Editorial | Your Chamber in Action – Supporting Biz

 

One of the pillars of the Tri-Cities Chamber is advocacy. To advocate for our business community, we spend time learning about potential issues and barriers to business. Whether that be locally, provincially, or federally, our aim is to ensure that your voice is heard.

Over the past couple weeks, we have been focused on doing just that. We have connected strategically with chambers in both British Columbia and Alberta to maximize our advocacy and policy efforts across our respective regions. These events have proven to be extremely informative and beneficial for our organization. Two weeks ago, I traveled to Edmonton along with 100 other business leaders from across BC on Federation Flight. The purpose of Federation Flight was to show Albertans that BC supports inter-provincial business during these interesting times.

With business, community, labour, and Indigenous leaders on board, I believe we were successful in showing Albertans that segments of the BC community is committed to continuing a strong and prosperous relationship. We shared with our neighbours to the east that we value them greatly and want to find a way to work together for the good of our country. It was a great experience to be a part of and I look forward to seeing positive alliances continue to build.

This past weekend, I traveled to Kamloops for the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM along with board chair Catherine Ackerman, vice chair and policy committee chair Randy Webster, and public policy advisor Alex King. The AGM featured presentations from the major BC political parties: Andrew Weaver, Leader of the Green party; Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the Liberal party; and the Honourable Carole James, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier who spoke to their respective positions. We also had a very informative presentation from Shannon Phillips, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office. She spoke on a variety of topics including the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project where she explained protecting the environment and having economic growth are not mutually exclusive, they can and must go hand-in-hand.

Additionally, there were several panel discussions on relevant topics to BC business. Among them was the impending, always controversial topic of cannabis legalization. A lesser known topic also hit the tables – proportional representation. The highly contentious idea is back and a referendum is expected to take place this fall. It is important for community members to understand the pros and cons of reforming the electoral system. More information on proportional representation will be released over the next couple months.

With close to 100 chambers from across BC in attendance, representing over 30,000 member businesses, this is one of the most important gatherings for business each year. Over 60 policy resolutions were debated and passed at the Annual General Meeting. The BC Chamber has now adopted these policies and will advocate on behalf of chambers and businesses across BC to the provincial and federal levels of government. Prior to the AGM, our policy committee reviews the proposed resolutions, we then vote to support selected resolutions that will enable our business community to prosper. We are proud to take an active role in the process, engaging in conversation and enhancing policy on your behalf.

Your chamber of commerce is working hard on different fronts to support the local business community while helping improve our sustainability. We work closely with the municipal governments, as well as both on the provincial level with the BC Chamber and national level with the Canadian Chamber. All with the goal to improve the prospects for local businesses, resulting in an enhanced and improved
Tri-Cities as a whole. Remember, strong business means strong community.

 

Michael Hind
Chief Executive Officer