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Rick Shaver, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce - June Message

Rick Shaver
President, Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce

Rick Shaver, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce - June Message
Rick Shaver would like to begin his June President's message with a brief tribute to a good friend of both the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and the community at large. As you know, Cornwall lost one of its staunchest ambassadors with the passing of Joe Gunn.
PHOTO CREDIT - CornwallSeawayNews.com

Cornwall - Jun. 8, 2011 - I would like to begin my June President's message with a brief tribute to a good friend of both the Chamber and the community at large. As you know, Cornwall lost one of its staunchest ambassadors with the passing of Joe Gunn.

Joe's ties to the Chamber go back 40 years when he joined the business organization as its Executive Manager. Although he moved on to other pursuits, he maintained an affiliation both as a Director and, for the past three years, its Treasurer. He took his responsibilities seriously and worked closely with the Board and Executive Manager on the Chamber's fiscal affairs. He will be sorely missed.

On a happier note, the Chamber's Annual Golf Day was held June 1 and once again, it was an unqualified success with close to 200 of Cornwall's leading business professionals coming together at Summerheights Golf Links to enjoy a relaxing day of golf and networking. Having spoken to a number of those in attendance, I was pleased to hear the many positive comments about the day. Kudos to the entire Chamber team with special recognition to Amy Malyon who did a terrific job in coordinating the day.

The Chamber's commitment to advocacy recently took centre stage as it addressed the issue of tobacco sales to minors. A local business had contacted the Chamber seeking its assistance in resolving what it called unfair practices. It followed an inadvertent sale of tobacco to a minor that resulted in the business being issued a significant fine as well as being prohibited from selling such products for a number of months.

At issue is the fact that minors are being employed to attempt to purchase tobacco products and the Chamber is asking if these young people are being counselled to commit an illegal act. It brought the issue to the attention of MPP Jim Brownell who has indicated he plans to take up the issue with the Premier McGuinty.

Continuing with Chamber advocacy, the Chamber has also taken issue with arbitrated contract settlements. Too many contracts are settled through arbitration and municipalities like Cornwall have little control. As a result, the City is forced to increase taxes in order to absorb the cost of higher wage rates and that affects all ratepayers.

Once again, the Chamber launched a lobbying effort by contacting Brownell. I am pleased to report that the MPP has taken up the matter with Premier McGuinty who, in turn, corresponded with the Chamber to advise he has asked the Minister of Labour to investigate. This kind of advocacy is a key component of the Chamber's role on behalf of the business community and an excellent reason why local businesses should invest in a Chamber membership.

I want to make all members an offer. Advocacy is a key part of our mandate and if you have a matter of concern, I'd like to know about it. There may also be programs or events you would like to see the Chamber take on and once again, please touch base with me.

Members will recall my note, in my May message, of the inaugural Pub-Nite held at the NAV CENTRE. As a closing note, I'd like members to know that the evening was a huge success with well over 150 business professionals enjoying the ambience and wonderful hors d'oeuvres. The next Pub-Nite is scheduled for Schnitzels from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on June 21. If the initial NAV CENTRE event is any indication, this is a 'must-attend' affair and I look forward to seeing you there.


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