Moderators to host Tri-Cities Chamber All Candidates Meetings for 2022 Municipal Elections

Moderators to host Tri-Cities Chamber All Candidates Meetings for 2022 Municipal Elections

 

 

L to R: Jennifer McKinnon, Mary Vellani, and Richard Rainey to moderate Tri-Cities Chamber All Candidates Meetings.

(TRI-CITIES) September 14, 2022 — The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the moderators for its All Candidates Meetings to be held in Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam, in advance of the 2022 Municipal Elections on October 15.

Past Chair (2011) of the Chamber Board Richard Rainey, Counsel at DBM Law, will host the Coquitlam All Candidates Meeting on September 22 at Evergreen Cultural Centre. Mary Vellani, Past Chair (2020-2021) of the Chamber Board, and Senior Manager, Cash Management with TD Bank, will moderate the Port Moody event on September 28 at Inlet Theatre. And Jennifer McKinnon, Chamber Board Director and Executive Director, Downtown Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association, will lead the Port Coquitlam meeting on October 3 at Riverside Community Church. Each event is 7 – 9 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The events will also be streamed online.

“While the Tri-Cities Chamber remains neutral in all elections, we have an important role to convene our community for All Candidates Meetings, to ensure our member businesses and the wider community can learn more about key issues and candidates’ platforms,” said Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer of the Tri-Cities Chamber. “The B.C. and our local economy are performing relatively strong compared to other jurisdictions in Canada, but some sectors have still not recovered from the impacts of the pandemic. It is critical that candidates are aware of the need for policies that focus on building a strong and vibrant business community here in the Tri-Cities.

“I encourage everyone to join us for the All Candidates Meeting in your city, in-person or online, and to vote on October 15. On behalf of our members and the Chamber’s Board of Directors, we sincerely thank Jennifer McKinnon, Richard Rainey, and Mary Vellani for moderating our events.”

The events are free and open to the public, with no pre-registration required for in-person or online audience members. Mayor and Councillor candidates wishing to participate on stage must contact the Chamber no less than 48 hours prior to their event.

Attendees will be able to pose questions to candidates using the Slido app, but not all questions may be answered due to time restrictions. The links to view the events online will be posted on the Chamber’s website event pages closer to the dates.

The three All Candidates Meetings are sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ organizations from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong communities. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Joint letter calls for BCGEU to immediately end job action affecting liquor and cannabis distribution

Joint letter calls for BCGEU to immediately end strike affecting liquor and cannabis distribution

UPDATE August 30, 2022 — The BCGEU has ended its job action in good faith, as bargaining between the BC Government and BCGEU continues.

(TRI-CITIES) August 25, 2022 — The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce urges the BCGEU and BC Government to immediately resolve the BCGEU contract negotiations, and calls on the BCGEU to cease the job action that is crippling liquor and cannabis distribution in B.C. The strike is harming hundreds of thousands of workers and business owners in hospitality, tourism, accommodations, and events, who are already struggling to recover from the hard-hitting effects on their industries from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tri-Cities Chamber supports the statement issued by the BC Chamber of Commerce, and the open letter signed by 19 associations.

As stated in the joint letter: “Since the BCGEU commenced job action on Aug. 15, B.C.’s hospitality, liquor, and cannabis businesses have already begun to experience product shortages with severe impacts on their revenue. We have been cut off from vital inventory needed to maintain the viability of our businesses and the jobs we support and create. Should this strike continue, our industries will unfairly bear the brunt of serious economic consequences including business closures and layoffs, cancelled events such as concerts and weddings, loss of consumer confidence, and damage to B.C.’s reputation among tourists and consumers. We cannot afford for this strike to continue.

“On behalf of our collective memberships, we will not accept becoming collateral damage in your labour dispute. As both parties return to the negotiating table, we ask you to put the interests of British Columbia first, and resolve your differences immediately to prevent further losses and impacts to the hospitality and tourism sector. As an act of good faith, we also urge for the removal of picket lines while negotiations are ongoing.”

