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.

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 2018-19 Policy & Positions Manual

BC Chamber's 2017-18 Policy & Positions Manual Tracker

BC Chamber's 2017-18 Policy & Positions Manual

BC Chamber's 2017-18 Policy & Positions Manual - Government Responses  

BC Chamber's 2016-17 Policy & Positions Manual

BC Chamber's 2016-17 Policy & Positions Manual - Government Responses               

                               

2018
Finance & Taxation
Until such a time as the provincial government institutes a Value Added Tax (VAT), manufacturers are paying the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on a variety of inputs required for the creation of a product. Most provinces do not do this, and as a result, there is a competitive imbalance for BC’s manufacturers. To address the imbalance, a rebate for the PST on inputs is required, specifically for machinery, equipment and technology.
2018
Finance & Taxation
In its presentation of Budget 2018, the provincial government announced its intention to amend the Provincial Sales Tax Act so that municipalities, regional districts and eligible entities, such as tourism-focused non-profits that receive revenues from the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) will also be allowed to use revenues to fund affordable housing initiatives. This change has the potential to greatly impact the continued success and future growth of the tourism sector.     
2018
Finance & Taxation
According to the Canadian B.C. Real Estate Association report[1] the average property price in B.C. was $726,803 in March of 2018.[2] with a forecast of a 2.8% increase[3].
2018
Finance & Taxation
In BC Budget 2018, presented on February 20th, the Provincial Government announced the introduction of an “Employer Health Tax” which will require organizations with payrolls of over $500,000 per year to pay a new payroll tax ranging from 0.98% to 1.95% to fund the removal of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums.  Once fully implemented in 2019, this tax will cost businesses across BC $1.85 billion dollars. 
2018
Finance & Taxation
The BC Chamber of Commerce has been a proponent of revenue neutrality on any carbon tax since its implementation. In 2015, we noted that program spending with carbon tax revenues was starting to erode the neutrality of the carbon tax. However, in 2017, the provincial government abandoned principles of neutrality for the tax, with the carbon tax becoming a simple revenue generator for the Province of British Columbia. The fact that carbon pollution will lead to increased revenues for government, with these funds utilized for non-related programs and resources, is problematic as it will create dependency by government on these revenues, defeating the ultimate purpose of the carbon tax, which was to reduce carbon emissions.
2018
Finance & Taxation
In the years since the financial crisis of 2007-08, the BC economy has thrived. A combination of factors, including high living standards, open migration policies, and a strategy of encouraging high-growth industries to the province has helped drive this performance. Not to be neglected in this mix is the role played by tax policy. For the past decade, BC has largely maintained a competitive tax policy attractive both to businesses and to the workers they seek to attract.
2018
Finance & Taxation
Due to media, government and public scrutiny of the real estate industry, the Independent Advisory Committee was struck. Real estate professionals are held to high standards and ethical practices through their industry associations and accreditation bodies. Recent changes to the Real Estate Services Act, to be implemented on June 15, 2018 will create unnecessary challenges to these professionals and the clients they serve. This will also have an especially negative impact to those in smaller outlying communities with limited accredited professionals.
2018
Finance & Taxation
In its 2018 Budget Presentation, the BC Government introduced a proposed new tax entitled “A speculation tax” as one measure – among many – aimed at addressing the housing crisis in BC.  While previous policy efforts in this area have been targeted at the Greater Vancouver area, this Speculation Tax is now suggested to be applied to a number of communities and regions outside the Lower Mainland.
2018
Environment & Climate Change
The Chamber asserts that there is a growing disconnection between the goals of reducing waste, increasing diversion rates and the cost that independent businesses are being asked to bear. It is apparent in recent developments proposed by Metro Vancouver and Nanaimo that regional and local governments are shifting to policies that protect and favour public facilities over private ones. The impact of this shift is an increased cost burden being placed on waste haulers, waste service providers and local businesses, with little or no economic or environmental benefit.
2018
Natural Resources
Fostering a new industry in BC brings significant new investment, opportunity, jobs and employment training. When BC is able to find new markets for our responsibly developed resources, it adds value to those resources and supports communities, businesses and provides new revenue for provincial government services such as health care, transportation, infrastructure and public safety across BC. 

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