BC Chamber of Commerce 2008 AGM

BC Chamber of Commerce Express Newsletter - April 2009 Issue


BC Chamber in the Headlines

Policy Successes

Chamber News

Provincial News

National News

BC Chamber in the Headlines

  • April 6, 2009
    Mayors talk tactics to tackle gangs – The Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce had not made any concrete policy resolution around such a "gang-free" proposal as of last week. But B.C. Chamber president John Winter said yesterday "it's my sense, given the current circumstances, it would probably be a welcome resolution" at the chamber's AGM in May.
  • April 2, 2009
    Coquitlam's Riverview Hospital added to national heritage registry – Last spring, the BC Chamber of Commerce added its support to a growing number of organizations, including the Lower Mainland Local Government Association and the Union of BC Municipalities, calling for the province to retain the Riverview lands in public ownership and not to pursue market housing on the site.

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Policy Successes

  • Construction Starts on Highway 97a Improvements – The $33.7-million project will widen 4.2 kilometres of Highway 97A from two lanes to four lanes between Larkin and Crozier roads. Construction also includes a new interchange with two roundabouts at the ramps onto the highway and a local road to connect Highway 97A with the new interchange. It is estimated that this project will create over 200 direct jobs.
  • BC Launches Enhanced Driver’s License - British Columbians can start applying for B.C.’s Enhanced Driver’s Licence (EDL) – a driver’s license that also allows the cardholder to cross into the United States at land or water ports of entry between Canada and the United States with a single piece of identification. B.C. is also offering an Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) for persons who do not drive and for young adults over the age of 12 years.
  • Province Establishes Labour Market Presence in Punjab – The Province will encourage the immigration of business owners and skilled workers to B.C. from northern India with the appointment of a B.C. in-market business investment and skills liaison representative based in the Chandigarh region of the Punjab.
  • Trades Agree on Labour Mobility - Organizations regulating certification for tradespersons in British Columbia and Alberta are complying with the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), now in full force between the two provinces.

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Chamber News

57th Annual General Meeting and Conference

The BC Chamber of Commerce 57th Annual General Meeting and Conference in Prince Rupert is fast approaching!  Visit the Members Only section of the Chamber website to find all the details you need to plan your attendance.

Important Session Update

This year’s AGM will see the return of a delegate favourite: an open-mic forum where members are invited to share their ideas and learn from others.  The session, titled “Inspired! A Forum for Creative Chamber Solutions,” will be held on Saturday morning.

Friday morning will also feature an exciting and informative panel discussion on options for green and sustainable energy.

For the most up to date program information, check the Members Only section.

Membership Profile Study 2008

The BC Chamber of Commerce has released the results of its 2008 Membership Profile Study.  The results are available in electronic format for download (PDF) on the Chamber’s website here.

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Provincial News

BC Election Officially Begins

The Legislature was dissolved and BC political parties officially launched their election campaigns on Tuesday, April 14th.  The BC Chamber of Commerce will be providing supporting materials to Chambers with regards to the election shortly.

You can view the parties’ election platforms online:

If you have any questions, please contact Jon Garson: jgarson@bcchamber.org

Premier’s Technology Council Releases 12th Report

The Premier’s Technology Council has released its 12th report advising continued development of the three pillars of a knowledge-based society. The three pillars are infrastructure for a knowledge-based society, government services in a knowledge-based society and growing a knowledge-based economy and the Council reports significant progress on all three pillars.

For more information about the Council and its reports, click here

Province Reports on Progress Made Towards BC Energy Plan

The Province has released an Energy Plan Report on Progress detailing the work that’s been done to date in achieving the goals and targets set out in the BC Energy Plan: A Vision for Clean Energy Leadership released in 2007.  The report provides updates on the 55 policy actions outlined in the BC Energy Plan, which focus on the province’s key natural strengths and competitive advantages of clean and renewable sources of energy.

For more information, click here

Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia (BIABC) Conference in Vancouver

Vancouver’s West End Business Improvement Association is hosting the 2009 Annual Conference for BIABC: Let Your Spirit Soar.  This event will explore issues affecting business, from publicizing small businesses and creating safer communities to the Olympics and the environment.

Date: May 28-30, 2009
Location: Empire Landmark Hotel, Vancouver

Registrations are available for the full conference or single sessions only.  For more information click here.

Canadian Home Builders’ Association of BC “The Future of Housing” Conference

The CHBABC is holding a one day conference, “The Future of Housing” to address this industry and its role as an ongoing economic driver in British Columbia.

Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Delta Burnaby Hotel, 4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby

For more information and to register visit www.chbabc.org.

BizPal now in 75 communities across BC

BizPal, the online service created to streamline the business permit and licence process for Canadian communities, has been made available to 50 additional communities in the 2008/2009 year, bringing the total to 75 communities whose entrepreneurs, government, and business service providers can access the service.  Learn more about BizPal, and find out if it’s in your community by visiting the BizPal site.

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National News

New Rules for Crossing US Border Effective June 1st

Effective June 1, 2009, the United States will require all travelers, including Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when entering the United States at land or water ports.  This same requirement was implemented for air travel in January 2007.

Visit the Canada Border Services Agency website for more information on:

  • Accepted documents for entry into the United States
  • Document requirements for Canadian children

The CBSA also offers a range of programs and services.

The CBSA office in Vancouver runs several informational sessions including:

  • Importing Commercial Goods to Canada
  • Exporting Commercial Goods from Canada
  • Travelling outside Canada - Things to know
  • Importing a vehicle to Canada

For more information contact:

Sharon Darlington
Senior Officer Trade Compliance
Trade Compliance Division, Pacific Region
Canada Border Services Agency

T (604) 666-8226
F (604) 666-2637

Canadian Women’s Foundation “Shelter from the Storm Campaign” running from April 13 to May 10

Shelter from the Storm is the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s national campaign to end violence against women.  Money raised by the campaign aids women’s shelters and violence prevention programs across the country.

Support the campaign by visiting www.shelterfromthestorm.ca and finding out how you can help.

Additionally, shop at Winners and HomeSense on May 7th, and percentage of your purchase will be donated to Shelter from the Storm.  Use your BMO Mastercard and an additional percentage of whatever you spend will be contributed to the campaign.

Tax Information

The Canadian Revenue Agency has issued a bulletin covering the available online services for managing personal tax information, resources to help complete your return, and their Service Complaints Program.  Click here to access the bulletin.

Government of Canada speeds up support for business innovation and youth employment

The Canadian Government has made a special budget allocation to make funds available two months early to the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.  Through the Program, $170 million will be made available to small and medium-sized businesses who are innovators in science and technology.  A further $30 million will allow these businesses to hire 1,000 new post-secondary graduates through the NRC-IRAP’s Youth Employment Program.  Read the news release here.

New funding for student summer employment

Canada Summer Jobs will be receiving an additional $20 million in funding over the next 2 years to help prepare students for the workplace in uncertain economic times.  Read the news release here.

Trade Mission to Russia Accepting Applications

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Canada Pacific Russia Trade Centre are recruiting BC Companies to participate in a trade mission to Moscow and Sochi at the end of June, 2009.  For more information, contact the Canada Pacific Russia Trade Centre at 604.464.2900

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