Press Release | BC Chamber of Commerce AGM – Policy Sessions
(TRI-CITIES) June 03, 2021 — From May 28-29, 2021, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce participated in the 69th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the BC Chamber of Commerce with other Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade from across the province. The AGM included the annual policy sessions where 70 policy resolutions, submitted by Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, were tabled, debated and voted upon. Sixty resolutions were approved and will be included in the BC Chamber’s 2021 Policy & Positions Manual, which will drive the advocacy efforts of our chamber network at all levels of government.
“I am very optimistic with the policies we have approved. I know that everyone has put so much time and effort into the development and discussion of these resolutions and the result is great,” said Michael Hind, CEO of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce. “Our advocacy efforts will continue to be focused on creating a better business environment, more jobs and a stronger post-pandemic economy. Our Chamber will move forward meeting with the provincial government to discuss these issues”
The policies approved by the network will help our businesses to be more competitive, more innovative, and more inclusive in a post-pandemic economy. Here are some of the highlights in these three key areas:
Small business recovery hinges on “a BC-built-to-compete” framework.
This year the Chamber network passed several policies, bold in nature, that will help boost the competitiveness of BC businesses. For example, the need to introduce a made-in-Canada tax policy process that is efficient, measurable, and inclusive for all; to increase the base payroll exemption threshold of the Employer Health Tax to allow more small businesses to be exempt from the tax; to acknowledge the critical role that the natural resource sector plays in BC’s economic recovery as it creates much-needed economic opportunities and growth for remote, northern, and Indigenous communities and well-paying jobs that support families and communities in BC and across Canada.
Policies focused on boosting business competitiveness include but are not limited to:
- Renew the COVID school tax cut and employer health tax deferrals
- Made in Canada – Inclusive tax policy process (ITPP)
- Encourage hiring by amending the Employer Health Tax
- Resource industries – A critical ingredient in the post-pandemic recipe
- Supporting a globally competitive LNG industry in BC
The Chamber network understands that economic diversification, which includes the support of emerging economies, is essential to sustain economic recovery. Several policies were passed that will focus on this, such as the need to leverage BC’s international reputation as a leader in the delivery of sustainable, renewable energy solutions and a clean technology economy; support the tourism and hospitality sectors and their critical need for a springboard in their economic restart; encourage the continued expansion of the Mobile Business License program initiative across the province, to eventually establish a single, province-wide licensing program for all businesses.
Policies focused on boosting innovation include but are not limited to:
- Clean technology and the renewable, sustainable energy sector in BC
- Focused support for the local tourism and hospitality sectors in the economic restart
- Enhanced push for inter-municipal mobile business licenses
- Promoting innovation in regional solid waste management
Let’s Be Inclusive
BC’s recovery must include systemic changes that advance economic reconciliation and create equitable opportunities for all British Columbians. Many of the social and economic inequities that persist in our communities today will be addressed through policies that shine a light on those inequities. Of note is a ground-breaking policy that calls for actionable steps to move forward BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act legislation and another that proposes legislation to recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day as a statutory holiday.
Other policies include supporting regional and remote air access for all British Columbians by treating air service to remote and rural communities as an integrated public and private service and supporting regional airlines through grants or subsidies; highlighting the need for more inclusive veteran workforce planning and communication around the value of hiring veterans; creating province-wide equitable access to medical services – no matter the location.
Policies focused on boosting inclusiveness include but are not limited to:
- Creating a comprehensive action plan to build a sustainable business relationship with Indigenous Peoples
- Support for a recognized National Indigenous Peoples Day holiday
- Regional and remote air access for British Columbians
- Veterans: An asset to any workforce
- Emergency medical services for British Columbians
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For further information, please contact:
|Michael Hind, Chief Executive Officer|
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce
|Carlos Haddad, Policy &Communications Manager
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce