The Timmins Chamber of Commerce is pushing northern Ontario issues at a national level. Representatives from the chamber were in Regina recently to attend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting. While there, the Chamber worked to have two of their policies passed.

Manager of Policy, Nick Stewart, says the first involves the laws surrounding consultations with Indigenous communities when it comes to business projects that would affect their constitutional rights. The chamber says uncertainty and a lack of framework means projects are getting delayed or cancelled altogether.

The chamber’s second policy includes having the federal government look at how climate change is affecting ice roads in the north. He says they see a lot of communities being affected by the shortened seasons that go hand-in-hand with climate change. Stewart cites De Beers in particular, saying the mining company relies on the winters roads just to function. And, he says many other companies trying to do business in those areas are having issues as well.

Stewart says the Canadian Chamber has now taken these on as their official policies, which means they’ll be brought to the federal government. Stewart says they will be a real priority when the chamber speaks with the Prime Minister and other high-ranking politicians. He says they have a level of access an individual chamber may not have.

Stewart also notes the Timmins Chamber picked these two issues because they have national implications. He says there are a lot of issues specific to northern Ontario they would love to move at the federal level; but if they can’t translate them to a broader Canadian impact, they won’t get any support. So, he says it’s all about finding issues that are relevant to Timmins, but are also able to be translated with a national impact.

Stewart presented those issues to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce at their AGM in front of a crowd of representatives from almost 400 chambers from across the country. Both policies were successfully adopted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.