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The Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce saw great success and recognition at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Brampton, ON from April 28 – May 1.  Members of the local Chamber were in attendance to participate in policy and advocacy sessions with their peers from across the province.  Two particular sessions are highlighted with details below:

Support for the WERCC’s Policy Resolution

Chambers from across Ontario supported and passed over 30 policy resolutions, setting the framework for the Ontario Chamber Network’s advocacy plan through the next three years.  One of these resolutions, brought forward by the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) will be key to the success of the Windsor-Essex region: Support for the trucking industry.

Through the WERCC’s resolution, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce urges the Ontario Government to implement and adjust licensing requirements for internationally trained truck drivers so that specific training and safety tests allow new truck drivers to fast-track their careers and consider their previous experience, thereby reducing the time and cost to obtain a license.

The resolution also suggests that increasing immigration and bringing internationally trained truck drivers that would amplify the pool of workers available.  The third recommendation of the resolution is to implement financial support to smaller fleet companies so that they can offset high insurance cost, offer competitive wages, cover training, and hire more workers.

“This is a big win for the community and Ontario’s transportation sector. Driver shortage and increased cost of doing business is impacting the industry, which is driving up cost and causing disruptions in the Supply chain.  We’re very happy with the results,” said Rakesh Naidu, President and CEO of the WERCC. “The Windsor-Essex Chamber thanks the Leamington District Chamber of Commerce for offering their support of this resolution, and the entire Ontario Chamber Network for coming together on some of the top issues facing our communities across Ontario,” Naidu continued.

Outstanding Advocacy Award

In addition to a successful policy debate session, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce was also recognized for their outstanding advocacy work with the 2022 Advocacy Excellence Award at the OCC AGM Chair’s Awards Gala. 

The award was given to the WERCC in acknowledgement of their advocacy work during and after  the Ambassador Bridge protest blockade to support businesses, both in Windsor-Essex and across Canada.  The WERCC took a leadership role on behalf of businesses, worked with all levels of government and business associations on both sides of the border to highlight the urgency to end the blockade.  Following the removal of the blockade, the WERCC continued to highlight the level of disruption and advocate for government aid for businesses that were affected by the blockade.