Entries in economy (13)

Wednesday
Mar092016

10 of 50 facts about Peterborough, Ont., Canada 

The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce building, formerly the original C.P.R. train station, will be part of Doors Open Peterborough on May 7, 2016.  

In preparation, President and CEO Stuart Harrison went hunting in the display cases of historical artifacts we have related to the Chamber and the building.  

What he found was rather interesting.  It's a small book produced by the Peterborough Board of Trade, a past incarnation of the Chamber of Commerce, titled "Fifty Facts about Peterborough, Ont., Canada".  

While a publishing date is not on the document, it refers to the pending annexation of Ashburnham, which happened in 1903.  

It's a very telling read of the culture, economy and status of Peterborough around the turn of the 20th century. As such, we thought why not take those fifty statements, starting with the first ten and compare them to the Peterborough of 2016.  

From my own knowledge of Peterborough history, I was not surprised by number one.  

Go #TeamPtbo.

References: Stats Canada website, Peterborough Economic Development website, Shining Waters Railway website, Peterborough Farmer's Market website, PUC website, City of Peterborough website

Thursday
Feb182016

The power of an hour to talk about the Peterborough economy

Words such as collaboration and community were a few of the takeaway phrases from the Chamber’s inaugural Power Hour event last week and the atmosphere encouraged a sense of connection between our elected political leaders and a sense that there was an understanding of the issues facing businesses.  What they are able to action still remains to be seen, but the event was about connections, and these connections and conversations must start somewhere.  

MP for Peterborough-Kawartha Riding and Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef spoke about the importance of jobs and how a job carries so much more meaning to an individual than just paying the bills.  “A job brings with it a sense of dignity,” she told the crowd of 175 people.  She spoke about how Peterborough has so much going for it as a region, with many connections by road, air, and yes, rail.  

MPP for Peterborough Riding and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal detailed the importance of several spokes of Peterborough’s economy – agriculture, water and innovation and how going forward in the future the role these industries play will only grow.  Minister Leal also spoke about the impact of the 407 being completed to the 115 and how that road will start to push growth from the GTA even further east.  The impact of the 407 is also an issue the Chamber has on its radar as we determine how to help businesses prepare. 

Warden for the County of Peterborough J. Murray Jones spoke about how all of us in this region are responsible for building it up and seeing success.  “We’re all in this together,” Warden Jones reiterated.   He went on to speak about the importance of bridges and infrastructure projects that top the list for the County, such as the James A. Gifford Causeway, and how there is a constant struggle to raise the funds needed for infrastructure.

City of Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett told the crowd that the role for government is to provide a framework for business success and that jobs are created by businesses that have a solid framework from which to work. "When our businesses prosper, so too does our community.”   Mayor Bennett detailed a number of projects on the go at the city level from Bethune Street flood mitigation, to the library upgrade, to the new research park at Trent University.

Chamber member Noble Purification also received a number of mentions throughout the night as a shining example of Peterborough success.  

At the end of the prepared speeches, three questions were put to our four elected leaders including:

  1. What is the most pressing issue for businesses in Peterborough?
    Encouraging innovation was the main theme in the answers to this question.  Businesses need to be given the space to be innovative and have a support system that allows for that.
    The Chamber network asked in the “Emerging Stronger” document that the SR&ED tax credit be restored to 20%.  The program was reduced to 15% in 2014.
  2. With billions of infrastructure dollars looking to be spent what do you see as opportunities for Peterborough?
    Minister Monsef spoke about the infrastructure spending program and how it will be rolled out in two phases.  She spoke to the importance of recognizing the water situation on the Curve Lake First Nation and how a clean water system in that community would benefit us all.
    The main message was the importance of infrastructure is well known and the benefit of solid infrastructure to move our goods is paramount to our local economy.  The Warden and Mayor spoke to concerns about the funding model and the difficulty raising the one-third as municipalities must do under the current model. 
  3. How do you see the refugee resettlement benefiting your community?
    There was no doubt that each of our leaders sees the opportunity in welcoming potential new Canadians to our community.  They all expressed that not only does our economy benefit, but the community as a whole.  It came up more than once that Peterborough’s own roots lie in immigration and how we will need immigration to fulfill the needs of our economy.  

The private and public sectors must work hand in hand, collaborate, for a strong economy at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government.  

“All ships float on a rising tide.”   

Thank you to our elected leaders for their words and to our Power Sponsor Cogeco Connexion for taping the event.  Cogeco has provided a few dates the show will be airing:

Sat, Feb 20, 2016 06:30:00

Sun, Feb 21, 2016 12:00:00

Tue, Feb 23, 2016 15:00:00

Tue, Feb 23, 2016 21:00:00

Wed, Feb 24, 2016 12:00:00

Fri, Feb 26, 2016 19:30:00

Sat, Feb 27, 2016 08:00:00

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" LinkedIn group.

Wednesday
Jul222015

Jobs, jobs, jobs: Federal Election 2015

With most of the candidates in place for the Peterborough-Kawartha, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and Northumberland-Peterborough South ridings, it’s time to start breaking down the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) 2015 Federal election platform called “A Canada That Wins”.  

In his presentation at the March Peterborough Chamber Annual General Meeting, Hendrik Brakel Senior Director, Economic, Financial & Tax Policy at the CCC spoke to much of what is in the official platform.  As with the provincial election and to an extent the municipal elections in 2014, jobs are quickly becoming a main focus of this campaign. The following is a segment called “5 Minutes for Business:  The Top 3 Issues in the Federal Election – Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs” penned by Brakel.   

"Jobs are always a top issue in a federal election, but with this shaky economy, it’s fast becoming the number one priority. Opposition parties have made much of the recent bad news: in the first quarter, Canada’s GDP shrank by 0.6%, exports tumbled 5.6% and corporate profits fell by 14% as the drop in oil prices slammed the Canadian economy.

And yet the Canadian labour market has held up well, adding an average of 20,000 jobs per month since the beginning of 2015. In fact, Canada added a rip-roaring 59,000 jobs in May. What gives? Where are these jobs coming from in the midst of economic despair?

Our regional differences are as stark as ever. Energyrich provinces once drove job creation while the manufacturing sector of Central Canada lagged behind. Now lower oil prices and a weaker Loonie have flipped the numbers. Still, the outlook is very mixed.

There are now 25,000 fewer jobs in the Alberta oil patch, but there is good reason to believe that the worst is behind us. Firstly, oil prices have stabilized around the $60 range and are headed slightly higher. The market no longer fears a drop to $20 as Citibank had predicted. Secondly, oil sands projects require huge upfront investments, but once those are made, they can go on producing for years with relatively low costs. And they need to keep operating continuously: most can’t be shut down without damaging the equipment. Thirdly, new investments are on-track with 10 new oil sands projects scheduled to start this year and 7 set for 2016 with total capacity over 300,000 barrels per day, according to Oil Sands Review. These are probably safe because once they’re partially paid for, “you don’t stop a project mid-cap-ex”. Some exploration and drilling activity has been scaled back, but job losses should ease.

In manufacturing, the outlook is much improved and the parties have all pledged support for the sector, which is certainly welcome. The challenge is that manufacturers are increasing production by investing in capital and new technologies: they’re becoming more efficient and more competitive. As a result, we’ll see an impressive resurgence in manufacturing and exports, but it may not translate into big job gains.

The political parties are missing the big picture by focusing so much on jobs in manufacturing and natural resources because together they account for just 11% of the labour force. The overwhelming majority (78%) of Canadian employment is in the service sector and recently it’s been the fastest growing part of our economy.

Services are a poorly understood grab bag of different occupations. It’s sometimes perceived as low-paying because it includes retail and restaurants, but there are also scientists, engineers, lawyers and financiers.

Over the past year, Canada’s fastest job growth is in sectors like business and support services (up 4.5% compared to last year), education (up 4.1%), finance and insurance (up 3.5%) and professional, scientific and technical (up 1.7%), while retail has barely budged (0.3%). And the gains in high-end services employment are spread right across the country.

