IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Please note, the 40th Anniversary BBQ is still on today, RAIN OR SHINE!
If Mother Nature isn’t on our side, not to worry, we’ll simply move this party INDOORS at Dave & Buster’s Vaughan.
See you there from 12-4pm!
If you haven’t registered yet… we are accepting registrations at the door.
To find our more about this event, CLICK HERE.

By Pauline James, Anchor HR Services Inc.
VCC Government Relations Committee Member 

Union density has been on the decline, and our government is taking measures to address this. Overall, union density in Ontario fell from 29.9% in 1997 to 26.8% in 2015.  The Private sector experienced a significant decline, along with the manufacturing sector, over the past 50+ years. This rate continues to fall, with private sector density continuing to drop from 19.2% in 1997 to 14.3% in 2015.

The Ontario government proposes a number of amendments to the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and to increase the Ontario Labour Relations Board’s (OLRB) authority. The goal of these changes is to remove perceived barriers to unionizing, particularly in sectors where they view workers as more vulnerable.

The proposed legislation includes:

  • Removal of requirement to hold a secret ballet vote and introduce ‘card-based certification’ for temporary help agency industry, building services sector, and home care and community services industry
  • Increase the OLRB’s ability to order ‘remedial union certification’ and order a company unionized, if it is found in violation of the rules under the LRA
  • Allow unions to access to employee lists, including certain contact information, when they demonstrate support from 20% of employee group involved
  • Allow OLRB to conduct votes outside of the workplace, including electronically and by telephone
  • Extend successor rights to the retendering of building service contracts
  • Allow OLRB to change the structure of bargaining units, under an employer, when it determines existing units are no longer appropriate. This would include consolidating newly certified units with existing ones, when represented by the same union
  • When there is a legal strike, employees are currently permitted to return to work within six (6) months. This limit would be removed and require an employer to reinstate employees at the end of a labour dispute, regardless of length
  • Introduce requirement that employees can only be terminated for ‘just cause’, from the time of union certification and also during a legal labour dispute
  • Increase maximum fines to $5,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies


The government also proposes further consultations to potentially remove exclusions, that currently restrict certain employee groups from unionizing, under the LRA.


How do you see these changes potentially affecting your business? Share your comments on our LinkedIn Group.



Join our LinkedIn Group receive more information like this, and discuss matters that affect you
and the Vaughan business community. Click Here


Thank you City of Vaughan for 37 YEARS of support! #VCC40th 🎉 Celebrate with us 👉

A Vaughan Chamber Government Relations Committee member attended the June 22nd Vacant Unit Property Tax Rebate (VUPTR) Consultation Meeting at Vaughan City Hall. Get the low down on VUPTR:

Background of VUPTR:

  • Introduced in 2001, the VUPTR provides property tax relief to owners of vacant commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Click here to view application form.
  • To be eligible, the property or a portion of the property (measured by square footage) must be vacant for a period of at least 90 consecutive days.
    • Vacant commercial space rebate percentage is 30%
    • Vacant industrial space rebate percentage is 35%.


Current Events:

  • On November 14, 2016 the Province of Ontario released its Fall Economic Statement which provided municipalities with a broader flexibility to tailor the VUPTR Program to reflect community needs.
  • The City of Vaughan is currently evaluating the Vacant Unit Rebate Program and collecting feedback from local commercial, industrial and residential property owners.
    • a public consultation was held on June 22nd at Vaughan’s City Hall to collect feedback from the business community.
  • An online survey was setup to continue to collect feedback between June 1st and July 31st 2017.
  • To view the staff report to council click here.



  • Between 2011 and 2015, the total Program cost was $2,097,000 which does not include the administrative costs associated with the Program.
  • This business benefit is largely subsidized by residential property owners.


The Future of the VUPTR Program:

  • The City of Vaughan is considering five options:
    • Status quo – no change to the program.
    • Phase-out (1-3 years) – program would be phased-out over three years while the rebate percentages for both commercial and industrial properties would decrease each year.
    • Targeted program – “New office Development” (3-5 years) – maintain the program for new office developments only, allowing property owners of properties under development to recoup property taxes paid on units which are not ready for rent.
    • Class funded program – all costs of the program, as well as rebated will be borne by the commercial and industrial classes alone, as opposed to residential property tax owners.
    • Elimination – program would be eliminated for the 2018 application year and beyond.


Next Steps:

  • If you are an industrial or commercial property owner in the City of Vaughan, this is your opportunity to provide feedback to the government regarding the future of the VUPTR.




Join our LinkedIn Group receive more information like this, and discuss matters that affect you
and the Vaughan business community. Click Here


SUCCESS! Mailout Reaches 10,000 Vaughan Businesses. 

We recently launched our new Direct Mail piece, which promotes our local businesses! Sixteen Vaughan Chamber members placed their ads in our Keep it Local Vaughan flyer that reached 10,000 Vaughan businesses.

Check out these local SAVINGS, DISCOUNTS & MORE, and stay tuned for future mailout opportunities!

Say hello to our May NEW MEMBERS! Welcome to the Vaughan Chamber Network!


Bridge the Broadband Gap Resolution Put forward by the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce & the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade in 2016 and Passed by the OCC in 2016 – Policy advocacy through 2019


  • Inadequate access to high-speed internet is compromising the ability of communities across Ontario to attract and retain businesses. The provincial government has an important role to play in bridging the “broadband gap” by supporting provincial working groups and working collaboratively with the federal government.



