Chamber elevates business concerns to provincial level

Chamber AGM
SSMCOC CEO, Rory Ring delivers the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce resolution supporting Ontario's steel industry and its supply chain clusters during the 2019 Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM policy debate.

Chamber elevates business concerns to provincial level, puts Tenaris and Algoma Steel front-and-centre at Ontario Chamber AGM

Ontario Chamber network AGM coincides with tragic Muskoka flooding
— OCC call to action raises over $10,000 for victim relief
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) was represented at this past weekend’s Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting in Muskoka Ontario by CEO Rory Ring and President Don Mitchell.  They did not go empty-handed. They brought with them a policy resolution calling on the Ontario government to support Ontario’s steel industry and its supply chain clusters.

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM, which is held in a different municipality or region each year, offers leaders from chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the province an opportunity to meet and hear from provincial party leaders, ministers and captains of industry. Delegates also vote on a number of resolutions that will form the framework for advocacy efforts undertaken by the OCC for the next several years,” explains Mitchell.

The SSMCOC resolution on steel and its supply chain clusters, co-authored by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, was just one of a number of policy resolutions receiving support from the local Chamber. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber also co-sponsored resolutions supporting Ontario as a leader in global mining innovation; reducing permitting delays in mining exploration; addressing local labour market needs through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program; supporting the elimination of industrial development charges; enhancing highway connectivity; and, investing in Northern Ontario’s highway infrastructure.

The various resolutions up for consideration at this year’s OCC AGM were discussed, debated and voted upon on Saturday. The accepted resolutions, including the SSMCOC resolution on steel, and the recommended actions contained in those resolutions, now become key priorities identified by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, to be acted on at the provincial level and at Queen’s Park.

With much of the country currently focused on challenges being felt by both Canada’s energy and steel sectors, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce resolution was both timely and impactful, a fact reinforced by an OCC AGM panel discussion that included a significant local connection. David McHattie, Vice President of Institutional Relations for Tenaris was one of four presenters who took part in a discussion on Ontario’s role in Canada’s oil and gas supply chain, along with representatives from Enbridge, the Petroleum Services Association of Canada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Ring notes that “David McHattie and the other presenters did an excellent job informing the ninety-four Chambers represented at the AGM how steel and energy are a cornerstone of the Canadian economy. Those present also walked away with a much better understanding of how Sault Ste. Marie fits into the global energy and steel sector.”

Tenaris serves the world’s energy industry – In Canada, $1 Billion Revenues, employing 1,000 in three manufacturing locations and 5 service centres.

Steel Is everywhere in energy development. Energy tubular examples include: drilling, completion and production of oil and gas; transportation of oil and gas; process and power plants. 35% of Canada’s steel consumption is in the energy sector, equal to that of auto and auto parts.

Steel Consumption (Canada Avg. 2010-14).

  • Canadian steel production / consumption: $14 Billion
  • About $5 Billion to the auto sector, while an equal amount went to the energy sector
  • The energy sector consumed over $500 million in Canadian goods manufactured in Northern Ontario alone
  • About $4 billion is steel pipes while the rest is: plate, coil, rebar, beams, etc., used either directly or in further fabrication / construction for the energy sector
  • Fabricated and manufactured products include buildings, water treatment facilities, boilers, wellheads, valves, processors, pressurizers, etc.

While the Ontario Chamber AGM historically brings chamber and board of trade representatives together to discuss legislation and policy, this year’s event also gave delegates a close up look at an on-going catastrophe. The Muskoka area was hit last week with what is being called the second ‘100 year flood’ in six years. A state of emergency was called for many Muskoka-area communities after significant rain, coinciding with high water levels, led to surging waters and massive flooding.

As of Saturday, following a call to action, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and its Chamber network had raised to over $10,000 for Muskoka Victim Services for flood relief.