Read the open letter on behalf of B.C. hospitality, tourism, accommodation, liquor and cannabis retail businesses here. 

Read the B.C. Chamber of Commerce statement here.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ organizations from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong communities. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Tri-Cities Chamber meets again with Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

Tri-Cities Chamber meets again with Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

(TRI-CITIES) August 23, 2022 — Tri-Cities Chamber CEO Leslie Courchesne joined a meeting hosted by the BC Chamber of Commerce with Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser. Attended by 40 leaders of chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across BC, the discussion focused on immigration application wait times, the labour shortage, foreign credential recognition, and immigrant settlement services. Following the meeting, Minister Fraser announced actions to address the immigration backlogs to fill vacant positions and help businesses grow.

The conversation followed up on issues raised at the Tri-Cities Chamber roundtable with Minister Fraser in April, 2022.

Photo courtesy of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Tri-Cities Chamber meeting with Parliamentary Secretary Jennifer O’Connell focuses on removing barriers to inter-provincial trade

Tri-Cities Chamber meeting with Parliamentary Secretary Jennifer O’Connell and MP Ron McKinnon focuses on removing barriers to inter-provincial trade

(TRI-CITIES) August 22, 2022 — Nine Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce members including Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart attended a roundtable discussion focused on eliminating barriers to free trade within Canada, supply chain issues, procurement policies, and regulatory challenges. Jennifer O’Connell, Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam heard concerns, fielded questions, and outlined the federal government’s next steps.

“Internal trade barriers cost Canada’s economy billions each year. In some cases it can be more difficult to do business with other provinces or territories than with other countries,” said Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer, Tri-Cities Chamber. “Governments need to cooperate to give local companies a clear path to innovate, to respond quickly to changing market demands, and to thrive. The free flow of goods, services, and people within Canada is long overdue, and is vital to local prosperity and a competitive national economy. Today we heard compelling cases for this from local businesses connected to construction, hospitality, transportation, and healthcare/PPE production.

“My sincere thanks to Parliamentary Secretary O’Connell and MP McKinnon for this opportunity, and to our members who attended this robust discussion focused on specifics and solutions.”

The Tri-Cities Chamber advocates on behalf of business to all levels of government. If your business is experiencing challenges related to government policy, programs, or regulations, contact Leslie Courchesne at .

L to R: Vivien Symington, Club Aviva and Tri-Cities Chamber Board Director; Jennifer O’Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities; Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam; Ben Craig, Investors Group; Isha Ruparelia, Tri-Cities Chamber; Richard Stewart, Mayor of Coquitlam; Jason Zanatta, Novo Textile Company Ltd; Leslie Courchesne, Tri-Cities Chamber; Shaun Govender, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority; Kevin Richter, Douglas College; Kathryn Millar, Indigenous Worx and Tri-Cities Chamber Board Director; Jim Allard and Daniel Allard, Allard Contractors & Coquitlam Concrete.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Tri-Cities Chamber urges BC Government to take action on small business challenges addressed in BC Budget 2023 Consultation Report

Tri-Cities Chamber urges BC Government to take action on small business challenges addressed in BC Budget 2023 Consultation Report

(TRI-CITIES) August 16, 2022 — The provincial government has released its Report on the Budget 2023 Consultation, including recommendations supported by the Tri-Cities Chamber to address challenges small and medium-sized businesses continue to face.

With 216 recommendations overall, the report outlines actions the government should take in the next provincial budget on a wide range of issues, including the skilled labour shortage, employer health tax, sales tax, tax thresholds, incentivizing clean energy, and addressing cost pressures for businesses, homebuyers, and consumers.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Tri-Cities and B.C. economy,” said Leslie Courchesne, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce. “We need all levels of government to work together with the private sector to address challenges that these businesses continue to face, to build a better and stronger economy for everyone.”

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Focusing Forward: Tri-Cities Chamber Endorses BC Chamber’s Newly Released Policies and Positions Manual for 2022-2023

Focusing Forward: Tri-Cities Chamber Endorses BC Chamber’s Newly Released Policies and Positions Manual for 2022-2023

(TRI-CITIES) August 2, 2022 — Last week, the BC Chamber of Commerce released its Focusing Forward:  2022-2023 Policy & Positions Manual. The document contains 55 policy statements and positions approved by members, including the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, at the provincial association’s 70th Annual General Meeting and Conference held June 7-9, 2022, in Prince George.

“Strong advocacy to ensure our local businesses survive and thrive is such an important focus for the work that our Chamber does, and I was pleased to represent Tri-Cities businesses at the BC Chamber conference to advocate for and vote on these policies,” said Leslie Courchesne, CEO, Tri-Cities Chamber. “When Chambers and Boards of Trade work together to leverage the power of our collective voice with all levels of government, we can affect significant change that make our businesses and communities stronger.”

Focusing Forward reflects what our members see as the important issues facing businesses in British Columbia and sets out detailed policy recommendations on how to address them,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce. “Collectively, the policies call on governments to foster an environment where businesses can thrive and communities are healthy, and an economy that rewards innovation, and ensures that resilient infrastructure is in place across the province.”

The Tri-Cities Chamber endorses the broad spectrum of policies adopted in this year’s policy manual, including indigenous reconciliation, sustainable transportation, taxation issues, and amending paid sick leave.

The policies contained in the manual are directed towards the provincial and federal governments, and will guide the Tri-Cities Chamber’s advocacy work for the coming year.

Courchesne will also represent the Tri-Cities Chamber’s policy interests on the national level at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM and Convention on October 14-15, in Ottawa.

View the full Focusing Forward: 2022-2023 Policy & Positions Manual from the BC Chamber of Commerce.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Tri-Cities Chamber Supports Vital Policies to Help Businesses Succeed

Tri-Cities Chamber Supports Vital Policies to Help Businesses Succeed: BC Chamber AGM and Conference, Prince George

(TRI-CITIES) June 17, 2022 — Last week, Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce CEO Leslie Courchesne attended the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting and Conference in Prince George. Representatives from Chambers and Boards of Trade across the province met to deliberate on policies covering a broad spectrum of provincial and federal issues critical to the success of the business community. In total, 53 policy resolutions were approved, on topics including indigenous reconciliation, amending paid sick leave, support and collaboration with the wedding and events industry, and taxation.

“Strong advocacy to ensure our local businesses survive and thrive is such an important focus for the work that our Chamber does, and I was pleased to represent Tri-Cities businesses at the B.C. Chamber conference,” said Courchesne. “When Chambers and Boards of Trade work together to leverage the power of our collective voice with all levels of government, we can affect significant change that make our businesses and communities stronger. If you are involved in business and haven’t found a reason yet to join your local Chamber, this is it — we need you to be part of strengthening that voice.”

“Our goal for this year’s conference was to inspire, to challenge delegates to think outside-the-box, and to find ways to leverage B.C.’s strong foundation as a springboard to a future where businesses are successful, families thrive and communities flourish,” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO, B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Presented by Chamber Group Insurance Plan, the conference included sessions on a wide variety of economic issues and trends, including a virtual address from B.C. Finance Minister and Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson. The B.C. Chamber of Commerce appointed Dr. Greg Thomas as its 2022-23 Chair of the Board of Directors.

The full set of approved policy resolutions will be published by the B.C. Chamber in the coming weeks.

 

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Tri-Cities Chamber CEO speaks up for Coronation Park plans in Port Moody

Tri-Cities Chamber CEO speaks up for Coronation Park plans in Port Moody

As published in the Tri-City News, April 18, 2022 [online here]:

The Editor:

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce supports the proposed development by Wesgroup at Coronation Park, along with the requested amendments for the area in the Official Community Plan.

