Tri-Cities Chamber votes for reforms to local government, waste management and Property Transfer Tax

(Tri-Cities May 27, 2014) This past weekend, the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce joined business leaders from across B.C. to discuss and pass policies calling for local government reform, the rejection of Metro Vancouver’s Bylaw 280, a new take on Property Transfer Tax, and better oversight of product stewardship (recycling) organizations such as Multi Material BC.

These policies were passed at the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting and Conference, the province’s foremost business gathering held this year in Richmond. This unique grassroots policy-building forum brought together approximately 200 Chamber delegates from across B.C. to vote on new business and economic policies.

This year, delegates voted in 39 policies, including a policy brought forward by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce that recognizes the importance of mental health and addictions services to a healthy economic environment; these adopted policies now become part of the BC Chamber’s advocacy agenda.

Other policies voted into force include:

  • 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
  • Reconciling B.C.’s Natural Gas Economic Development Policy with its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Policy
  • 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

Policies passed at the AGM are available on the BC Chamber website at under ‘Advocacy’. These have been updated to reflect amendments made at the AGM. Please note that these are still in draft form and undergo minor editorial changes/clean up before the BC Chamber publishes final versions.

Quotes from Michael Hind, Executive Director, Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce:

On the Tri-Cities Chamber and the BC Chamber policy process:
“We are expanding our outreach to members to make sure that issues affecting business in the Tri-Cities are brought to the Provincial Government. The BC Chamber AGM is an important part of our advocacy efforts, taking policies that are beneficial to our members and finding support for these policies across the province.”

On recognizing the importance of mental health & addictions to business:
“The Riverview Lands are currently undergoing a visioning process. We have heard time and time again from our members that ensuring the lands are used as assets to mental health and addictions services is paramount. We believe that the use of these lands to better our mental health system is really an asset to the Province and an asset to business. Passing our resolution at the BC Chamber AGM strengthened our position.”

On rejecting Bylaw 280:
“The Tri-Cities Chamber has been at the forefront of ensuring that Bylaw 280 is rejected by the Environment Minister. It is important for us to promote free market solutions in the regional waste management system and prevent unnecessary regulations that work against Metro Vancouver’s waste goals. Seeing our efforts affirmed unanimously at the BC Chamber AGM strengthens our position significantly.”

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is a proactive network of business-minded individuals that are committed to acting as an accessible, visible, supportive and reciprocal resource to our members and the Tri-Cities at large, communicating their collective voice to help shape a prosperous business community.