  • In 2012 Canada ranked 33rd in the world in offering adequate internet speed. Toronto had Business 10 Gbps and Residential 250 Mbps in 2012.
  • Cities in the GTA had limited access to speeds that are available in Toronto, which heightens the risk that Ontario’s economic base could eventually be concentrated in 2-3 heavily populated urban centres.
  • In 2014, the Canadian government launched its Connecting Canadians program and estimated that by 2017 they would have invested up to $305 Million to address gaps in delivery. This funding was insufficient to get cable operators to invest in broadband infrastructure.  The new Federal government pledged $125 Million for infrastructure investment.
  • To help create the case local investment, a number of Mayors’ and Wardens’ groups have been established to identify regional broadband infrastructure needs.
  • The OCC supports the CRTC decision to promote competitive access to next generation fiber broadband networks that are integral to the success of Ontario businesses in the 21st



  1. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce urges the Ontario Government to:
    After conducting its due diligence, support the funding requests of
    regional bodies (Mayors, Wardens groups, etc.) for better access to
    broadband infrastructure without detrimental impact on existing
    service providers.
  2. Facilitate the creation of additional regional bodies that can help
    build the business case for federal and private sector broadband
  3. Encourage the federal government to fund a successor initiative to
    Connecting Canadians. This funding initiative should fund the need for
    wired and wireless infrastructure for the expansion and extension of
    broadband connectivity to underserved businesses.
  4. Benchmark Ontario’s internet speeds and access versus competitor
    jurisdictions and consider 5 year targets of: Business 1Gbps and
    Residential 50Mbps and 10 year targets of Business 10 Gbps and
    Residential 250Gbps.
  5. Consider broadband as a piece of infrastructure.
  6. When assessing funding requests, establish requirements that high
    speed broadband connectivity to the last mile is a priority.


For more information click here:


Other Broadband News:

  1. January 2017 – The Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada are providing funding through the Small Communities Fund, which supports priority infrastructure projects in communities across the country that have less than 100,000 residents.


  1. January 2017 – ON Government – A new initiative in Southwestern Ontario reflects the Province’s commitment to working with federal, provincial, municipal and private sector partners to expand and enhance connectivity.


  1. December 2016 – CRTC – Broadband and mobile services
    Further to its legislative mandate, the CRTC has set the following targets for the basic telecommunications services that Canadians needs to participate in the digital economy:

    • Speeds of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband internet access services.
    • An unlimited data option for fixed broadband access services.
    • The latest mobile wireless technology available not only in homes and business, but also along major Canadian roads.

The CRTC is establishing a fund to support projects in areas that do not meet these targets. Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals in order to build or upgrade infrastructure for fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services. The fund will:

  • Make available up to $750 million over the first five years;
  • Be complementary to existing and future private investment and public funding;
  • Focus on underserved areas; and
  • Be managed at arm’s length by a third party.


For more information click here:

The Vaughan Chamber of Commerce attended the Ontario Chamber of Commerce AGM and Convention from May 6-7, and brought two policy resolutions to the floor, both of which were passed.




Submitted by the Richmond Hill Board of Trade, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, and Vaughan Chamber of Commerce


Submitted by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Vaughan Chamber of Commerce


Click Here to view full Compendium of Policy-Resolutions, 2017-2020

The 28th Annual Business Achievement Awards was held on Thursday, April 6th, 2017 at Universal EventSpace.

Almost 30 years ago, the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce established the Business Achievement Awards to celebrate business excellence in the City of Vaughan. Today, we have more reason than ever to celebrate! The 2017 Business Achievement Awards bestowed the highest recognition to 12 outstanding organizations and business people. Congratulations to all of the nominees and to our 2017 winners!




Small Business, Under 25 Employees – Sponsor: City of Vaughan, VBEC
WINNER: Great To Hear Inc.





Young Entrepreneur Under 40 – Sponsor: Bell Canada
WINNER: John Amendola – snapd Newspaper & Our Brands Media





Consumer Business/ Retail – Sponsor: BMO Bank of Montreal
WINNER: Seacore Seafood Inc.




Construction Services & Product – Sponsor: Business Development Bank





Environmental Leadership – Sponsor: Alectra
WINNER: H2Flow Equipment Inc.






Manufacturing In Innovation – Sponsor: CIBC
WINNER: Macrodyne Technologies Inc.





Non-Profit/ Charity – Sponsor: TD Commercial Banking
WINNER: Meta Centre





Hospitality & Entertainment – Sponsor: Royal LePage Your Community Realty, Brokerage
WINNER: Reptilia Inc.





Professional Services – Sponsor: RBC Royal Bank
WINNER: Masters Insurance Limited





Restaurants & Food Services – Sponsor: CN Rail
WINNER: Grazie Ristorante





Builders, Developers & General Contractors – Sponsor: Miller Thomson LLP




A special congratulations to this year’s Philanthropic Business Person of the Year, Anna and Nick De Luca, for their contributions and hard work through Nicky’s Dream Foundation.






See more on the 2017 Business Achievement Awards
Check out event photos here



We’re excited to kick off 2017, and thrilled to be celebrating a phenomenal milestone… the 40th Anniversary of the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce!

Rather than write some eloquent piece about the Chamber’s upbringings, principles and product enhancements, let me just say that we couldn’t be prouder to be Bringing Together Vaughan’s Business Community!

We have lots in store throughout 2017 to celebrate our milestone. Notice our freshly minted 40th Anniversary commemorative logo, watch out for some exciting throwbacks and shout-outs in upcoming newsletters, as well as creative social media pieces, and look forward to our 40th Anniversary BBQ celebration taking place this summer.

Forty years could not be possible without the continued support of our loyal, entrepreneurial and community-inspired members. Thank you all!

Brian Shifman
President & CEO
Vaughan Chamber of Commerce