Canada and Ontario's pension landscape may be undergoing dramatic change. We are soliciting business input on the two big proposals currently under consideration - enhancing the Canadian Pension Plan and the introduction of Pool Registered Pension Plans.

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Certified General Accountants of Ontario (CGA Ontario), will be hosting a breakfast roundtable with key employers to solicit their opinions on the potential parameters of a renewed pension framework on Thursday, January 30, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce Boardroom at 44 Richmond St. W. Suite 100, Oshawa.

The information collected at these roundtables will be used to develop a public facing paper to the Governments of Ontario and Canada, which outlines business opinion in Ontario. We expect this report to draw considerable attention from media and decision makers. To register for this event, please visit web.oshawachamber.com/events or contact the office at 905-728-1683 for more details.

In its 2014-2015 Economic Outlook, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce observes that although Canada continues to recover from the recession better than other countries, the pace of growth has been slower than hoped. Consumer spending and housing activity are proving more resilient than expected, while the slow pace of global growth and ongoing competitiveness challenges have reduced demand for our exports and weighed on manufacturing production. Businesses also remain cautious when it comes to hiring and investing.

Against this backdrop, Canada’s economy is on track to expand by 1.7 per cent in 2013, matching the previous year’s sluggish pace. The economy is projected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2014 and strengthen moderately to 2.5 per cent in 2015.

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2013 was once again extremely busy for the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, with close to 2,500 business people attending over 80 events and meetings throughout the year. An army of close to 100 volunteers organized events, researched and discussed issues affecting the business community. The events ranged in size from 25 at a Lunch & Learn to over 220 at our Business Excellence Awards.

Networking kicked off in January with a “You Are The Speaker” Lunch & Learn, a luncheon at Fazio’s Restaurant highlighting Women in Business with guest speaker Tina Desi of T & E. Healthpros and the Annual Regional Chair Luncheon hosted by Roy Nichols Motors and Collins Barrow Durham LLP at the Oshawa Golf Club.

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Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is a long way off from winning the confidence of Ontario business, according to a new report released in December 2013 from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). The report, Are We There Yet? An Employer Perspective on WSIB Reform, examines the progress the WSIB has made in fulfilling its 2012 commitments to modernize its funding, operational, and governance structures. The report finds that the WSIB has made progress in reducing its massive unfunded liability by 6 percent, from $14.1 billion in 2012 to $13.2 billion in Q2 2013. It warns, however, that the WSIB must follow-through on its plan to eliminate the unfunded liability and reach a 100 percent funding ratio by 2027.

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As we start a new year, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped to shape our year in a most significant way. We value our relationship with our members and look forward to working with you in 2014. We wish you a very happy holiday season and a new year filled with peace and prosperity.