As UBCM meets, a message to all BC’s elected officials: Jobs the top priority in the face of global economic uncertainty

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Vancouver, September 26, 2011 – Elected officials of all political stripes at all levels of government must make economic growth the top priority in the face of continuing global uncertainty.

“Now more than ever, our elected officials must create the conditions for the private sector to do what it does best, and that’s create real and lasting jobs,” said John Winter, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce as the Union of BC Municipalities Convention kicks off this week in Vancouver. “Our public office holders and those seeking public office need to rise above polarized politics because so much is at stake in the world economy.”

“It’s one thing for politicians to hold each other to account and to offer constructive criticism, but the public interest loses  when partisanship takes precedent over economic common sense”, Winter said. “Local government must resist the urge to cave into the demands of the NIMBY segment at the expense of the many benefits that economic development brings to the community, the region or the province.”

“Without strong local businesses and without timely new project approvals, the local tax base erodes, jobs dwindle, and services and taxpayers suffer,” he added. The BC Chamber supports the creation of a Municipal Auditor General to increase accountability and share best practices for improving local government.

With a new session of the BC Legislature set for October 3rd and civic elections on November 19, the future of the BC economy should be at the top of everyone’s agenda. The BC Chamber of Commerce is also calling for a non-partisan approach to balancing BC’s budget by 2014. “The defeat of the HST means some tough fiscal choices are ahead to ensure our province is on a sound financial footing for the future,” Winter continued.

As the voice of BC’s job creators, the BC Chamber of Commerce welcomes Premier Christy Clark’s new jobs strategy.  Winter calls it a positive vision for encouraging private sector investment and economic growth in all regions of the province: “The onus is equally on all provincial politicians to foster – rather than frustrate – economic development and job creation.”

Through its network of chambers throughout the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce represents over 32,000 BC job creators.

For more information on this issue please contact;

John Winter
President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce
C 604.376.3577