BC Chamber of Commerce 2008 AGM

BC Chamber of Commerce Express Newsletter - July 2010 Issue


BC Chamber and Council of Tourism Associations Hold Joint Meeting with Key Ministers

BC Chamber in the Headlines

Calls to Action

Policy Successes

Chamber News

What’s new @ bcchamber.org

Provincial News

National News


BC Chamber and Council of Tourism Associations Hold Joint Meeting with Key Ministers

The BC Chamber and the Council of Tourism Associations recently held a joint meeting with Minister Hansen and Minister Bennett in Cranbrook.  This meeting, attended by Jon Garson, Vice President, Policy Development and Dave Butler, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors focused on the sector's HST mitigation strategy.

The meeting provided the Ministers with a short recap of the tourism-HST world, then moved into a discussion about whether there is an appetite to proceed with mitigation.

Both Ministers expressed a desire on behalf of the Cabinet and Government to work with the industry to find workable solutions.  The Ministers indicated a willingness to coordinate with a working group that would be empowered to work with the sector and other stakeholders to create potential mitigation measures in a cross-Ministry approach.

This meeting represented an important first step in working with the tourism sector directly on a number of our policy positions passed at the recent BC Chamber AGM.  The Chamber believes this meeting also represented a significant strengthening of the ties between the tourism sector and the Chamber which will ensure that the tourism sector, a critical part of the economy of communities across the province, continues to play a lead role in the economic prosperity of the province.

For further information please contact:

Jon Garson
Vice President, Policy Development
T 604.638.8113
E JGarson@bcchamber.org

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BC Chamber in the Headlines

  • May 27, 2010
    HST has its supporters - News1130
    VANCOUVER - John Winter, President and CEO of B.C. Chamber of Commerce, says, from a business perspective, a harmonized tax will save many sectors money on everything . . .

  • June 22, 2010
    Tax has strong support in many sectors of BC - The Vancouver Sun
    "Based on experiences in other jurisdictions, this will be very positive," said John Winter, president of the BC Chamber of Commerce...

  • June 22, 2010
    Hansen in Parksville Friday to talk HST - Parksville Qualicum Beach News
    "It was a plan by the BC Chamber of Commerce to bring in a harmonized tax," Burden said, adding that business in general in BC supports the HST. ...

  • June 25, 2010
    The HST is good for our businesses and the community - The Vancouver Sun
    "Our position has not changed, because the facts are the same: Simply put, the HST is crucial to B.C.'s long-term economic prosperity. . ."
  • June 29, 2010
    Business group calls for HST petition review - CTV.ca
    The business coalition demanding the judicial review includes the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Forest Industries, the Mining Association of BC, ...
  • June 29, 2010
    Stick to HST start Thursday, businesses urge BC - The Vancouver Sun
    "Simply put, the HST is crucial to BC's long-term economic prosperity," John Winter, chairman of the Smart Tax Alliance, said yesterday in a letter to BC ...
  • June 29,2010
    Business backs court review of HST - 100 Mile Free Press
    Chaired by B.C. Chamber of Commerce president John Winter, the newly formed Smart Tax Alliance. . .
  • June 29, 2010
    Business seeks judicial review in HST battle - CNKW
    John Winter speaks for the BC Chamber of Commerce. He says they are asking the courts to look at this and determine whether or not it is constitutional, whether or not it the Elections BC officials have in fact made the right decision ...
  • July 6, 2010
    The true chamber experience - Abbotsford Times
    I recently had that opportunity while attending the 58th Annual BC Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting held at the beautiful new Vancouver Convention ...
  • July 6, 2010
    Anti-HST petitioners might hit roadblock - Abbotsford Times
    "We are hopeful that the judicial review we have requested can be completed expeditiously, providing British Columbians with certainty and confidence that considerable time and money will not be expended on a draft bill that is constitutionally unsound . . ."
  • July 14, 2010
    Minister Day launches first of cross-country economic roundtables
    Vancouver – The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today launched a series of roundtables on Canada's economic future. He met with representatives from Vancouver's private sector, business associations and . . . the best and brightest in their field.

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Calls to Action

Federal Budget 2011 Consultations

The Federal Government has called for input into Budget 2011.  As part of this process the Standing Committee on Finance issued the following news release.

