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Volume 11, Issue 13, March 31, 2011

Association News

Last Call for 2011 Spring Conference & AGM
Registration confirmations were emailed out yesterday for next Tuesday's CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM taking place at the International Centre Conference Facility. If you have registered and did not receive a confirmation, please contact Pam Winter at or (416) 282-0022 ext.21.
If you would still like to attend, click here to register.

In addition, there will be an early bird sign-up for the CHHMA Toronto Golf Tournament for those attending the conference.

We also look forward to inducting Annette Verschuren, former president of The Home Depot Canada and Joseph Kuchar, founder of Recochem Inc. into the Hardware & Housewares Industry Hall of Fame during the luncheon portion of the conference.

It should be a very educational day and we look forward to seeing everyone there.

CHHMA Negotiates Brand New "Staples Advantage" Program; So Don't Miss Out On Some Great New Pricing for Your Office Product Requirements

We are pleased to announce that we have a brand new pricing program with Staples Advantage for CHHMA members. Along with excellent pricing, the program offers:

Easy on-line ordering; next day free delivery; monthly specials and flyers; customized billing options; a dedicated Account Manager; one-stop shopping experience (office products, print, facility/janitorial supplies, furniture, IT, promotional marketing).

If you would like to learn more about this great program, please contact:

Elaine Arnott, Account Manager, Staples Advantage Inc.,, (905) 696-4231 or
Leanne Lynch, Account Manager, Staples Advantage Inc.,, (905) 696-4228.

You can also visit their website at

Both Elaine and Leanne will be at next week's Spring Conference & AGM, so please be sure to drop by and say hello and find out more about the Staples Advantage program.

CHHMA Group Insurance & Benefits Program Rebranded

Effective March 1, 2011, our benefits advisors to the CHHMA Group Insurance & Benefits Program have rebranded their company which has included a name change to The Benefits Architect Group (formerly PMA Financial Group). 

Claude Jeanson, Principal, advises that the change "reflects the commitment of our firm to provide our clients stability of rates and benefits by unbundling their existing programs and rebuilding them in a cost effective manner to better reflect the clients' aims and goals for their overall company benefits using our unique Custom Blueprint Program."

The Custom Blueprint Program was created because healthcare premiums are escalating at a pace that outstrips employers' ability to afford them. Many companies get into trouble when they try to save money by buying a "one-size-fits-all" benefits plan. When they do this, they often waste time shopping their plan around every few years for premium savings or having to re-design benefits to reduce costs. As a result, they often lose money in the long-run; undermine the quality of their program which becomes critically important in both - recruiting success and managing turnover.

However, when you unbundle your benefits plan and rebuild it piece by piece based on your company's unique needs and philosophy, you will achieve a much better result. You will be able to take advantage of the volume savings through the CHHMA program, improve the quality of your plan, and therefore attract and retain more great employees. As a result, your company will better be able to achieve its full potential.

The Benefits Architect Group has been providing CHHMA members with permanent annual cost savings from 11% to 20% on the cost of their benefits program based on volume discounts available to members.

For further information, please contact:

Claude Jeanson, Principal,, (416) 258-9904; Nigel Ottley, Broker,,
(416) 934-1660 or call Toll Free (866) 379-3120.

Western Golf Tournament Set for June 7 at Morgan Creek

The 15th Annual CHHMA Western Golf Tournament will be held on Tuesday, June 7 at the Morgan Creek Golf Club in Surrey, B.C.

Tee-off times will take place between 12 noon and 2:00 p.m. followed by dinner and award/prize presentations which will start at 6:30 p.m.

The cost to attend is $230+HST for CHHMA members, $255+HST for non-members and $80+HST for dinner only.

Hole sponsorship opportunities are also available. Money raised from the tournament will go towards the CHHMA Scholarship Program which awards scholarships each year to children of CHHMA member employees.

Registration will commence in a couple of weeks, so check your email or CHHMA website over the next few weeks for further details.

Quebec Golf Classic Taking Place on May 17 at Le Club de Golf Le Fontainebleau 

The 36th CHHMA Classique de golf is taking place this year on May 17 at a great course, Le Club de Golf Le Fontainebleau in Blainville, Quebec. This venue is also hosting the Champions Tour's Montreal Championship for a second straight year, July 1-3. So come test your game on a PGA Tour level course.
There will be a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $300 for CHHMA members, $350 for non-members and includes brunch, golf, cart, dinner and wine. You can also purchase tickets for dinner only for $110. Hole sponsorships will also be available and the fun-filled day will be topped off with $10,000 worth of prizes and gifts.

Registration will be available very shortly and will be restricted to 144 golfers. So check your CHHMA communiqués for further news in the coming days.

Come Join Your Fellow Canadian Customers and Colleagues in Las Vegas!

