Community Papers

B.C. Chamber of Commerce sets its priorities

Chamber President Julie Scurr represented the Duncan Cowichan Chamber membership at the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting this past May 23 – 24 in Richmond. The BC Chamber gathers policy proposals from local Chambers for review at the AGM. This year delegates discussed 50 proposals, and voted in 39 policy positions that the BC Chamber will include in its advocacy agenda, representing these positions to all levels of government.

Said John Winter, BC Chamber President and CEO, "Our policy development process canvasses the best and brightest ideas from business leaders right across B.C. Once again this year, this unique grassroots process has delivered some excellent policy recommendations to help enhance B.C. as a business jurisdiction."

Two hundred delegates participated in the vetting and final selection of the adopted policies. The BC Chamber employs a widely collaborative, transparent process; the floor is open to all representatives to speak to, question and influence the outcomes. Thus, final policies accurately reflect key business issues across BC. Said President Scurr, "The BC Chamber is well-equipped to keep up the conversation with government and contribute to intelligent, workable outcomes."

Highlights from the adopted proposals include nine broader, high profile policies.

  • B.C. Municipal Property Tax Policy – Fairer Taxation for Business
  • Review of Regional Governance Model in Urban Areas
  • Rejecting Bylaw 280 to Allow for Private Sector Solutions
  • Removing Uncertainty from Community Amenity Contributions
  • Optimizing the Clean Energy Act for B.C.'s Economy and Environmental Policy Direction
  • BC Ferries Routes as a Component of Provincial Transportation Infrastructure
  • The Importance to the Economy of Expanded Oil Pipeline Infrastructure
  • Property Transfer Tax Reform; Affordable Housing is Good for the Economy
  • Ensuring Affordable Product Stewardship Programs

Says President Scurr, "This was a no-surprises session and the theme of balance ran through the proceedings. We have to have some downward pressure on the cost of doing business, while still contributing our fair share. Environmental stewardship is critical, but we can't let the urgency of solid environmental practices underwrite soaring fees. No one wants too much government in their lives, but organizations appointed to handle government functions must be subject to public scrutiny."

The provincial Chamber policies are also a resource for the Duncan Cowichan Chamber's Advocacy Committee. The Committee reviews and weighs local business issues, and advises the Board on Chamber taking action on local business concerns.

Policies passed at the AGM are available here and with late resolutions here. Please note these documents may undergo minor editorial changes before the BC Chamber publishes final versions.

— submitted by Sonja Nagel, Executive Director, Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce

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