in this issue 15 may 2007
Ontario Tourism: Our Industry, our obligations
NOTICE: CW Chamber Annual General Meeting
Ontario Chamber of Commerce 95th AGM - Improving Ontario's Competitiveness
What Every Business Should Know About Counterfeit Money
Identity Theft on the RIse - What you can do to protect your id
Building Permits Report for Centre Wellington
James Keating Construction is celebrating 50 years in the home building business in Elora and Fergus in 2007. Congratulations Jim and Fran!
Patients in Centre Wellington won't have to travel to Kitchener anymore for chemotherapy treatments. On April 24th Groves Memorial Community Hospital opened their new Oncology Clinic. Volunteers raised almost $190,000 for the treatment centre with remaining costs being covered by Queen's Park cancer care program. The clinic expects to see 100-150 patients which will be approximately 1,000 to 1,500 visits annually.
Wednesday, May 16th Business Luncheon with guest speaker Lee Pomeroy of TD Mutual Funds. The topic is "The Impact of Leadership...it isn't an accident. How some of the top leaders in North America make it happen!"
Join us at Grand River Raceway starting at 11:30 am and enjoy a Tuscan Bistro Buffet - all for $25 for Members and $30 for Future Members.
RSVP to 519-843-5140
Networking Breakfast - Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 7:30 am at Grand River Raceway. This meeting we will review the work of the Chamber over the past year. Come on out and get involved in your Chamber!
Cost is $15 for Members and $20 for Future Members
RSVP to 519-843-5140
GOLF DAY, Wednesday, June 13th at WildWinds with registration at 11:30 and Shotgun Tee Off and Scramble Golf Game. Enjoy 18 holes of golf with a cart and dinner - all for only $80/person. Not a golfer, then join us for a steak dinner at 6 pm for $35/person. Register your team today!
You can also sponsor a hole for only $100.
RSVP to 519-843-5140
Click here to view Golf 2007 Forms
Junior Achievement BBQ on Saturday, May 26th between 11 am and 3 pm at M & M Meat Shops (744 Tower Street South, Fergus). JA has 10 programs operating in local Centre Wellington schools, so please come out and support this excellent program.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Centre Wellington are hosting their annual Golf Tournament on Wednesday, May 30 at Ariss Valley Golf & Country Club. If you are interested in registering a team, being a hole sponsor or donating prizes, please contact Ralph Basset Associates Inc at 519-843-4852
May 18, 2007 International Museum Day!
Celebrated around the world since 1977, International Museum Day offers every community the opportunity to recognize and celebrate their collective heritage. Here in Wellington County, the Wellington County Museum & Archives is highlighting the 175th anniversary of Elora with a special presentation May 18, by Dr. Steve Thorning, John Connon’s View of Elora. John Connon was a long time resident of Elora, an inventor, historian and photographer who captured the spirit of Elora’s early days in a remarkable collection of photographs. This presentation is free to the public and begins at 1:30pm in Aboyne Hall. Refreshments and the unveiling of a new sculpture will follow.
For more information about Wellington County Museum and upcoming events, please visit www.wcm.on.ca or call 519-846-0916
Ontario tourism: Our industry, our obligations
By Waterloo-Wellington MPP Ted Arnott
Ontario tourism is a $21 billion industry. It is founded on our Province’s natural scenic beauty, the charm of our small towns, our friendliness and warm hospitality, and the culture and attractions we have in communities large and small.
Centre Wellington is blessed with spectacular views and vistas. We have a proud tradition of celebrations like the Elora Festival, the Fergus Truck Show, the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games, and the Reminessence Festival. These are but a few examples of community-rooted festivities that open up our heritage, our brilliant arts and culture to the world.
Ontario’s geography, our close proximity, and the promise of a safe clean place to visit have long given our American neighbours an ideal option for holidays. Our Province is a great place to visit with very little fuss, inconvenience and planning. However, this positive impression is changing rapidly.
