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2021 Regional Chair’s Address

Posted 1 year ago on · Permalink

DURHAM REGION, March 25, 2021 – Regional Chair John Henry highlighted pandemic recovery and growth opportunities at the 2021 Regional Chair’s Address. The March 25 event, jointly hosted by the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Whitby Chamber of Commerce was attended by a virtual audience of nearly 200 business leaders.

“We have been planning Durham’s recovery and restoration for some time and implementing as many supports as we can for local businesses throughout the past year,” said Chair Henry. “This work wouldn’t have been possible without the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Whitby Chamber of Commerce through our joint efforts as members of the Durham Economic Task Force.”

Through the pandemic, the Task Force worked on initiatives like the RitualONE free food ordering service, Digital Main Street program, the Downtowns of Durham website, and the central online portal at to share critical information with the Durham business community. In addition to this work, the Region also recently launched, an online local marketplace.

Chair Henry went on to praise small businesses and urge the community to shop and support local. “They have pivoted,” he said. “They have adapted. And they have shown that they are the true heart and soul of our community.”

The update also highlighted key transit projects, like the Durham Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit Corridor and Lakeshore GO East Extension, which Chair Henry urged the provincial government to commit to. He also looked forward to Durham’s new economy, which he forecasted to include autonomous and electric vehicles, sustainable nuclear energy, AI and personalized medicine.

“A top priority continues to be connecting our Region with broadband infrastructure,” announced Chair Henry. “In fact, the Region is starting construction this summer on its first major fiberoptic broadband project from Pickering up to Uxbridge. It is our first major step in bridging the digital divide and bringing higher speeds to our underserved communities.”

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and Whitby Chamber of Commerce are happy for the opportunity to bring this educational event to the businesses and business leaders represented within our individual memberships. By speaking with one voice, our message is strong and clear when advocating to government, whether at the regional, municipal, provincial, or federal level.

The 2021 Regional Chair’s Address is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Baker Tilly Durham and Durham College, and supporting sponsors Johnson Insurance, PGL Environmental Consultants and Trent University Durham GTA.


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For more information, please contact:

Samantha Paterson, Policy & Communications Specialist, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

T: 905-903-7903 | E: