New policy agenda set at 2015 BC Chamber of Commerce AGM & Conference
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, May 29, 2015 – Business leaders from across B.C. met in Prince George to set an aggressive new policy agenda for the BC Chamber of Commerce’s advocacy efforts to the Province calling for a more transparent approach to taxation in B.C., innovation in regional solid waste management; and community and local government policies on rebalancing municipalities and regional districts, and for a provincial role in municipal restructuring, amongst others.
These policies were passed at the BC Chamber Annual General Meeting & Conference, the province’s foremost business gathering, held this year in Prince George May 24-26.
This unique grassroots policy-building forum brought together chambers from all corners of the province vigorously debate and adopt new policies affecting business operations throughout the province. Policies that are adopted become part of the BC Chamber’s advocacy agenda. This year, delegates voted on nearly 50 proposed policies.
Policies voted into force include:
•Promoting Innovation in Regional Solid Waste Management
•A More Transparent Approach to Taxation in B.C.
•Rebalancing Municipalities and Regional Districts
•Provincial Role in Municipal Restructuring.
•Making Tourism funding more secure
Quotes from John Winter, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce:
On the BC Chamber policy process:
“Our grassroots policy-development process is second-to-none in British Columbia. This year in Prince George, business leaders from across B.C. came together to vote on policy recommendations from local chambers across the province advocating for business in B.C.”
On Promoting Innovation on Solid Waste Management:
“There is a potential conflict of interest, Chambers are asking regional governments to structure or restructure waste management policies in a manner that reduces expenditures on publicly-owned facilities when in direct competition with private industry – to promote innovation and investment by private enterprise.”
On A More Transparent Approach to Taxation in B.C.:
“There is an erosion of public trust around taxation decisions, Chambers recommend the provincial government commit to a provincial dialogue on tax in B.C. to determine what is the appropriate mix and type of taxes and levies need to pay for programs and services.”
On Rebalancing Municipalities and Regional Districts:
“Taxpayers deserve a more accountable and efficient regional governance system, B.C.’s Chambers believe the current “Local Government Act” is inadequate and recommends the provincial government modernize the Regional District Legislation.”
On Provincial Role on Municipal Restructuring:
“There are areas in B.C. where urban municipalities share common boundaries; Chambers ask the provincial government to amend the Community Charter to include option for instigating municipal restructuring by order of the province where a clear benefit exists”
On Securing Tourism Funding:
“Tourism industry needs the assurance of secured levels of funding to ensure effective long term planning, and to remain competitive.”