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Windsor, April 30, 2024 — The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) brought forward four policy resolutions at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting in Timmins this past weekend. Through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s policy resolution debate process, the WERCC received support from the Ontario Chamber network on all four issues, securing these resolutions in the Ontario Chamber’s 2024-2027 Policy Compendium. The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce led the province with the highest number of resolutions presented at the AGM.

“These policy resolutions are focused on real issues effecting major sectors in our region” said Rakesh Naidu, Chamber President & CEO. “Housing Affordability, Post-Secondary Sustainability, and the Transition to Electric Vehicles are major issues of concern for Windsor-Essex and the future of the local and provincial economies.”

The Chamber’s first resolution, A Circular Approach to Electric Vehicles, focused on creating a circular approach for Electric Vehicle waste. As the burden of waste reduction shifts increasingly to the producer, the Chamber is asking that the province, industry, and post-secondary institutions work together to find ways to reuse EV components at the end of their vehicle use lifespan, and to work towards recycling other components including critical minerals used in EV batteries.

WERCC’s second resolution, Workforce Transitioning to Electric Vehicles is aimed at transitioning our workforce for the shift towards an EV dominated auto market. This resolution asks the government of Ontario to provide loans and grants aimed to help certified technicians get the training to work on EVs as well as to help independent mechanic shops transition factoring in any specialized equipment necessary for the changeover.

The Chamber’s third resolution, aimed at Enhancing Landlord and Tenant Relationships, tackles issues within the Landlord & Tenant Board. Proposed measures include educating tenants and landlords about their rights and responsibilities, implementing vexatious litigant standards to curb delays, and granting enforcement powers to the Board to expedite compensation without resorting to small claims court. These steps aim to alleviate the strain on the system and facilitate smoother restitution for affected parties.

Finally, the WERCC presented a resolution on Strengthening Ontario’s Workforce and Innovation Ecosystem by Supporting a Financially Sustainable Post-Secondary Sector. This resolution calls for immediate increases in operating grants and their indexing going forward, the end of the years-long tuition freeze, and the implementation of the blue panel’s recommendations regarding tuition. These are reasonable and essential steps in making our great post-secondary institutions fiscally sustainable for decades to come.

Additionally, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce worked with their counterpart at the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce to submit an additional resolution supporting post-secondary student success. This resolution was aimed at increasing student housing to accommodate the growing demand for post-secondary education in Ontario, continue to meet the province’s workforce needs, and attract highly skilled talent.

“A key element of the Chamber network is our ability to work together to make our province a better place to do business” exclaimed Naidu. “We appreciate all the help from our colleagues at the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber and the entire network for the support of our resolutions.”

Upon the completion of the compendium, these resolutions will be taken up with appropriate ministries as advocacy issues to help Ontario businesses. For more information on these resolutions, please view the document here.