March 24, 2024

Contact: Ron Merkley, Chairman  

Phone: (613) 345-6216 ext. 102                                      



The 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation is officially announcing the hiring of its new Executive Director.

Ms. Trish McNamara, currently the Senior Program Manager for the Kingston Employment Youth Services office located in Gananoque, will be taking over the helm from the corporation’s long-serving Executive Director, Mr. Tom Russell.

“I am very pleased to announce Ms. McNamara as our new Executive Director,” stated the corporation’s chairman, Mr. Ron Merkley.

“Trish brings impeccable credentials to the table with over thirty years of diverse experience working with the non-profit, public, and private sectors. She knows how to navigate and manage government programs, she has written many successful funding proposals, she has been responsible for multi-million-dollar budgets, and she has owned and operated a small business.  She really is a perfect fit.”

Ms. McNamara has a wide and varied employment history including her time as Dean of Clarke College, as owner of a private consulting firm, in various roles with the Employment & Education Centre, and as Senior Program Manager with KEYS.  

She holds multiple certifications, including Certified Career Development Practitioner and Certified Career Strategist.  She graduated with distinction from the Teacher of Adults Program at St. Lawrence College. 

She also has an extensive volunteer and community service history, including time as President of the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board and Eastern Ontario Ambassador for Career Professionals of Canada.

Ms. McNamara expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to lead the organization. “I am so excited to take on this new challenge and I’m very grateful to the 1000 Islands CDC for putting faith in me to continue this incredibly important work. Having personally been an entrepreneur and having worked with small business owners for many years, I am intimately aware of the challenges they face.  It will be my privilege to be at their service.”

The 1000 Islands CDC is a community-based, non-profit organization governed by a local volunteer board of directors. It has invested tens of millions of dollars in job creation program funds throughout the 1000 Islands region, and it is the steward of a small business loan fund that is currently valued at ten million dollars. 

Organizations receiving significant assistance from the 1000 Islands CDC have included Thousand Islands Boat Museum, Aquatarium, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Brockville Arts Centre, Brockville Public Library, Brockville Historic Tunnel, Rockport Customs House, Canada 150 Gord Brown Memorial Outdoor Rink, Mallory Coach House, and many others. 

Since 1990, the corporation has lent more than $40,000,000 to over a thousand small businesses who have in turn invested $250,000,000 and created several thousand jobs throughout the region. 

In a nod to her predecessor, Ms. McNamara offered congratulations to Mr. Russell on his retirement. “I extend heartfelt gratitude to Tom Russell for his unwavering commitment to our organization and to the communities we serve.  I am very excited to continue his remarkable legacy.”

In a statement of his own, Mr. Russell offered congratulations to his successor. “I’ve known Trish for decades as a trusted colleague and, ultimately, as a dear friend.  Our hiring committee really knocked this one out of the park because she’s as good as it gets.  I am very relieved that the organization will be left in her kind and capable hands.”

Ms. McNamara will officially begin her tenure on June 10th of this year.  Mr. Russell will remain with the corporation in an advisory capacity for the next several months.


The 1000 Islands CDC is a community based, non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and staffed by a small team of dedicated professionals. It represents one of sixty-one Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in Ontario funded by the Government of Canada and administered in our region by the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev).  The objective of the program is to promote economic growth and job creation leading to more diversified, competitive, and sustainable communities.

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Advocacy Alert: Joint Letter to Ministers: Potential Labour Disruption in Class I Railways

In a new joint letter, we are expressing our alarm over the potential for a labour disruption that would affect Class I railways.

May 23, 2024

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Labour and Seniors
Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador
Place du Portage Phase II
165 de l’Hôtel-de-Ville Street
Gatineau, Québec J8X 3X2

Via electronic mail:

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant
Member of Parliament for Honoré-Mercier, Quebec
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5

Via electronic mail:

Re: Potential Labour Disruption in Class I railways

Dear Ministers:

We are expressing our alarm over the potential for a labour disruption that would affect Class I railways. After the economic damage inflicted by the strikes in our ports in British Columbia and the St-Lawrence Seaway, a third and fourth major strike in less than a year would be a terrible blow to Canada’s diminishing reputation as a reliable place to do business; the government must engage to prevent yet another shut down of a major trade artery.

While we recognize the request to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) seeking to determine whether operations must continue to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public, it will not solve the issue; business uncertainty drags on and confidence in Canada’s reliability as a trading partner continues to deteriorate.

According to the Railway Association of Canada, our two freight railways transported a total of more than $380 billion worth of goods in 2022, and approximately half of the country’s exports. With our railways running 365 days per year, a strike interrupting service on both railways’ Canadian networks is estimated to impact the flow of more than $1 billion of goods every single day.

As trade accounts for more than two thirds of Canada’s GDP, our ability to get goods to and from market determines whether we will be competitive in the global economy, but our supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link. This is not the time to put further strain on a system that is under pressure and once again jeopardize Canada’s reputation as a stable place to do business; we need to ensure our supply chains are reliable and resilient.

