Policies

The BC Chamber's grassroots policy-development process is second-to-none in British Columbia. Every year, our membership of businesses, Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade develops policies that reflect the on-the-ground needs of B.C. businesses. Through this process, our membership endorses approximately 40 new policies every year at our Annual General Meeting.

2017 marked a banner year for the BC Chamber with 64 policies submitted and supported by 47 individual chambers, including the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce and Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce who submit policies for the first time. This is an increase of 31% in chamber participation and an increase of over 12% in overall policy resolutions submitted, which truly exemplifies the growth of engagement in BC’s largest and most broadly-based business network.

The breadth and diversity of our policies reflects our broad-based membership; during any given year, we have policy recommendations for the majority, if not all, of B.C.’s provincial government ministries.

BC Chamber's 2017-2018 Policy and Positions Manual

Click here to view (PDF).

2017
Regulation
In ‘Accessibility 2024’, the provincial government’s goal for BC is to have the highest labour participation rate for people with disabilities in Canada by 2024 (p.12); a laudable and supportable goal. However, there is a sub-set of individuals who receive disability supports that are not well represented in the government literature. These individuals are recovering from a long-term illness and are preparing to re-enter the labour market.
2017
Regulation
Businesses are very interested in ensuring taxes collected are used efficiently and effectively to support thriving communities – maximizing well-being while minimizing waste or duplication between ministries. By supporting the development of a social policy framework, the business community achieves both goals: addressing social challenges effectively and supporting economic growth in their community.
2017
Regulation
In Canada, 4.4 million Canadians suffer a disability, of which many are children, or under the age of 44. Of these Canadians, 68,833 have successfully applied for and got the benefits of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
2017
Healthy Communities
Effective and adequately resourced policing is integral to safe economies and strong economies. As B.C.’s urban centres grow and municipalities increasingly become inter-dependent, the importance of regional policing increases. Yet municipal police forces and RCMP detachments have different levels of funding, manage their cases differently, and may not have the resources for specialized training.
2017
Healthy Communities
It is a fact that RCMP costs are the highest line item cost in most municipalities throughout the province. These costs have become onerous on small communities and at the same time the members in small town detachments are overwhelmed and overworked. In order to seek a solution as to how we can support RCMP detachments we need to examine a number of factors contributing to the stresses on the RCMP today.
2017
Regulation, Healthy Communities
Businesses need to report cyber crime and provide the data that the federal agencies require to accurately measure the costs and develop strong counter-measures. Conversely, the federal agencies could and should do more to engage businesses as part of their planning and outreach strategies, and promote their webpage for reporting cyber crime through education and awareness campaigns.
2017
Regulation
Drug impairment on the job is a complex challenge for employers at the best of times. With the pending legalization by the federal government of recreational marijuana usage, employers are reviewing what they know and what they need to know to be prepared. With that purpose at the forefront, these recommendations encompass general and specific requests for clarity and guidance for employers large and small, unionized or not, safety-sensitive or not.
2017
Regulation
A low vacancy rate for residential rental accommodation can be a significant barrier to employment, particularly in locations that have high home ownership costs.  Employers who hire for short-to-medium durations are especially constrained by a lack of suitable rental stock, created (in part) by rent controls.
2017
Healthy Communities
Mental illness and addiction affect one in five people across Canada, significantly affecting business and the economy. Further, un- or under-treated mental illnesses and addictions are pervasive within the homeless population, which can lead them to present in anti-social ways, affecting public safety that can, in turn, affect local business. In addition, un- or under-treated mental illnesses and addictions complicates the transition of homeless into permanent housing and can lead to recidivism in offenders, increasing the costs of social housing and to our justice system.
2017
Skilled Workforce
A 2016 report found that B.C. will need an extra 20,000 to 32,000 skilled workers annually between 2017 and 2025 to fill projected job vacancies. As the natural birth rate—the lowest in Canada—declines, increasingly employers must look to foreign sources to expand the talent pool. In fact, in the not-too-distant future, immigration will be the only source of significant population growth.

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