The BC Chamber encourages all chambers to participate in this process given the uncertain economic recovery we are currently seeing and the state of the Federal Government finances.  The BC Chamber will be providing its submission along with key issues and messages in the near future.

A Coordinated Message to MLA's and MP's

With both the Provincial Legislature and the House of Commons now adjourned for the summer, MP's and MLA's are back in their ridings with instructions to listen to their constituents.

Several critical issues are at a point where action could be achieved, and the BC Chamber will be providing material to member chambers this week to ensure that our provincial and federally elected officials hear the same message in communities across the province on these critical issues.

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Policy Successes

BC Welcomes Approved Destination Status with China

VICTORIA – Premier Gordon Campbell welcomed the signing in Ottawa of a formal agreement establishing Approved Destination Status (ADS) between China and Canada.

The new ADS agreement takes effect immediately and will enable Chinese citizens to travel to Canada in organized, pre-sold tour groups . . .

Better Access to Foreign Grads Helps BC Business

VANCOUVER – Businesses will gain improved access to highly skilled, in-demand foreign graduate students with a new expansion to B.C.’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

A three-year pilot program will enable graduates from B.C. masters and PhD programs

Over $9 Million Set To Diversify Forest Product Markets

VICTORIA – B.C. is investing $9.2 million to promote sales of the province’s forest products in major markets like China, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell announced today.

The funding includes $8.3 million for market development in key Asia Pacific countries . . .

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Chamber News

What’s new @ bcchamber.org

  • Congratulations to the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce for achieving Accreditation with Distinction!

Canada Revenue Agency HST Transition Videos

Do you still have unanswered questions about the HST? The Canada Revenue Agency website has a host of videocasts that provide information to small businesses on transitioning to the HST. Topics covered include electronic filing to transitional rules on reporting.

Access the Videos here

Smart Tax Alliance

Vancouver - In an open letter, a group of 30 business groups called on all B.C. MLAs to demonstrate political and policy leadership by supporting the job-creating benefits of the harmonized sales tax.

Read the News Release and Open Letter

Canada-China: Building a strong economic partnership

This special report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce questions whether politicians, businesses and society at large have maximized the Canada-China economic partnership. China is due to become the world’s second largest economy this year, with markets representing 1.3 billion increasingly sophisticated consumers and deep pools of capital.

Read the CCC Report

Motor Fuel and Carbon Tax Bulletins

Several motor fuel tax and carbon tax bulletins are now available on the BC Government website.
For any tax-related questions, please call Taxpayer Services toll-free at 1 877 388­4440, or e-mail.

Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Public Safety - Call for Nominations

The Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Public Safety recognize people and organizations that have helped make BC a safer place.

Do you know someone who has made a stand for safety? Were you awed by an organization’s safety efforts? Nominate a person, group or organization online or download our form for the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Public Safety and they’ll get the recognition they deserve. The deadline for submission is Friday, September 17.

For more information, email lgawards@safetyauthority.ca.

Aboriginal Agreements signed under the New Relationship - Second Quarter

A number of agreements between the Government of British Columbia and Aboriginal groups were signed in the Second Quarter of 2010 under the banner of the New Relationship. The agreements are in the category of lands and resources agreements, grouped by sector and geographic region.

Read the report

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Provincial News

Elections Task Force Recommendations Get Green Light

VICTORIA – Cabinet has given the green light to move forward with implementing the 31 Local Government Elections Task Force recommendations for improving local elections, announced Ministry of Community and Rural Development.

Read the News Release
Read the Full Task Force Report

HST, The Right Move At The Right Time

DELTA – The Harmonized Sales Tax will improve British Columbia’s economy, build productivity and competitiveness and provide the foundation for more jobs.

Harmonization alone is expected to result in an $11.5-billion increase in capital investment and . . .

Over 1 Million To Benefit From B.C. HST Credit

VICTORIA – As the HST comes into effect on July l, about 1.1 million British Columbians will start receiving the new quarterly B.C. HST credit.

See the details

Look Who’s Backing The HST

VICTORIA – Business people from around British Columbia are joining the growing number of people who recognize the harmonized sales tax is key to B.C.’s long term economic prosperity.
 Small business owners, farmers, ranchers, and leaders in the hospitality, construction, mining and manufacturing sectors are speaking out in support of the HST through videos posted on the government website, Jobs and the Economy: Facts About the HST.