Ontario tourism has encountered a great number of challenges that need to be addressed. The industry is still recovering from the negative perceptions that were created following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and SARS. On top of that, the value of the Canadian dollar is stronger than it has been in recent years, which makes a holiday here seem less of a bargain to our potential American tourists. As a result, there has been a very sharp decline in the number of visitors from the United States.
On May 7th, the Toronto Star editorial page featured an article about tourism. Addressing some of the challenges our industry faces, they defined the importance of tourism trade with the United States of America in compelling words. The Star stated that: “The number of American visitors – the lifeblood of a vibrant tourism industry – is in freefall.” The article then cited the US-led passport requirement as part of the problem that has led to a dramatic decline in US visits to Ontario, even though it isn’t in effect for car travel at the present time.
Unfortunately, many potential tourists from the United States believe they will need a passport to get back home. This is an urgent problem.
The Ontario Ministry of Tourism should do targeted advertising that tells Americans that they’re welcome here, and that they currently don’t need a passport when they leave Ontario to return home. We’re heading into the peak tourism season, so the McGuinty Liberal Government should be doing this right now.
There is no sign at present that such action will be taken. Instead what we have is a self-serving advertising fund being spent by the McGuinty Liberals that is ignoring the urgent needs of Ontario’s tourism industry. They have virtually written off the American market.
Just before the end of the year, the Government did finally announce a $22 million fund to encourage Ontarians to take their holiday within the Province. This followed on the heels of an ‘economic stimulus’ package announced in the Finance Minister’s Fall Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review.
While I hope that it benefits our tourism industry, it appears that the Government’s advertising is really intended to create a positive impression of the Ontario Liberal Party in the lead up to the Provincial election.
The tourism industry, just like our successful local festivals, can’t be taken for granted. Success takes hard work, planning and partnership. The Government’s obligation is to work with the industry, in communities large and small, and take the action that it is needed. The Province should serve the tourism industry, not the partisan interests of the Government of the day.
Further Information: Ted Arnott, MPP 1-800-265-2366 / 519 787-5247 www.tedarnottmpp.com
NOTICE: CW Chamber of Commerce-Annual General Meeting
NOTICE: The Annual General Meeting of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 7:30 am at Grand River Raceway, Elora. Cost is $15 for Members or $20 for Future Members and includes a hot buffet breakfast. RSVP to 519-843-5140 or firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPROVING ONTARIO’S COMPETITIVENESS:
NEW MANDATE AT 95TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
LONDON – Ontario’s business community has clearly identified what needs to be done to strengthen the province’s competitiveness and build a stronger, more productive economy.
“Our direction is clear,” says Len Crispino, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Ontario’s share of global trade and investment is slipping and we must work together with government to provide real, workable solutions.”
A total of 39 priority areas were identified after intense debate among representatives from communities throughout the province.
“The lack of integrated and long-term transportation planning and investment was clearly identified by chamber representatives from across the province as the number one issue curbing Ontario’s competitiveness today,” says Garth Green, CWCC President. “We’ll work with our counterparts throughout the province to press for 30 year planning in transportation infrastructure and investment versus the current trend of five years or less.”
Other approved priorities:
· Calling on the provincial government to establish an independent minimum wage review board that conducts periodic reviews in conjunction with an economic impact assessment
· Recommending a change in the way MPP salaries are determined by de-linking them from MP salaries and restoring them to the responsibility of Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner
· A long-term tax package strategy for Ontario
· Encouraging the exploration of Energy from Waste alternatives as a way of generating electricity and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites
· Strategically investing in Ontario’s agricultural community considering the importance of the industry to Ontario’s economy
This new policy agenda will set the course of the OCC’s advocacy efforts for the coming year – forming a framework to guide the Chamber as it works with the provincial government to build and improve Ontario’s economy.
“Recent events have demonstrated that business must be part of the solution,” said Crispino. “The chamber network, representing 57,000 businesses from across the province of every size and sector, provides government with the insight needed to identify real solutions – solutions that, like Corporate Tax Consolidation, will lead to a more competitive business environment and ultimately, higher productivity and job creation.”
“We look forward to working hand-in-hand with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and other chambers throughout the province knowing that businesses in Centre Wellington will be the ultimate winners,” says Garth Green, CWCC President.
