The presidents of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce and the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce, along with their respective Executive Directors, met Tuesday in Antigonish to discuss matters of mutual concern for region’s business community.

President Adam Rodgers, along with Executive Director, Damian MacInnis, spoke on behalf of the Strait Area Chamber, while President Patrick Curry and Executive Director Anne Marie MacKenzie represented the Antigonish Chamber.

“Both of our boards of directors have identified communication and cooperation as key priorities,” said Rodgers “and in particular we felt it was important to build on the already strong bonds between our respective regions, whereas we share not only the same economic engines, but also some of the same concerns.”

Topics covered during the meeting of Chamber heads included the potential Regional Enterprise Network (REN) structure, municipal cooperation, energy policy, and ocean sector expansion.

“Since the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) were disbanded, there has be a tremendous gap in economic development in our region,” said Curry. “As the structure of the proposed RENs starts to take shape, it is vitally important that our province and local governments work together to ensure we receive maximum benefit. Both the Antigonish and Strait Area Chambers are committed to making sure this happens.”

“We have the top marine training facility in the country in the Nautical Institute, along with an ice free deepwater harbour that has been attracting interest from companies exploring for oil offshore, among others. With offshore exploration and European free trade on the horizon, we want to take advantage of important growth opportunities.” said Rodgers “We are also working on some plans to see energy rates reduced, and we shared some of those thoughts.”

The two local Chambers have pledged to continue working together, and coordinating their efforts on common advocacy issues. “Communication and partnering have been identified as important aspects of making our Chamber as effective as it can be,” said Curry “By working with our colleagues in the Strait Chamber, we can continue our work in making our region as prosperous as it can be.”

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