Read the News Release
Watch the Videos

Chinese Province Signs On To Use More BC Wood

VICTORIA – A new agreement with the Province of Hebei further opens a market in northern China to B.C. wood products and wood-frame building technology.

The project will show local developers and consumers . . .

BC Public Accounts Show Prudent Fiscal Management

VICTORIA – The Province of British Columbia ended the fiscal year with a smaller deficit than forecast in the September Budget Update 2009, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen with the release of the 2009-10 Public Accounts.

The Province ended the fiscal year with a deficit of . . .

Employers, Employees Win With Essential Skills Training

VICTORIA – $2 million in funding will create new essential skills training opportunities for over 500 British Columbians, helping employees gain the skills they need to succeed, increasing productivity for employers, and supporting the growth of B.C.’s economy.

SkillsPlus is a program that brings delivery of essential skills training to the workplace . . .

$10-Million Investment Puts Workers Back On The Job

KELOWNA – The federal and provincial governments announced an investment of nearly $10 million for 45 projects that will put workers in B.C. back on the job. Funding is being provided through the Communities Adjustment Fund and the Job Opportunities Program.

Funding will help to improve communities through the completion of work activities such as . . .

Labour Tool Helps Map Job Future

VICTORIA – Students, job seekers and employers will benefit from a new made-in-B.C. tool that will help them choose the right career path and therefore, contributing to the Province’s economic growth.

The BC Labour Market Outlook is a web-based, interactive report . . .

Major Construction Projects Reach New Records

VICTORIA – The number and value of major construction projects planned or underway across B.C. have reached record highs.

There are 896 major construction projects planned or underway across the province . . .

Western Economic Agenda To Drive Canada’s 21st Century Economy

VANCOUVER – Premiers have agreed on a comprehensive economic agenda for western Canada that will drive the national economy forward with increased investment and job opportunities.

Citing the transformational impact of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games on Canada’s pride and confidence, the Western Premiers Conference agreed that this same spirit and vision will guide their efforts to strengthen Canada’s economic recovery.

Read the News Release and Backgrounder

Winter Games Spending Creates Lasting Legacies

VANCOUVER – A new report outlining B.C.’s Investments in Hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and other related investments  provides transparency and accountability and also indicates the Province is on course to realize a wide range of economic and social benefits.

Read the News Release
Read the Report

Canada & BC  Invest In Provincial Tree Fruit Industry

KELOWNA – The Government of Canada, in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, announced today an investment of $5 million to support the tree fruit industry. This funding will deliver real results for farmers by helping to develop new marketing opportunities, infrastructure, and further improve orchard pest management.

Read the News Release

Premier’s Technology Council Releases 13th Report

VICTORIA – The Premier’s Technology Council (PTC) has released its 13th report. The report focuses on issues of venture capital, on applying clean-energy technology and on the delivery of the government’s innovation programming.

Read the News Release
Read the PTC Report

Province Takes Action To Manage Boreal Caribou

The BC Government is acting to manage British Columbia’s boreal caribou population by introducing Resource Review Areas (RRAs) and by enabling habitat restoration and mitigation actions to take place in and across the province’s boreal caribou ranges.

Read the News Release

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National News

Minister Raitt Applauds Spectra Energy Corp for Workplace Equity

VANCOUVER - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Federal Minister of Labour, met with representatives of Spectra Energy Corp and commended them for their ongoing efforts in promoting diversity, and for their commitment to employment equity and a racism-free workplace.

Spectra was presented with a certificate highlighting the organization's efforts . . .

First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act Receives Royal Assent

OTTAWA — A bill enabling First Nations to fully capitalize on major commercial real estate opportunities on reserve land has received Royal Assent.

The new amendments will allow First Nations to request that their on-reserve commercial real estate projects benefit from a property rights regime . . .

Government of Canada Invests in Skills Development and Workplace Safety

MISSISSAUGACanadian manufacturing workers and businesses will benefit from a Government of Canada investment in a literacy and essential skills development project.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) will receive over $4 million for a project . . .

Canada Ratifies New Regulations to Improve Marine Worker Safety

OTTAWATo further protect the health and safety of workers on board vessels, today the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Labour, and Canada’s Transport Minister, John Baird, announced the implementation of new regulations for the marine sector.

New regulations will be harmonized with the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations . . .

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