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Incoming Chair, Michael McMullen, (left) accepts the gavel from Outgoing Chair, Richard Payette 

Incoming Chair, Michael McMullen, (left) accepts the gavel from Outgoing Chair, Richard Payette.

Yesterday, during our annual general meeting (AGM) of members in Charlottetown, Michael McMullen, President, MCM Consulting Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, was elected the 2014-2015 Chair of our Board of Directors.

Also at the meeting, more than 300 representatives of our member chambers of commerce and boards of trade from all across the country set our advocacy agenda for the upcoming year. In particular, members agreed that the removal of internal trade barriers within Canada and the development of our natural resources are key to our nation’s competitiveness.

Along with presentations from association expert, Harrison Coerver, the AGM featured a keynote address by the Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development. Minister Kenney discussed the government’s efforts to ensure Canadians have the skills needed in today’s workforce and to fix the paradox of too many Canadians without jobs in an economy of too many jobs without Canadians.

Delegates also heard from the finalists of our Chamber Competition. This year’s competition sought the best examples of how chambers of commerce have made a difference for the businesses in their communities by acting as the Voice of Business. During this session, finalists presented an advocacy initiative that highlighted their successes in policy and advocacy and brought their brand as the Voice of Business to life. We would like to congratulate this year’s competition winner, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations also go to our second place winner, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and to our third place winner, the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade.

Our Senior Director of Economic, Financial and Tax Policy, Hendrik Brakel, discussed the global economic outlook and what it means for Canadian business, and Warren Everson, our Senior Vice President of Policy, Josh Hjartarson, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and Brant Hasanen, Past President of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, discussed how all levels of the chamber network can lobby more effectively to strengthen the Voice of Business.

AGM 2014 was a tremendous success and we wish to extend our sincere appreciation to our host, the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, our sponsors, our delegates and our staff. Next year, we look forward to welcoming you all to Ottawa from Oct. 17 to 18.

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