Wesgroup has been responsive to Council and community engagement, and their current plans for this development will bring considerable economic benefits to Port Moody and the wider region. We welcome the expected 5,000+ new residents, and 1,200+ ongoing jobs, as well as the 4,000 short-term jobs the development will create.

In addition to the 2,655 new homes, including market rental, seniors rental, and rent-to-own housing, we are very pleased to see the inclusion of 29,500 square feet of office space, 76,760 square feet of commercial space, and 9,500 square feet of childcare space.

Combined with the proposed public park and open space, as well as the public art and civic amenity space, the master-planned development will create a thriving neighbourhood with key amenities, all within walking distance to Newport Village, Suterbrook, Port Moody City Hall and Community Centre, and Skytrain.

Wesgroup is a family-owned company with more than 50 years of experience providing complete development and management of residential, commercial and industrial properties. As a member of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Wesgroup also has an excellent reputation and proven track record locally, with its ParkLane Homes development at Heritage Woods.

This proposed development will inject significant economic activity and new employment opportunities into the Tri-Cities. I will be speaking in full support of Wesgroup and its Coronation Park proposal at the Public Hearing on April 26th, and I encourage community members and local businesses to do the same.

Leslie Courchesne
Chief Executive Officer, Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, and Port Moody resident for 20 years

Tri-Cities Chamber hosts roundtable with federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Tri-Cities Chamber hosts discussion with federal Minister of Immigration

(TRI-CITIES) April 13, 2022 — Nine Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce members attended an in-person roundtable with Canada’s Minister of  Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser, and MP Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam Ron McKinnon, at the chamber offices today.

“We were very pleased to host this event for a group of our members who are highly engaged in immigration and employment issues, in particular, addressing the labour force shortage and expected increase in refugees from Ukraine,” said Leslie Courchesne, CEO, Tri-Cities Chamber. “My sincere thanks to MP Ron McKinnon and Minister Sean Fraser for this opportunity, and to all of our members who attended this frank and forward-looking discussion that was focused on solutions.”

The meeting covered wide-ranging topics including: foreign credential recognition and job matching, labour force shortages, hiring temporary foreign workers, the Labour Force Impact Assessment (LMIA), cost of living challenges, international students, processing times, and more.

Invited chamber members in attendance were; Mary Vellani (Chamber Board Past Chair), TD Bank; Kathryn Millar (Chamber Board Director), Indigenous Worx; Abigail Cameron, Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership; Ryan Drew, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.; Claire MacLean, SHARE Family & Community Services; Navid Morawej, Aultrust Financial/Parkland Players; Ravinder and Achla Safaya, Steps Together Foundation; and Amr Shehata, CIMMA Canadian Immigration Access.

Chamber member Chachi’s provided lunch for the attendees.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870

Joint Statement on Bill 10 and Union Certification

Joint Statement on Bill 10 and Union Certification

(TRI-CITIES) April 12, 2022 — The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce supports the joint statement issued by the BC Chamber of Commerce, Business Council of British Columbia, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, and Surrey Board of Trade, regarding the surprise introduction of Bill 10 by the BC Government. The bill proposes substantive changes to the Labour Relations Code. Read the full statement here. 

Updated April 25, 2022 —  Read the letter sent to Premier Horgan, signed by 25 business associations, including the BC Chamber of Commerce on behalf of chambers of commerce and boards of trade members across the province.

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Since 1971, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce has been the largest business association serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, and Belcarra, now representing 800+ businesses from every sector. The Chamber works to foster economic development, provide connections and benefits, and influence public policy at all levels of government to ensure strong business and strong community. The Tri-Cities Chamber is an active member of the BC and Canadian Chambers of Commerce.

 

For more information, contact:

Leslie Courchesne, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

604.468.6870