A full version of the adopted policy resolutions can be found at www.occ.on.ca
What every business should know about counterfeit money
Note: The following article was taken from The Bank of Canada website www.bankofcanada.ca
Here are five myths about counterfeit money, and the real deal.
Myth Checking notes will slow down the checkout line.
Reality The security features in bank notes are quick and easy to use. In less time than it takes to
authorize a debit or credit card transaction, you can perform several reliable checks to make sure you have genuine bills.
Myth Counterfeit bills have to be of excellent quality to be passed successfully.
Reality Counterfeiters often do what is minimally required to produce passable counterfeits because they rely on people not checking their money. This makes their fakes easy to spot when you focus on the security features.
Myth Refusing $50 and $100 notes is the best way to avoid getting stuck with a counterfeit bill.
Reality The vast majority of counterfeit bills are $10s and $20s because counterfeiters expect that
they won’t be checked, making them easier to pass. Posting signs saying you refuse higher bills may signal to counterfeiters that you have no bank-notechecking practice in place for any denomination, making you a potential target.
Myth Applying water, rubbing, and folding bank notes are ways to detect counterfeit bills.
Reality These methods are not recommended because they are impractical and unreliable ways to check your money. These actions also cause unnecessary wear to the notes and reduce the effectiveness of the actual security features. Instead, check security features like the shiny metallic stripe and the ghost image (watermark). You can learn more about all bank note security features at www.bankofcanada.ca
Myth My ultraviolet light is all I need to detect counterfeits.
Reality While counterfeit-detection machines can be useful, they often verify only one security feature.
The Bank of Canada recommends that you always check two or three features to ensure that a bill is
genuine. Don’t depend solely on a device.
To learn more For the whole story on bank note security and counterfeit deterrence, call us at 1 888 513-8212 or go to www.bankofcanada.ca and click on Bank Notes. You’ll find illustrations and quick descriptions of the security features in all current bills. You can also order a wide range of free materials (quick-reference or in-depth) that can be used to train staff on bank note security.
IDENTITY THEFT ON THE RISE
Many of us have heard of friends or neighbours who have become victims of this increasingly prevalent crime. In its worst form we hear of people who are duped out of their house by a fraud artist. In other cases that are “less bad” we hear of fraudulent charges on a credit card or goods being billed which were neither ordered nor received.
Identity theft artists gather information on people from their garbage or from other sources like credit card or debit card transactions. Once they have enough information they can create a “new you” and do all kinds of things that will cost you time and money to correct.
You can get a rider on your homeowner insurance policy to reimburse you for expenses, but it is best to prevent the fraud in the first place. To do this you can follow some or all of the following tips:
· Shred any paper that has you name or address on it. Don’t simply put it in the garbage.
· Shred or burn any documents that have sensitive information (old bank statements, etc.)
· Don’t allow your credit or debit card out of your sight.
· Report any incident where you see a store clerk swiping a card in two readers for one transaction.
· Carefully guard all personal documents, storing them in a secure place (e.g., passport, birth certificates, social insurance card, etc.)
If you follow these steps you will at least be making it harder for someone to involve your good name in a fraud.
BUILDING PERMITS REPORT
As we look back on building permit numbers over the years, it’s interesting to look for trends – sometimes in vain. In the Industrial sector the numbers are all over the place, but while the number of permits is low, the dollar value varies widely. This year six permits to date have been issued for a value of $467,000. This hasn’t been seen since 2003 when two permits totaled $517,000 by the end of April.
Residential permits continued strong until last year, but this year is weak so far, with only 14 permits issued for a value of $3.9 million. 2006 was the previous low in the past 5, on a year-to-date basis, with “only” 22 for a value of $4.4 million. 2004 was the best year for housing, with 39 permits in the first four months for a value of $6.1 million. “Best” is a relative term in that, if commercial and industrial development don’t keep pace with residential then it means people are choosing to live here (a good thing) but they have to go elsewhere to work (a not-so-good thing). People tend to shop where they work, and this means Centre Wellington businesses are not getting their share of the spending of local residents.