Peter Perry was a founder of the Town of Whitby, an astute businessman and truly dedicated to his community. He served as an elected representative to the Parliament of Upper Canada and was instrumental in the formation of Ontario County with Whitby as the County Town. It is this spirit, enthusiasm and dedication to the community that the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC) is proud to recognize each year at the Peter Perry & Business Achievement Awards. The 64th Peter Perry Award recipient, Jim Flaherty, gave not only to the Town of Whitby, but to the entire Country. On November 21, Whitby Mayor Don Mitchell added Flaherty to the long list of Peter Perry winners who have made significant contributions to the community.
In 1994, Flaherty and his wife founded a law practice in Whitby. After a 20-year career in law, the hockey-player-turned-lawyer-turned-entrepreneur turned his attention to politics, joining the Provincial legislature in 1995. By 1997 he had joined Mike Harris’ Cabinet as Minister of Labour and subsequently served as Attorney General. In 2006, he was sworn in as the Minister of Finance in Stephen Harper’s Cabinet and to date is the fifth longest serving Finance Minister in Canadian History. During this time, he made significant impacts to Canada and the Town of Whitby, including the introduction of tax-free savings accounts; serving as the Governor of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; championing disability issues by introducing the new Registered Disability Savings Plan and building Whitby’s Abilities Centre; and was instrumental in obtaining funding for the first university to be built in Ontario since the 1960s, now known as Ontario Tech University.
At the pinnacle of the night’s celebrations, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, accepted the award on behalf of her late husband alongside two of their sons, John and Quinn.
“We are so honoured as a family, but I have to tell you how much this would have meant to Jim,” said Elliott. “He has won awards both nationally and internationally, but I know that the one that would have meant the most to him was the Peter Perry Award because it would have been given to him by the people of his own community. Thank you for remembering him.”
In addition to recognizing a lifetime of commitment to community, the Peter Perry & Business Achievement Awards also highlights business excellence in the Region of Durham. This year’s Business Achievement Award winners are:
Business Achievement Award 1-15 Employees
Ki Health & Wellness
Business Achievement Award 16-49 Employees
QJS Specialty Cleaning Inc.
New Business of the Year
Not for Profit of the Year
Girls Inc. of Durham
Todd Skinner Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Joel Davis, Logical Mix
Business Person of the Year
Roland Goreski, Campkin’s RV Centre
“When I was told that there were a lot of nominations this year, I didn’t think I’d be standing up here,” explained Owner of Ki Health & Wellness, Kaz Merfield. “I think that goes to show how amazing Durham is. There are so many incredible and deserving businesses and we’re all building something amazing.”
After celebrating its 90-year anniversary at the 2018 awards gala, the WCC was proud to share some of its own successes as it forges ahead into the future with 700 members and counting. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Public Affairs, Michelle Eaton, was on hand to kick off the evening with some good news.
“It is my pleasure to share that the Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada met last week and has approved the re-accreditation of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce,” announced Eaton. “Chamber accreditation is a formal acknowledgment that a Chamber or Board of Trade has been successfully evaluated against rigorous criteria for policy, service and performance. Thank you to the Whitby Chamber team for your commitment to this high standard of professionalism and service excellence.”