Given the sheer volume of goods that move by rail, a breakdown in operations would have severe impacts that span almost all industries across the country—manufacturing, retail, agriculture, automotive, construction, healthcare, energy, to name only a few. We simply don’t have the capacity in other modes of transportation to replace the movement of goods by rail.

On behalf of the Canadian business community, we urge the government to actively engage in ensuring a successful bargaining process, and in the event of failure, that it be prepared to act to prevent another labour disruption. Canadian families and businesses simply cannot afford to endure more economic harm before a resolution is seriously pursued.

We respect the right to collective bargaining and believe sincerely that the best deals are reached at the table. The government can play an important role in ensuring an agreement is in place. These repeated work stoppages are damaging the economy, jeopardizing predictability for businesses, and escalating uncertainty for Canadian families who are contending with an increased cost of living.


Aluminium Association of Canada
Beer Canada
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters
Canadian Canola Growers Association
Canadian Cattle Association
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Construction Association
Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Food Exporters Association
Canadian Franchise Association
Canadian Home Builders’ Association
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Canadian Meat Council
Canadian Steel Producers Association
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
Canadian Sugar Institute
Canadian Toy Association
Canadian Trucking Alliance
Canola Council of Canada
Cement Association of Canada
Chamber of Marine Commerce
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
Electricity Canada
Electro-Federation Canada
Federally Regulated Employers – Transportation and Communications
Fertilizer Canada
Food and Beverage Canada
Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
Food Producers of Canada
Forest Products Association of Canada
Freight Management Association of Canada
Global Automakers of Canada
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association of Canada
L’Association du camionnage du Québec
Medtech Canada
Railway Association of Canada
Responsible Distribution Canada
Retail Council of Canada
Restaurants Canada
Shipping Federation of Canada
Spirits Canada
The Mining Association of Canada
Western Canadian Shippers’ Coalition
Western Retail Lumber Association

Alberta Chambers of Commerce
Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
Battlefords & District Chamber of Commerce
BC Chamber of Commerce
Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant
Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton
Cap-Acadie Chamber of Commerce
Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce
Cold Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce
Elk Point & District Chamber of Commerce
Estevan Chamber of Commerce
Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce
Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce
Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce
Guelph Chamber of Commerce
Halifax Chamber of Commerce
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
High River Chamber of Commerce
Humboldt & District Chamber of Commerce
Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce
Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce
London Chamber of Commerce
Madoc & District Chamber of Commerce
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
Melfort Trade Alliance Chamber of Commerce
Mississauga Board of Trade
Nipawin & District Chamber Of Commerce
North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce
North Vancouver Chamber
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Orillia & District Chamber of Commerce
Owen Sound & District Chamber of Commerce
Peace River and District Chamber of Commerce
Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce
Red Deer District Chamber
Redwater & District Chamber of Commerce
Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
Rocky Mountain House & District Chamber of Commerce
Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce
St. John’s Board of Trade
Surrey Board of Trade
The Edson and District Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce
Valley Chamber of Commerce
Weyburn Chamber of Commerce
Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce
Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce
Yorkton Chamber of Commerce

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2024 Canada Summer Jobs/Student Employment Opportunity- Administrative Assistant  

Canada Summer Jobs Opportunity 2024

Location: Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce – 3 Market Street, Suite 1 Brockville Ontario K6V7L2

Contact: Alex Foster –  at the Employment and Education Centre

Contact: Pamela Robertson at

Job Type:  Canada Summer Jobs Employment Opportunity-Administrative Assistant (Between the age of 15 and 30 at the start of employment)

Start Date: June 03, 2024

Work period: 8 weeks (280 hours @ $16.55 per hour)

Schedule: Full Time 35 hours per week (Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, odd weekend or evening with advance notice)

In this position, you will be providing support to the Executive Director and the Business Development & Membership Services Coordinator.

Work activities to include:

  • Assist with planning Chamber events and/or information sessions as required, both online and in person.
  • Update M2M programs and member benefits to provide value for Chamber members
  • Assist with workplace events, programs, and information sessions 
  • Create new relevant programs for Chamber Members
  • Prepare a variety of marketing materials for events, programs, and resources.  
  • Prepare blogs and surveys for Chamber members
  • Research and prepare Key Economic Information impacting Brockville 
  • Perform other duties as required


  • Excellent customer service/telephone skills
  • Strong organization skills
  • Eye for detail and a dedication to quality
  • A team player who can also take initiative when needed
  • Excellent spelling and proofreading skills
  • Background in graphic design considered an asset
  • Cheerful outlook
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Strong background in the use of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Zoom, Social Media Platform

  • Salary: $16.55 Per Hour
  • Deadline: May 17,2024

Company Name: Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

Location: Brockville


Company Profile: Our mission is to support and grow business to build a strong economic community through proactive leadership in advocacy and relevant programming.

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