With the election just around the corner, we would love to hear a politician say: “we need highly specialized skills to compete and succeed in the service economy. That’s why we must invest in Canadian education and training to make it the best in the world.”

Our Peterborough Chamber members and members of the public interested in the economy have the opportunity to make their voices heard at a meeting held by the Peterborough-Kawartha federal liberal candidate, Maryam Monsef.  The meeting is Friday, July 24, 2015 from 8-10am at the Holiday Inn.  Liberal MP Ralph Goodale will also be in attendance.  

Also running in the Peterborough-Kawartha Riding are Mike Skinner for the Conservatives and Dave Nickle for the NDP. In Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock running for MP are Jamie Schmale as the Conservative candidate, David Marquis for the Liberals, Mike Perry for the NDP, and William MacCallum for the Green Party. In Northumberland-Peterborough South Adam Moulton is running for the Conservatives, Kim Rudd for the Liberals, Russ Christianson for the NDP, and Patricia Sinott for the Green Party.

For more election information you can check out the Peterborough Chamber’s 2015 Federal Election Hub on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fedelection2015ptbo

The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce does not endorse any one candidate, but we encourage and support all candidates, which is the reason for the page. The Chamber works with all elected representatives municipal, provincial and federal. 

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn. 

Tuesday
Jun302015

From the Stats Canada desk - June 2015

Each month Statistics Canada issues a number of snapshots of Canada's social and economic picture through "The Daily", the department's official release bulletin.   

Also in June: 

  • The market value of Canadian employer-sponsored pension funds grew by 3.0% to $1.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2014, marking a sixth consecutive quarterly increase.
    On an annual basis, pension fund assets increased by 12.3% in value in 2014, compared with gains of 11.9% in 2013 and 9.7% in 2012.
  • The number of jobs in tourism industries was 1.7 million in 2013. These jobs, which include both employee jobs and jobs from self-employment, represented 9.4% of the 18.0 million jobs in Canada.
  • Lumber production by sawmills increased 13.0% from February to 5, 658.7 thousand cubic metres in March. Compared with March 2014, lumber production rose by 9.2%.
  • Shipments of asphalt shingles reached 3.2 million metric bundles in April, down 29.5% from the previous month. Production of asphalt shingles decreased 6.6% to 3.8 million metric bundles.

Comment through the Peterborough Chamber group of LinkedIn. 

Tuesday
Jun302015

OCC: Beyond the finish line - Toronto Pan Am & Parapan Games

"[The Games] will have a huge impact on Ontario’s economy, generating 250,000 new visitors to the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) and 26,000 new jobs. Yet the scope of the Games extends well beyond its events. If successfully executed, they will bring about long-term and sustainable benefits for the provincial economy and Ontario businesses. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and its members are supportive of the Games and are excited by the opportunities they will bring to Ontario.

In order to secure a positive legacy for Ontario and the GTHA, the Province should continue to work with its partners to lay the groundwork over the coming year. The Province has so far made excellent progress on a number of fronts: it has invested in major infrastructure projects across the GTHA; trade shows are being organized; businesses, including SMEs, have been engaged in the business opportunities presented by the Games. But there is more to be done.

Government cannot bear sole responsibility for the success of the Games. Businesses and all Ontarians need to get excited about their potential and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities they provide." - Allan O'Dette, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce in the 2014 white paper: Beyond the Finish Line: Ensuring a Successful Legacy for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games.

Athletes are starting to arrive and the Games themselves will open on July 7th with the Opening Ceremonies on July 10th.  

The white paper from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce made eight recommendations to the provincial goverment including:

 

  • Using the games to develop a comprehensive Latin America trade strategy
  • Ensuring that traffic reductions do not have an unduly negative impact on goods movement
  • Plan follow through to use games facilities to attract other major sporting events in the future
  • Leverage the games to encourage students from across the Americas to study at Ontario's world class universities and colleges

 

The goal is to leverage the games to generate sustained economic activity and a positive legacy. 

White Paper: Beyond the Finish Line

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.