CHAMBER CHAT - Week of March 16
From BCC President, Greg Sudds...
On behalf of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, I want to assure our members that the BCC is taking all precautions to ensure the well-being of our staff and members.
All public events hosted by the BCC as well as committee meetings have been cancelled until April 6. The situation will be reassessed at that time, and we look forward to once again connecting personally.
We know that many of our members are experiencing uncertainty and some trepidation with the economic fallout of the closures and cancellations. We are monitoring the quickly evolving situation and will provide updates via email and social media as they become available from our government partners and the OCC and Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
Premiere Doug Ford, MPP Todd Smith  with Quinte Chamber of Commerce representatives
On Monday, March 9 members from the Belleville, Quinte West and Prince Edward County Chambers of Commerce attended 'Advocacy Day', an event coordinated by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce at Queen's Park.
This event provided meetings and personal access with elected officials and senior-level bureaucrats to discuss and share concerns from the 'voice of business' in Ontario.
Attending on behalf of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce was 2nd Vice President, Anthony Callaghan, and Lisa Grills, Membership Development Coordinator.
The day began with a Q&A from the province's first advocate for community opportunities, Jamil Jivani, Special Advisor to the Premier. Jivani identified some of his priorities as jobs, safety in the workplace and education. He spoke passionately about the stigma at play in most public school systems with lower expectations from those students in applied versus university prep programs and the deficit of our students in critical soft skills. Jivani is in consultation in the development of a new 'Poverty Reduction Strategy ' for Ontario, and are looking for feedback on job creation, supports and services, and lowering the cost of living, ultimately making life more affordable. Share your ideas in an online survey (Deadline Mar. 30) based on your experience as an individual, service provider or as an employer.
Both Anthony and Lisa were guests of MPP Smith for 'Question Period', where the health and welfare of our province was at the forefront, with the escalating challenges of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
During the reception at the end of our meeting-filled day we were able to meet with Premier Doug Ford, who dropped in to thank the delegates for their attendance. Also addressing the crowd was The Hon. Victor Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Andrea Horvath, Leader of the Official Opposition, NDP of Ontario, Green Party leader Mike Schreiner and John Fraser, former Interim leader of the Liberal party.
In conjunction with OLG, Shorelines Casino Belleville will temporarily suspend all casino operations as of Sunday, March 15 at 11:59PM.
While there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported at Shorelines Casino Belleville, this measure has been deemed to be in the best interests of the Public’s Health and the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
We appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented situation.