18th Annual Alto Awards and there are some exciting changes to the program for 2018. This year there will be 10 categories of awards to apply for and the winners will be announced at the Alto Awards Gala on October 22, 2018. To see all Alto categories and application forms visit the Travel Alberta Industry Website. Nominations must be received no later that 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 7, 2018.

Business Beat: Whole Plant Harvest of Industrial Hemp

On Aug. 10, 2018 Health Canada announced revisions to Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that will allow industrial hemp farmers to collect and store industrial hemp flower, bud and leaf material. As harvest nears, producers are in a position to capture the full value of this season's industrial hemp crop by adapting equipment, devising new processes, and working with buyers to meet quality standards. Following implementation of the Cannabis Act on Oct. 17, 2018, this economically valuable material can then be sold for commercial use and research activity. Read More

New Member: Bumbleboo

Bumbleboo is a place where you can get all the things you need for your new baby or young child right here in Medicine Hat.

Lower Credit Card Fees A Win for the Small Business and the Chamber Network

Three major credit card companies have agreed to charge Canadian small businesses lower processing fees when accepting cards. Visa, Mastercard and American Express all made commitments to make credit-card acceptance fairer. Visa and Mastercard will reduce domestic consumer interchange fees to an annual average effective rate of 1.40% for a period of five years, narrow the range of interchange rates charged to businesses and require annual verification by an independent third party. The commitment by American Express was less clear as they have a different business model but it could still be considered a step in the right direction. 

As our partner in electronic payment processing, First Data fully supports initiatives to lower interchange and believes it is in the best interest of all parties involved in the Canadian payments ecosystem. In relation to CFIB rates that the CFIB had negotiated with MasterCard, their rate remains unchanged. If you want to find out more, our First Data Rep Mohamed Ali-Kessentini can be of assistance. 

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce worked collaboratively with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on this policy, which was brought forward to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The resolution that was passed called for greater transparency, disclosure and flexibility, so that small business customers could have a clearer understanding when they become merchants with one of the major credit card companies. While not all the recommendations that delegates were calling for at the 2016 AGM were addressed, we are pleased that that the chamber network was able to influence the federal government to alleviate some of the costs that small business bear while operating in Canada.

See the federal government press release here

Business Beat: Aligning New Business Offerings With Emerging Industry Trends

As an economy changes so must aspiring entrepreneurs if they want to keep up. Growing and sustainable economies happen best when entrepreneurs and communities embrace global trends that work with local attributes and natural resources. The recent attraction of a number of emerging industry companies to the Medicine Hat region are proof that this phenomena can work. Over the last 12 months, three key emerging industries have hit the Medicine Hat marketplace: Cryptocurrency mining, cannabis production and renewable energy development, and all have begun to transform the economy and the workforce in positive ways. Read More

Nominations Open for Minister's Awards of Excellence in Child Development

Child development professionals can have their work recognized by nominating them for the Minister's Awards of Excellence in Child Development. The awards recognize exemplary professionals for their commitment to quality care and outstanding contributions in child development. Child development professionals, teams or programs can be nominated. Nominations will be accepted for work in daycare programs, out-of-school care programs, family day home agencies/approved day home providers, preschool programs, early childhood services programs or Parent Link Centres licensed or approved by the province. The nomination period is open until September 24 at 4 p.m.

Nine awards will be handed out in three categories - individuals, teams and programs - in a ceremony at the end of November. Award recipients must demonstrate excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • innovative programming
  • inclusive practices
  • collaborative partnerships
  • leadership
  • promising practices
  • family/parent support
  • community building
  • continuous improvement

More information can be found on the Children's Services website.

New Member: Sanatec Environmental

Sanatec Environmental is a locally owned and operated sewer/septic service company supplying vacuum truck services, portable toilets rentals and municipal sewer cleaning and video inspection.