Entries in infrastructure (8)

Wednesday
May062015

Premier's visit highlights the work of the Chamber

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Peterborough MPP and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal joined about 130 Chamber members for a luncheon on Friday, May 1st.  

Premier Wynne highlighted the need for more innovation and exporting opportunities. The Premier and the Minister recognized the policy wins of the Peterborough Chamber such as asking the 407 be built to the 35/115 and extending the scope of practice for pharmacists. 

Premier Wynne spoke of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan calling it an important piece for the future, while acknowledging there was still a lot of work to be done.  Wynne acknowledged the resistance of the business community to the increased costs, but suggested that people who struggle in retirement will increasingly rely on Government support, which also comes at a cost.

Similar logic was put forward regarding the new Cap and Trade system, with the Premier suggesting that while some will consider it a cost vs an investment... a tax vs a market solution, Cap and Trade is a tested and proven market solution to reduce emissions. Wynne promised to reinvest any proceeds to help people, businesses and communities become more efficient, more resilient and more competitive.

The Premier announced that Minister Duguid will soon be introducing a regulatory burden reduction strategy, and referenced the recent budget and its $130 billion infrastructure investment over a ten year period.

Premier Wynne shared that the Provincial Government grant to help The Publican House Brewery upgrade their canning equipment will nearly quadruple their capacity, helping them grow to meet their increasing market demand.

Our Chamber was honoured to host Premier Wynne, and particularly impressed with her knowledge of the Peterborough Chamber and the lobbying work we do to strengthen the business community.

Wednesday
Jan072015

Policy Forum 2014: we all have a role to play in public safety

“Turning Public Safety Inside Out” was the topic of a table discussion at Policy Forum 2014: Connecting the Dots.  The event organized by the Young Professionals Group of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce saw about 45 participants talking about Peterborough, its strengths and setting goals for the future.

The policy forum was based on an article by best-selling author, economist, thought leader and current Chancellor
of Trent University, Don Tapscott. The article called “As Toronto dithers, Guelph sets sights on 21st century” was first published in the Toronto Star on Friday, October 17, 2014.  It identifies seven key areas for improving a community: 

  1. Promoting Entrepreneurship to Achieve Prosperity 
  2. Open Government
  3. Turning Public Safety Inside Out
  4. Rethinking Transportation 
  5. Creating a Sustainable City
  6. Transforming Social Services
  7. Reinventing Local Democracy

So far in this seven-part series we have revealed the table discussions on entrepreneurship, open government and reinventing local democracy.

Entrepreneurship wrapped up with a call for a coordinated strategy.  Having an official strategy would allow all interest groups to map out the united front on entrepreneurship the community wants to present to its own residents, the province and beyond. 

Open government revealed six recommendations in total, including two quick wins: 1. Putting the councillor
handbook online as a guide to government for all residents and 2. Use external language vs. internal language to communicate better with residents and businesses. 

The discussion around reinventing local democracy led to a call for community-building activities, such as a parallel council and highlighting Peterborough’s community areas to continue to engage all residents. 

Turning Public Safety Inside Out

Led by Peterborough Police Inspector Dan Smith the group discussed responsibilities within the public safety realm and how a community can work together.  

First off the group discussed what is currently happening in Peterborough with regard to public safety.   

  • Crime rates in Peterborough overall were down in 2014 after a slight increase in 2013.  The group felt that Peterborough is a larger city with a small town feel; for the most part our neighbourhoods are safe; and both post-secondary institutions have positive and safe reputations.  
  • They identified that some areas, mainly the downtown core, are also fighting the perception of crime.  The group feels fighting negative perceptions must be a community effort. The Mayor echoed this idea 
  • in his remarks to the Rotary Club earlier this week and is commiting to several projects to help clean up the perception. The Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) uses a number of avenues to bring the stories of downtown businesses to life. Furthermore, the Chamber of Commerce recently published an article encouraging businesses with safety concerns to invest in cameras for their business.
  • Police focus on educating youth through the school system about public safety and caring about your community.  They also have proactive programs dealing with mental health issues.  In late December, Chief Murray Rodd committed to a 30-day pilot project of increased police presence in the downtown core.  

As a result of what the group felt was currently happening in Peterborough they devised two quick wins, two short-term goals and a long term goal. 

Quick wins: Getting the Message Out

Mainstream Media

The group feels more can be done to paint a realistic picture of the downtown. This includes both sides of the downtown story.  The group encourages accessing prominent city or youth influencers as messengers where appropriate. 

Social Media
The group encouraged re-branding of official city accounts to use humour and disseminate interesting content that creates community building.  They would also like to see people using social media to express their opinions about public safety, positive or negative, take ownership of their opinions and not hide behind anonymity. 

Short-term Goals: People and Planning

Public

Each member of the public needs to be allowed a role in public safety as everyone has a stake in this issue. The group at the table felt bars and restaurants need to take the lead on ‘zero tolerance’ policies.  

Superstructure

As suburbs develop, the city needs to provide necessities specific to those communities.  For example, have parks and small commercial opportunities within a neighbourhood.  The hope is that this would lead residents to find pride within their corner of the city, which can then extend to the rest of the community.  They also suggested extending public transit hours, creating more opportunities such as a “Pub Bus” to minimize the impact of closing time.  

Long-term Goals: Lighting

Any increase to lighting in the downtown or other crime vulnerable areas would reduce the number of
locations for crimes to happen.

In 2015, a new generation of 911 is expected to be introduced that will offer easier ways to report crime to police.  The group was excited to hear this and felt it was important information given the multitude of ways people communicate. 

Ultimately, the group referenced a quote by Sir Robert Peel: “Police are the public and public are the police.”   They feel that the responsibility for public safety lies with all of us, whether it’s in our role as citizens, business owners, or consumers.   

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn. 

Thursday
Oct162014

Business issues drive mayoral debate

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, in conjunction with the DBIA and Women’s Business Network, the
Peterborough Chamber of Commerce hosted a mayoral debate.  

15 questions pertaining to business issues, from job creation to availability of land to transit to the experience needed to be Mayor were asked of five of the six mayoral candidates in front of a crowd of about 200 at The Venue.   

The Chamber has identified 10 areas of concern in this election:  

 

  1. Broader Community Vision 
  2. Business Corridors (Downtown, Lansdowne, Chemong, Industrial Park)
  3. Employment & Job Creation
  4. Finances
  5. Infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc)
  6. Inter-government Relations & Government Accountability
  7. Interest Arbitration Process
  8. Planning Process (What can be done to make it easier for business?)
  9. Transportation
  10. Taxation & Development Charges

 

Find videos of each question and answer on the Chamber YouTube channel 

Comment through the “Peterborough Chamber” group of LinkedIn.   

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