Maple Leaf Night is taking place this year on the evening of Tuesday, May 10 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. This popular social event is open to CHHMA members and Canadian customers in town for the National Hardware Show (May 10-12). This event presents an ideal opportunity for you to mix and mingle with peers and customers in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Registration for this event will open this Friday and we hope to see you there!

Economic News

Canada's Economy Grows at Healthy Pace in January  

Statistics Canada reported earlier today that Canada's GDP grew at a healthy 0.5% pace in January, driven largely by a manufacturing sector that is withstanding the impact of a strong Canadian dollar and benefiting from the U.S. recovery. January's growth matched that of December and marks a strong start to the first quarter of 2011.

Manufacturing expanded by 2.8% in January, following on December's growth of 0.8%. Although growth was broadly based in both durable and non-durable goods, manufacturers of fabricate metal products and of motor vehicles and associated parts recorded the largest increases.

The finance and insurance sector, construction and real estate also increased. Mining and oil and gas extraction as well as retail trade decreased.

Economists now expect the Bank of Canada to boost its projection for first quarter growth in its Monetary Policy Report in mid-April.

BMO Capital Markets economist Robert Kavcic said the January pace of growth "would put three-month annualized growth at nearly 6%, and could leave 2011 Q1 on track for growth of 4%."

"That would be well above the Bank of Canada's latest call (of 2.5%), which itself follows an upside surprise in 2010 Q4." 

Consumer Confidence Slides in March

The mood of Canadian and U.S. consumers declined this month amid high oil prices and political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, according to recent data.

The Conference Board of Canada said its confidence index dropped sharply in March, falling 83.7 from 89.3 in February. The Board said survey responses to current and future finances questions "were particularly pessimistic." The balance of opinion also worsened on future employment and responses to the question on major purchases trended negatively. By region, Quebec was the only one to register an increase in March, rising 3.6 points to 82.1, while Ontario posted the biggest drop, falling 11.2 points to 73.7.

In the U.S., meanwhile, consumer confidence fell in March after hitting a three year high in the prior month as expectations about jobs and income growth worsened according to the Conference Board. Its consumer attitudes fell to 63.4 this month from a revised 72.0 in February. The "jobs hard to get" index rose to 44.6% from 44.4%, while the "jobs plentiful" index slipped to 4.4% from 4.9%.  

Home Prices Falling in Most Major U.S. Cities

Home prices are falling in most major U.S. cities, and the average prices in four of them (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Detroit & Cleveland) are at their lowest point in 11 years. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller Composite Index of single-family home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas declined 0.2% in January from December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the sixth straight monthly decline. Prices in the 20 cities have fallen 3.1% year-over-year. The only market where prices rose was Washington, where home prices gained 0.1% month over month.

The pain is not uniform, however. It is worse in cities where foreclosures and short sales are dominating the market and pushing home prices down. That includes Detroit and Cleveland, which are struggling with weak local economies. Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Atlanta are reeling from overbuilding during the housing boom. California cities are faring better. San Diego was the only city besides Washington where home prices have risen year over year. 
U.S. Fourth Quarter GDP Growth Revised Up

U.S. GDP growth was revised up to an annualized rate of 3.1%, the Commerce Department said last Friday in its final estimate, close to its initial estimate of 3.2% published two months ago and up from its number of 2.8% made in February. The government raised fourth quarter growth estimates to reflect stronger business spending and inventory accumulation than previously forecast. For the whole of 2010, the U.S. economy grew 2.9%, while corporate profits grew 20.4%, the most since 2004. Data so far suggest the economy has maintained this growth pace in the first quarter of 2011, but there are concerns that rising oil prices could dampen consumer spending and slow the economic recovery.

The Commerce Department also reported on Monday that U.S. consumer spending rose 0.7% in February after an upwardly revised 0.3% gain in January. February's rise was slightly more than expected and was the eight straight monthly gain, while inflation accelerated at its fastest pace since June 2009. A big part of the increase however, was due to higher prices for gas. Economists are concerned that if energy costs keep going up, it will cut into household budgets and leave consumers with less money to spend on other items. 

 CHHMA Events For 2011

Spring Conference & Annual General Meeting
Tuesday, April 5
International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario

Maple Leaf Night
Tuesday, May 10
The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Quebec Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 17
Le Fontainebleau Golf Club, Blainville, Quebec

Ontario Golf Tournament
Wednesday, May 25
Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, Ontario

Night at the Races
Wednesday, June 15
Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, Ontario

Industry Memorial Golf Classic
Tuesday, September 27
Blue Springs Golf Club, Acton, Ontario

To register for all events visit our website at or call Pam Winter at (416) 282-0022 ext.21.


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"Eye On Our Industry" is published by the CHHMA as an information resource for our members. Member input regarding content and format is welcomed. Please contact Michael Jorgenson by email:, or call at (416) 282-0022, ext. 34. CHHMA is located at 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5M4

Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: