In the midst of getting ready for our departure on Friday night with the cast and crew of the safest tour ever, this is also Advocacy Week. The past few years, the OCC has organized a day at Queen's Park for chamber representatives from across the province to gather and meet with Ministers and their staff that represent as many of the 24 areas of responsibility covered as possible. 1st Vice Anthony Callaghan is joining me virtually this week as the event has pivoted as all others but has become a series of meetings over the course of the next few days - kicking off with the In Conversation with Premier Doug Ford on Monday at 9:15... I hope a few of you took advantage of the invitation from last week's Chamber Chat to join in. A couple more meetings later that afternoon with the Ministries of Infrastructure & Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade should prove interesting (more on that next week).
On Wednesday, we'll also be waiting to hear what the Federal Budget has prioritized and while the impact of COVID has made it difficult to consider much else the past year, we are seeing the labour shortage issues resurface. The exodus from the cities has created further pressure on the limited supply of our housing market and we have suggested investments in municipal infrastructure could help support access to necessary growth.
As we continue to reflect on the anniversary week of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns - facing tax returns and dealing with holding on month by month has stretched everyone - whether it's your business that's hanging on or you're coping with impacts on a personal level. Helplessness is mixed with a restrained optimism that we are coming to the end of this with the rollout of vaccinations. Coming out of winter and the onset of spring boosts also serves to boost our hardy Canadian spirits - I hope it has helped you this weekend!
For those of you joining us on Friday, we're looking forward to seeing you - even if it must be virtual - at least we can continue to celebrate the achievements of a few of our members.
Take good care!