Jerry Walker speaks at the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce AGM at Bonnie View on Tuesday June 6. /ROBERT MACKENZIE Staff

Haliburton chamber of commerce focuses on advocacy

By Robert Mackenzie

Published June 13 2017

Richard Wannan was approved as the new president of the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce at the group’s annual general meeting last Tuesday June 6.

Wannan who works for the Haliburton County Development Corporation was one of five officers of the board appointed at the AGM along with vice- presidents Linda Baumgartner and Trevor Chaulk secretary Andrea Strano and treasurer Lisa Gregorini.

The theme of Tuesday’s meeting was advocacy. Ontario Chamber of Commerce representative Tracy Hanson spoke at the event saying that the Haliburton chamber needs to continue its collaboration with the Ontario chamber in order to advocate amidst proposed changes to Ontario’s Labour Act.

“I think what’s important for the business community and represented through the chamber is to stick together and work in conjunction with the Ontario chamber…to make sure that Haliburton’s voice is heard when we take those messages forward to government about the changing legislations” she said.

Several members at the meeting raised concerns about changes to Ontario’s employment standards which the Haliburton and Ontario chamber opposed in a letter to the Ontario government last month. Most notably proposed changes will include a $15 minimum wage by 2019 and an increased minimum number of vacation days

In the meeting’s auditor’s report finance chair Cheryl McCombe who stepped down from her position following the meeting  announced that the Haliburton chamber had paid off its $18156 long-term debt thanks to the sale of their former building off Highway 35.